The Sweet Riding - A DragonQuest adventure
In her last adventure, Ivy the Elf and her fellow adventures encountered soldiers of the Brastor Holding, who informed them that they had seen a Pegasus foal running with a herd of the famous ramudas (prized as warhorses) on The Sweet Riding ...
After a period of recuperation from their injuries, the adventurers go their separate ways to seek-out weapons and skills masters and spend their well-earned treasure and Experience Points.
After a period of some months, Ivy has completed her training and is eager to continue the Quest for the Keep of the Source. However the rest of the party are still undertaking training and Pippy is focussed on her lessons to read and write the secret language used by the college of Naming Incantations so as to allow her to answer the many riddles arising from their last adventure without risking the secrets becoming known to others.
One day, not long after Ivy has finished her weapons training, she overhears a conversation in a tavern between a skinny, scar-faced man (dressed in leather armour and armed with a whip, a shortsword and a garotte), and a tall, stocky man (with a moustache in chainmail armed with a flail and a crossbow).
Skinny: "That foal has been sighted again. I've got everything ready. Next time it appears Janus will tell us and it'll be ours."
Moustache: "Yar I heard that. And I heard that the herd was protecting it. Caved Sillar's head in, the herd did. Like the fool he is. Hahaha. I mean was! Hahaha!"
S: "Cursed ramudas. What do they care about some stupid flying horse?"
M: "Well, we'll be ready. We'll kill em all if we have to. That foal will bring us enough gold to..."
S: "Haha, yes - Get away from Shade."
M: "Even his name creeps me out..."
The pair move away and the conversation is lost in the noise of the bar.
The rest of the adventure is based upon the assumption that Ivy the Elf, a beastmaster specialising in magical flying creatures, will seek to find the Pegasus foal before the two unsavoury characters in the tavern do.*
The first step will be to find a companion(s) who has a horse and is willing to join the adventure.
Because the ramuda herds run wild across The Sweet Riding, the horses could be anywhere. Unless magic is used the adventurers have no option other than to:
- traverse the plains;
- find an appropriate place on the plains to wait; or
- follow the brigands and hope they find the herd.
No matter which option the player(s) choose, the following encounters will be faced (in any order the Gamesmaster chooses).
The brigands names are Snook (scar) and Ripper (moustache). They are eager to catch the pegasus foal because they have a relationship with a mage from a College of the Entities (Necromantic Conjurations) to whom they owe a debt. It is their hope that the delivery of the pegasus foal to the necromancer will allow them to clear that debt without further issue (and hopefully, they agree, any further contact with the mage).
While not evil, the brigands are faced with the prospect of answering to someone who truly is if they fail in their quest to catch the foal. They will therefore be ruthless in their pursuit of the pegasus and will offer no mercy to any who stand in their way.
This encounter can be very different depending on a number of random events.
- Who encounters who?
Roll d10. A roll 5 or < means the adventurers encounter the brigands and have surprise. A roll of 6 or > means the brigands encounter the adventurers and have the element of surprise.
- Is it night or day?
Roll d10. A roll 5 or < means the encounter happens at night when the parties are at rest. A roll of 6 or > means the encounter is during daylight hours.
- Snook: EN 14, FT 21, AG 16, MD 18, WP 8, ST 12, MA 5, PC 10, TMR 6, DEF 14
**Assassin Rank 4
**Thief Rank 5
**Short Sword 4
**Garotte Rank 3
**Dagger Rank 6
**Snook's favourite weapon is the garotte, however he will only use this weapon with the element of surprise. He will favour the short sword in melee.
**Snook has a medallion of protection against evil: DEF + 5 against greater and lesser undead.
*Ripper EN 17, FT 22, AG 14, MD 15, WP 8, ST 17, MA 5, PC 5, TMR 4, DEF 18
Tulwar Rank 3
Dagger Rank 2
Crossbow Rank 4
Ripper carries a silvered shield which can be used to repel lesser undead creatures and increases his DEF by +2 against these creatures.
The elm tree
After a period of fruitless searching amongst the endless grass and rolling hills, the party is drawn to a solitary tree on the horizon. Upon investigation the tree is much further away than was anticipated.
A lone tree stands atop a small hill. Its bark is rough, its leaves cerated. The tree is tall - at least 50 metres - and very broad. At its base the trunk is over 8 feet wide.
Around the tree is a rusted iron fence, 3 feet high. There does not appear to be a gate or opening in the fence.
Roll against perception at double the normal chances. Any character who makes the roll will notice that:
Instead of the long brown grasses prevalent on the hills of The Sweet Riding, lush green grass covers the ground within the fence. Leaves, in various states of decay, litter the ground. Outside the fence, the grass is long, brown and devoid of leaves.
If any players try to climb or somehow cross the fence, they will find the way impassable unless they are an Elf or an Earth Mage. Of monsters, only Faerie can cross the fence, however birds and other woodland animals can also enter unhindered.
If a ranger of forest/woods speciality successfully checks for tracks in the area, s/he will find prints of a small horse, and also the feathers of a large avian.
Any Earth Mage who tries to summon the foal from this site will have their chance increased by 40% and have unlimited range. However the spell will cause clouds to circle the tree for a period of d-4 hours (minimum of 1), and which will be noticeable to anyone within a 2 hex circumference of the tree during that period. The danger level for random encounters will also be increased to extreme for a period of 12 hours after the disappearance of the clouds.
If the Party have not encountered the brigands before they encounter the elm tree, there is a 25% chance per encounter (+25% / encounter after the first) that they will be the entities encountered.
If the Party have not encountered the herd before they have found the elm tree, there is a 10% chance/encounter that the entities encountered will be the herd.
Only magical weapons can cross the line of the fence if used to attack those sheltering within (including arrows and thrown weapons).
If the player(s) climbs the tree, there is a chance they will discover in a hidden hollow some way up where there is a comfortable place to rest, a small, heavy wooden box which contains 50 gold pieces and 10 true silver guineas. There is also a true silver ring of simple design with runes on the inside.
If a player puts the ring on, a woman appears, dressed in simple clothes yet with noble bearing and speech, floating in the air before them. She says:
"Once worn this ring will protect from fire, earth, air and water
But the wearer must now provide a service:
When the time is right and the stars align
You must re-take what once was mine."
The girl disappears. If the player tries to remove the ring, s/he will be unable to.
The ring provides the wearer a +10 increase in magic resistance against any elemental magic.
The herd is made up of 28 horses, 10 of which have endurance and fatigue d10 above the maximum points available to mustangs (see Monster entry in DQ rules p-134). The herd will act in the the defence of the Pegasus foal at all times. The only way the herd will allow access the foal is if the foal itself approaches and trusts a member of the party. Even if the foal does trust the party, the herd will not let the foal leave unless they achieve a neutral or favourable roll on the encounter reaction table (at d+10).
DrWom tag by the amazing and super talented @ryivhnn !!!
Pegagsus image courtesy of pixabay.com