Topic: Witch's Brew (A Brainstorm/Hook)

I wanted to throw out an idea and bat it around a bit.  What sort of adventure would you make of the following hook?

Some time ago, the parson encountered a strange sight whilst he and the sexton traveled home from a grueling night of prayer for the health of the ailing Halloworth child.  Their dog-cart almost ran over Mistress Barrowes as she danced naked in the moonlight.  Madness and lust filled her eyes as she capered in a most unseemly manner.

Wrapping the portly goodwife in a cloak, the pair returned her to her home and summoned the doctor.  This worthy's whispered diagnosis suggested that she had smeared the accurst ointment of the godless heathens on her flesh, and was surely a witch.  One accusation led to more, culminating in a trial that saw half a dozen women accused of vile deeds and hanged for the sake of the villagers' souls. 

Since that time, vials of mysterious black paste have been discovered in cottages and barns all over the village.  Some believe that the witches' familiar spirits seek to avenge their fallen mistresses' deaths by leading other folk astray.  Others mutter about dark pacts made by their ancestors and remember the human bones found under the cornerstone of the old town hall when it was rebuilt.

Re: Witch's Brew (A Brainstorm/Hook)

Whoever was the leader of the witch hunt is actually a powerful magic-user himself. When he learned that another magic-user might be living in the town, he saw a threat to his power and orchestrated the witch hunt to eliminate this individual under the cover of many deaths.

However, he was unsuccessful. The other magic-user must have survived, and she is now planting that black paste secretly around town. If a 0-level character spreads it on his or her skin, then the person becomes a 1-level magic-user with random spells.

Underneath the town hall is a dungeon, either the lair of the first, powerful magic-user or the secret lair of the second magic-user, where she creates that black paste in an effort to challenge the power of the first.

There would be early investigation leading up to a dungeon crawl under the town hall.

Re: Witch's Brew (A Brainstorm/Hook)

Knowing my players I'm pretty sure they would focus lot of attention on the guy behind the witch hunt. I would make the magic-user behind the witch hunt is a really slippery behind the scenes manipulator who is not easy to connect to happenings by simply asking around. I would go as far as having some sort of professional witch finder in style of Matthew Hopkins to draw player attention and aggression away from the real culprit so they never see it coming when things go from bad to worse. Murderous asshole who has it coming but not actually behind what has been happening is pretty good red herring unless you have really paranoid players who view every adventure as matryoshka dolls of evil.

Last edited by MutieMoe (2014-02-04 10:43:47)