Topic: The Veins of the Earth & I

I follow the Veins of the Earth play report of peterwebb, and as at some point, peterwebb´s players where near a city in the veins, it inspired me to write a few encounters for that area. But as always, time works against me, the city is likely destroyed now (read yourself) and thereby peterwebb might not have use for these encounters anymore (or do you, Peter?). Anyway, I rushed to finished them and now, here they are. Enjoy!

Encounters near a City in the Veins (d10)

01# Mad Dwarf Miner

Sound: Shuffling, two feet steadily moving forward while barely leaving the ground
Smell: The Stink of a Rot Lantern (see p.195; Light of Decay), stone dust and a feint stench of shit.

He looks haggard, his beard and hair are iron gray, wiry and spreading out to all directions. In the light of a lamp, his skin glistens with sweat and grime, his stumpy teeth are yellow, green and black. All but for one, which is a roughly cut emerald. The leather apron, boots and heavy gloves are worn, the rags below them are falling apart. An undefinable piece of rotting meat, covered in a glowing sheet of -something-, provides him a little light. It dangles from a piece of chain wrapped around the top of worn and stained pick-ax, held in one hand. With the other, the dwarf secures a large back made of sewn skin, heavy with...something. His unsteady eyes watch everyone warily.

If given some time, Irzin will remember his name. He is a miner that works a large lode of gems “not far from here..”. He will never, NEVER!NEVEREVER!! tell you where it is. He only comes to town to barter some of the raw gems for rations and light. Sadly, the dwellers of the city don´t offer him much for the raw gems. He needs to trade whole pounds to gain anything. But he knows that those from “above, like me” value those things. “It will make me rich. Give me food and light, and I´ll make you rich, too!”.

Irzin has been down here for far to long. He came down here with his brother. His brother is long dead now, he killed him, HAD TO KILL HIM, for he had become mad. Irzin still works the lode. Right now, he has more raw gems stored up in nearby cave than he could ever carry, but wants more. There is A FORTUNE to be made.

The lode is the nightmare-work of the Aelf-Adal, a cruel but simple trap. As long as anybody comes back for mining, there will be more. But as soon as a miner decides not to return, a Saving Throw vs. Magic needs to be passed. On a failure, the poor wretch will come back and continue to work till hunger sets in. If three Saving Throws in a row are failed OR if a character returned three times (free will or not), he or she is cursed to come back to the lode till death.

02# Blackfoot Gigaferret (p.30)

The predator stalks the tunnels around the city. They have become its hunting ground. The ferret is often absent for weeks or even month, but always returns. There are tales in the city about it, killing it may very well give the characters a bonus in the interaction with other city dwellers. Then again, resting near the city instead of a forced march into its safety(?) may give the Gigaferret the one moment it needs to kill a PC.

03-04# Cambrimen (p. 34)

They are a nuisance for the guards of the city, for they ALWAYS come back within 2d6 days after they have been scared of last time (see “What They Want” table; result 11). The guards stopped killing them and just shoo them away, as killing one of them makes the whole tribe mad (result 4). It is not that they are overly dangerous, but they are numerous and combat with them results in a mess. When the characters meet the Cambrimen, they are the first after a long, long time to (perhaps!) gain a different response from the Cambrimen tribe.

05# Fungal Ambassodile (p.56)

The first time the characters encounter it, it will be on its way towards the city. In its jaws, a negotiator from a different citystate enjoys the diplomatic immunity and the security of being carried by a hulking monster of a cave-dwelling THING. The Ambassodile may be met in the city from there on, but will not be ready for further missions until it finished its current diplomatic errant. On the next encounter, it will be heading out of the city, finishing said mission by returning the envoy. If it is ever met again, it will want to meet the PC alone, outside of the city. There, it will regurgitate a partially digested envoy with an offer for the PC. The envoy wants them to... (roll d4)

1# ...sneak back into the city, kill an important person there and bring the head back to the Ambassodile (that will then regurgitate their payment). The target has a home in the city, bodyguards and perhaps even traps.

