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The adventure begins with the group gathered in Undercity. Each character during his or her stay has recently received a summons from Father Langford Blackheart, priest of the Forgotten Shadow.
A short, thin figure approaches, his face hidden beneath a black hood. From his neck hangs a skull and snake necklace, emblem of the Cult of the Forgotten Shadow. His withered gait marks him clearly as one of the Forsaken. He offers a scroll in his bony hand. “An invitation,” he whispers as he extends the parchment.
“The Dark Lady has informed me of a…situation,” he says when the group has gathered. “One of our very own has betrayed us, defecting to the Brotherhood of the Light for safety. He must be silenced permanently for his actions.” Blackheart is being purposefully vague, but he’ll answer further questions about the mission, assuming the answers don’t reveal too much.
• “Who are we looking for?” – “He was a priest, once, before his unlife began. When he arose after the Dark Lady took these lands, we of the Forgotten Shadow encouraged him to accept the Holy Light’s abandonment. Unfortunately, he clung stubbornly to his old ways—it seems that he continued to revere the Light in privacy.”
• “What did he do?” – “Nearly a week ago in Tarren Mill, the traitor raised a mob and tried to burn the town to ashes. The Dark Lady informs me that the attack was a cover. In the confusion, he stole samples of research from our apothecaries. This ‘Lazarine’ wants to overthrow Queen Sylvanas and establish his own kingdom in Lordaeron. We believe the Argent Dawn intends to use the samples to find a cure for undeath and destroy our people.”
• “How is he protected?” – “The Brotherhood of the Light has given the Lazarine a powerful escort. Several priests have set up a camp in the Hillsbrad Foothills where they are taking him. The Brotherhood is experimenting with defenses against the undead, including wards that drain our strength. The Holy Light is certainly strong against us, but I can tell you little more than this.”
o If non-Forsaken races are included in the group, Blackheart will also note that most of the Brotherhood’s preparations will be less effective against them.
Once the party has no remaining questions, Father Blackheart dismisses them. “Be careful on your journey,” he says. “Lordaeron is full of our foes, and the Lazarine must be silenced permanently. Let your presence be silent and deadly.” Blackheart makes it clear that their journey is a secret one, and thus none of the other Forsaken they meet will know of their mission.
The journey from Undercity to Tarren Mill is not entirely safe. The Scarlet Crusade, diseased wildlife, and even occasional Scourge sorties cross into Tirisfal Glades. As the group nears Tarren Mill, they may even have to contend with the notorious Syndicate. This is an opportune time for some random encounters, should the GM desire. Below is a list of random encounters for a group made up of 5th-level characters.
(Stats are incomplete for all of these. Why? Because I'm basically lazy and because a GM rarely needs more than HP, AC, Initiative, and Attack.)
5th Level Encounter Table
• Scourge Patrols
o 01-16% – Ghoul Frenzy – 1d4+1 ghouls (MG p. 76-77)
o 17-31% – Skeletal Battalion – 1d3 Skeletal Warriors 2 and 1d3 Skeletal Mages 2 (MG p. 126)
o 32-77% – Zombie Patrol – 1 shade and 1d3+1 human zombies
o 78-00% – Rot Hide Squad – 1d3 Withered Gnolls 2
HP: 24 – AC: 18 – Attack: +9 battleaxe (1d8+6, x3) or +5 shortbow (1d6, x3) or +9 slam (1d6+6) – Create Spawn (DC 12) – Init: 11
• Alliance Crusaders
o 01-24% – Dwarven Sappers – 1d4+1 Dwarven Tinkers 2
HP: 16 – AC: 16 (+4 chain shirt, +2 Agi) – Attack: +3 grenade (2d6, 10 ft., blast 10 ft.) or +1 quarterstaff (1d6) – Init: 12
o 25-55% – Scout Party – 1d3 Human Scouts 3
HP: 27 – AC: 17 (+4 shirt, +3 Agi) – Attack: +6 mwk longbow or +6 mwk warblade (1d – Init: 13
o 56-00% – Plague-hunter – 1 Human Hunter 5 (with black bear pet – MM p. 269)
HP: 43 – AC: 18 (+5 +1 chain shirt, +3 Agi) – Attack: +9 +1 composite longbow (+1) (1d8+2, x3) or +7 mwk battleaxe (1d8+1, x3) – Init: 17
• Syndicate Raiders
o 01-19% – Assassins – 1d3 Human Rogues 3
HP: 18 – AC: 17 (+4 shirt, +3 Agi) – Attack: +4 mwk shortsword [x2] (1d6, 19-20), 2d6 backstab or +6 mwk shortbow (1d6, x3) – Init: 17
o 20-55% – Scout Cavalry – 1d3 Human Warriors 3 (with light horse mounts)
HP: 36 – AC: 18 (+5 breastplate, +1 Agi, +2 heavy shield) – Attack: +7 mwk lance (1d8+3, x3) or +5 mwk shortbow (1d6, x3) – Init: 11 – Spd: 50 ft
o 56-64% – Goblin Snipers – 1d2 Goblin Warriors 4
HP: 48 – AC: 18 (+4 shirt, +3 Agi, +1 size) – Attack: +9 mwk rifle (2d6, x3, 200 ft.) or +6 mwk bayonet (1d6, x3)
o 65-00% – Harvest Golem (MG p. 85)
• Plagued Wildlife
o 01-23% – 1d4+1 sickly Black Bears (MM p. 269)
o 24-73% – 1d3 diseased Dire Wolves (HPG p. 220-221) (66 HP)
o 74-87% – 1 Dire Condor (MG p. 34)
o 88-00% – 1 Withered Sasquatch (use Wendigo stats, but with 60 HP, 17 AC, and +2 to hit and damage, 1d8+4 gore, 1d8+4 slam, 2d8+12 rend, and DR 2/-)
Tarren Mill awaits the group that successfully navigates these challenges.