Friday, December 23, 2022

Bugstiary Adventurer Seeds: Astral Spider to Dauðaprestr

 The second post supporting my new book The Bugstiary, published by Gaming Ballistic for The Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game.

Previous: Gold-Digging Ant and Giant Ant-Lion

Astral Spider (p. 6)

Spider Savior? A dangerous new devilrift has opened near a major city. Control Gate is only a temporary solution as hidden cultists keep reopening it. Fortunately scholars working for the the Hajarl have found a solution. A hundred years ago demon cultists had opened a rift in a hidden temple complex beneath the city. The city was saved when strange spider creatures dwelling in Svartalfheim sealed it. This calls for brave heroes willing to venture into the abandoned tunnels, facing whatever dangers have since colonized its cursed halls, allow the astral spiders to pull them into Svartalfheim and then either negotiate, capture or bait the spiders into sealing the new rift. Of course, while the spiders are sealing the devilrift, the delvers will need to protect them from cultists, demons and phase spiders.

Bímær (p. 7)

 The Bee-Sister's Revenge While tracking a dangerous norðalf raiding party, the heroes find another on the same quest. Valý Írenasdóttir is a Bímær warrior who was the only survivor of a caravan that was attacked by the goblings. She wants to kill them all and recover her stolen mead, and will team up the PCs to do so.

Industrial Espionage A Konungsborg brewer is offering a big reward to anybody who will steal the yeast culture used by the Bímær to brew their meads. The maidens, however, aren't so easily robbed and their trade outpost resembles a small fortress. It will take brave and cunning thieves to get inside, pilfer a sample, and escape alive.

Bjöllufólk Sunrider (p. 8)

The Cattle Raid of Sæla A small thorp west of Willingshall has a problem. For the last several years bjöllufólk raiders have been riding out of the mountains to steal their cattle. They have survived, barely, because the coleopterans will then ransom back some of the stock. Stopping the raiders by themselves is beyond the ranchers' ability and several villagers have been killed in the attempt. The raids take more and more every year, and the beetle-folk extort more for less cattle returned each year too. For the bjöllufólk clan responsible this has become a matter of pride and boasting for the warriors, which is why the raids have become increasingly audacious. Stopping the raids will take beating back the sunriders and forcing them to retreat. A more permanent solution may take following the raiders back to their tunnels, counterraiding the horned beetle (p. 20) herds, and using the giant beetles as hostages to secure negotiations.

Bjöllufólk Swordsman (p. 9)

The Beetle-Woman's Lament The delvers return to town from their latest adventure to discover their favorite tavern is in chaos. A very drunk, very sad, giant beetle-person has taken over and has so far beaten everyone who has tried to eject her. It's quickly clear to the delvers that nobody has bothered to ask her what her problem is. When they do so, she introduces herself as Blueback and tells a tale of how she lost her entire adventuring party in the bowels of some nearby dungeon. She had promised one of her companions she would make sure that his son got his sword, but she had to flee without recovering it. Will the PCs help her?

Dauðaprestr (p. 10)

Dead Man Walking As suggested in the text, an obvious use for the death priest is if a person who has been targeted hires the PCs to protect him and send the dauðaprestr back to Muspelheim. Ideally this means keeping the target sequestered indoors, forcing the demon to attempt the hit close-up (and not like it wants, from 600 yards away). The problem, of course, is the target won't cooperate with this indefinitely. Either way, to succeed the bodyguards will need to protect the target from the demon's attacks (especially from the Bolt of Slaying) and also locate and defeat the demon where it is.

Unforgivable Flipping the script, the demon could enlist the delver's help in taking out a particularly dangerous target that it's been contracted for, for centuries. The true dragon Karaganir, the Devastation has been under a contract of death for three hundred years, nearly every time the dauðaprestr has been summoned over that time, it has been Karaganir who has sent it back to Muspelheim. Karaganir is also a very bad dragon that has been responsible for all manner of death and destruction. Worse, it commands an eðlufólk cult, whose priests possess the ability to bring the great dragon back from death (except, of course, for Oblivion Eternal). 

The delvers are hired through an intermediary to slay or steal from the dragon, or otherwise bait it out into the open where the dauðaprestr can finally kill it, but things don't go according to plan, and the delvers find themselves needing to cooperate directly with the demon to survive at all, much less to succeed.

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