2# ...venture to a nearby cave system (a map on a stone tile is provided), open up a (provided) very large (oversized item) clay bottle there and and spill a bit of the contained fluid every turn on the way back near the city. Then, pour out the rest near the city. This will lure something NASTY to it. (There is a chance that the Ambassodile will NOT be waiting to give a reward: it was the promise of the envoy, not of the Ambassodile).

3# ...wait at a certain tunnel crossing/large cave and kill the first group of three or more humanoids that enter it. The PC need to bring back the heads to the envoy before the Ambassodile releases the payment, and it will take 1d4 days before the group shows up.

4# ...wait till a slave trader comes back to the city, and get a certain slave back (alive!), no matter how. Payment is provided when the slave is returned alive, and the Ambassodile will take the slave away. To make room for it, it will throw up the half-digested diplomat (who will die within a turn. How hungry are the PC?).

It is up to the GM what the payment is, but it should be something that cannot be digested.

06-07# Olm Trader (p.90)

The Olm has a small number of items (weapons, tools and/or armor parts) made from iron and steel. All things have been found or salvaged by its brethern, and stored by the tribe till it was enough to make it worth a trip to the city. It wants to trade it for food, wood or for light that it may use under the water. Roll 6d10 to determine the items it offers for trade. If a result comes up twice, it is available two times unless it is 7# (in that case, discard the dice). If a result comes up more than twice, discard the “access results” unless it is 1 to 4. In that case, the item is available multiple times

1# Iron dagger , slightly rusty
2# Metal arrow tips; 2d4
3# The head of an ax, rusty and in need of thorough sharpening
4# Head of a shovel, very rusty;
5# Blackened cooking pot
6# Old helmet, slightly rusty
7# Chain mail, ripped and rusty; (AC: 14)
8# Head of pick ax, slightly rusty
9# A golden tooth
0# A grappling hook

08# Trilobite-Knight (p.141)

It will meet the PC on their way, and show itself. It will act calm but challenge one of the characters (a fighter, if possible). Depending on how the fight goes, it will either surrender or accept surrender. If the PC are wise enough to accept, they will meet the Knight again when they are in dire need of an ally, and may count on him if they have put up a good fight before

09# Halfling Hunter

Tabbit is a 5the level specialist and out here to kill the the GigaFerret (see #02). He is a little sadistic and ready to use the characters as bait. In the meanwhile, he hunts for anything he can easily dispatch to sell the skin and some of the meat in the city. His weapons and armor are up to the GM, but soft leather armor, throwing knives, a large knife and a blow pipe are suggested, as well as perhaps a small number of jaw traps. Tabbit may follow the PC, and either finish monsters they attract, or themselves if they end up badly wounded. His willingness to fight over prey is very limited (he did not survive in the Veins by picking fights), but an “are you sure..?” will imply that he is willing to provide for trouble on their way back. If attacked, he flees quickly and throws either crow feet or glass marbles behind him.

10# The Dwarven Explorers (2d4)

Names: Grizwalt, Kirsten, Reygar, Thurwyn, Ambrose, Hammek, Tilda, Sargath,
Alignment: all Chaotic

The 1st level dwarfs came down here to explore and to find riches. They came with iron rations, lamps and oil, climbing gear, leather armor (some with chain), rope and all the usual trapping of spelunkers. They started out as a team of eight. The first time the characters meet them, the result of 2d4 decides how many are still alive. When they are met again (only once or twice per adventure, the GM should ignore further encounters) their number is rolled for again. If it is lower than before, a few more bit the dust. Otherwise, those that were alive last time will still be (there number does not grow). As soon as there are only three of them left, it will be the last time the characters meet them. They may find their corpses later on. The moral of the dwarfs is equal to their number +2

Last edited by Gregorius21778 (Yesterday 23:08:15)

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Re: The Veins of the Earth & I

Underground Bestiary: Deepcave Bats

Deepcave Bats are an offshot of cave bats. While there is a relation between the species, they have evolved differently (and perhaps the Deepcave Bats have been wrapped by dark influences or mutated by radiation or other contamination: what ever fits your game world).

They are larger, and the largest have a body equal to the fist of an adult man with matching wings to carry them. Their eyes have become blind, their fur is pale or even white, and pale is their skin as well. They do not leave the subterran realm of caves and chasms anymore, and as prey is not bountiful in this environment they are not found in large swarms neither. They still roost together, in groups between a handful and more than a dozen in size, to protect one another against other predators. Their sensory organs have changed as well. They are scavengers as much as hunters, and while their echolocation is still their primal sense they have developed a keen nose and are able to smell a decaying carcass or fresh blood from far away. When they encounter a carcass, or wounded prey that is much larger than themselves, they will call out in infrasonic to signal others of their roost to feast (or to gather for an attack on the weakend prey).

Intelligent subterranous species with infrasonic hearing capture Deepcave Bats and domesticate them: they kill all of the roost but the very young, keep those in cages and feed them. During a hunt they they release the Deepcave Bats and follow their signals to find wounded prey that got away.

Hit Dice: 0
Hit Points: 1 or 1d3
Damage: 1d4-2
Armor: as unarmored
Alignment: Neutral
Save: as level 0 Fighter
Moral: 6
Numbers Encountered: 1d3 / 2d6

Sharp Teeth/Claws: even if a successful attack does not cause hit point loss, it will cause a bleeding cut.

Filthy: any character that suffered any amount of hit points loss in a fight with a (non-domestic) Deepcave Bat must pass a Saving Throw vs. Poison. On a failure, the wound is infected and will fester (effects: up to the GM).

Strength in Numbers: when a small number is encountered, but not dealt with (one way or the other) the characters are likely to encounter 2d6 on them during the next turn (as those they met called in the rest of the roost).

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Re: The Veins of the Earth & I

Thanks, just saw this! I think I will roll on your table next time I want to generate a group of travelers; the flavor and quests are good and provide the feel of an underground society that I've been looking for.

Re: The Veins of the Earth & I

Three more things that encountered Cambrimen may want

01# “...DA SZEYN! ...DA SZEYN! ...DA SZEYN!”

(Impossible if the characters have no light source with them) The Cambrimen are awed and enticed by the shine of the light the characters carry. They actually had forgot what light was like. They approach, chant and “dance” (more like: wobbling and tumbling) around the characters. Each turn, roll again for the number encountered. If it is larger than the the current number, other Cambrimen have been drawn in by the chanting (till the maximum number is reached). The noise they cause may draw unwanted attention to the characters.

If the PC try to chase them off, they will begin to rage and attack to “CAPSURE DA SZEYN!!!”. If the characters quench their light source, all Cambrimen will give a regretful “Oooooooh...” and whisper among themselves “..da szeyn gon...yes, gon, wer da szeny?... gon...? ooooh... szat...” After the first round, 1d6 will slip away to where they came from, and another 1d6 will follow every round. If the light is lit again when even just 1 Cambrimen is still around, the whole thing will start all over again. If the characters sneak away, they may be able to evade the Cambrimen in the dark.

02# “HUnn-TAh!! Biii-ek HUNn-TAH!”
Some of the Cambrimen remember that there is some monster (or other characters) around that they want to hunt... and think that the PC are here to hunt those, too! They will follow the characters, hushing each other (and the characters if they speak out loud!), acting like kids would act when they pretend to be hunters... and will follow the PC till they meet anything else or are chased away (they simply flee in panic then, suddenly believing that THEY are hunted by the PC).

Perhaps there is no other being around for miles and the Cambrimen just fooled themselves somehow. But the first being encountered while they follow the characters they will attack in rage.

The Cambrimen will hold one of their own by the “arms” (it will not try to escape) and want to sacrifice it to the characters. They want a PC to eat the Cambriman (perhaps they have witnessed some sacrifice somewhere) and believe to gain the PC´s favor this way. If the PC reject the offer, the Cambrimen will be baffled. They will try again, and then give up if they are rebuffed twice. They do not understand, let go of there fellow and ALL of them will have their head sink visibly before the turn round and wobble away (like children that were told to stop fooling around)

If the PC take the (digusting!) sacrifice and then do not do them a favor (“U EET! NOW FEYVOR! GIV FEYVOR!”) the Cambrimen will get enraged and attack. They really have no idea what favor they are supposed to get, so giving them (or doing for them) just something will do the trick.

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