Dark Fantasy Role Play

mroczne mięcho ku czci Melpomeny złożone w ofierze

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    - Witaj! Poniżej znajdziesz pomysły na przygody, scenariusze rpg, generatory i opowiadania w klimatach fantasy - wszystko (poza poezją i scenariuszami do Gemini rpg) autorstwa Maestro, choć często inspirowane różnymi źródłami. Fani systemów Warhammer, Monastyr, Gemini, Midnight, Ravenloft, Dark Sun, Gra o tron (Pieśń Lodu i Ognia), Deadlands, Bestie i barbarzyńcy i innych światów RPG powinni znaleźć tu coś dla siebie. Szczególnie chciałbym pomóc początkującym Mistrzom Gry. Nie szukajcie tu rzeczy, które szybko się dezaktualizują. To ma być źródło konkretnych inspiracji do sesji gier fabularnych z niewielkim dodatkiem teorii rpg. Krwiste mięcho role playing.

AUTOR: Johan Eriksson
TŁUMACZENIE: J.A. „Heretic“ Hagen

This episode is the introduction of a series of episodes which are intended to form together a longer campaign, a campaign which will make the player’s characters travel through the whole realm in a race with the Darkness to find first an ancient relic which is dangerous if it falls into the hands of the Darkness.

”It was quiet in the small chamber, only the old moribund man’s rattling breath was audible as he lay in his bed, prepared to meet the Lord. The Lord whom he had served all his life. Jamarel watched the old priest Gealio as he lay there, waiting for his death. For almost 80 years Gealio had faithfully served the new-found Church. He had helped to raise the Church which now granted safety to mankind. He had helped to push the Darkness back to the place it had came from. He had been taught by the men who had met the One personally. Great respect and brotherly love spread in Jamarel’s breast as he looked at his friend and mentor. In all of Jamarel’s life Gealio had been there to give him advice and help. But now Gealio had no more advice to give, he was on his way to meet the One. In spite of that the old man showed no sign of fear. Jamarel began to muse if he would be that calm and brave too if his time came to meet the One. He had not come far in his reflections as Gealio began to turn around restless in his bed; it was obvious that it could not last very much longer, Gealio started suddenly to rave in the fever which afflicted his body and drove him towards death’s door-step. Words streamed out of the old man’s throat, words which vaguely painted a picture of the old man’s memories, harassed memories which now leaked out of the old man like air out of a compressed water... Jamarel was shocked by the words coming from the old man’s mouth and it took him some minutes to regain his composure, to grip some pergaments, a writing-feather and to strart to write down the words the old man uttered. The more he wrote the more he was shocked by the horrible memories of the old man who now was raving in the delirium of his agony... ”

Intrigue
The Eye of Darkness is a dark-green crystal, dark-green at the transition to green-black. It is as big as a the clinched fist of an adult man and its surface feels cold and metallic when touched. The crystal was created by the Dark Inheritors when the Darkness invaded the realm for the first time. The crystal fell out of its possessor’s hands during a battle in which he was slain.
After that, the crystal was brought with highest caution to the new-found Church. The marquis ordered the crystal to be destroyed after the Darkness had been driven back beyond the Iron Gate. When they realized that this was impossible they decided that a very orthodox priest named Gealio together with eight Knights Templar should carry the crystal in a safe hide-away in the Pendarens. Gealio and the Knights Templar succeeded with their holy mission hid the crystal deep down in a subterrean cave and the sealed the cave with mortar and demolished stones. Gealio and the Knights Templar were the only ones to know where exactly they had hidden the crystal. And during the rest of their lives they told nobody what they knew; so it was believed.

As Gealio was a very old man lying in agony and retrospected his life in the delirium, he revealed the crystal’s hiding-place. The only monk, Jamarel, who was at his side at that occasion listened to the old man who was his deliring friend and mentor and hardly believed his ears. The old priest had hidden on of the Darkness’ most unholy relics and now, on his dying-bed, disclosed the relic’s hiding-place. Confounded what to do with that knowledge he had received by the old priest he watched Gealio doing his last sigh. Jamarel decided that it was the best if the knowledge of the hiding-place had to preserved in case that the Church sometimes in the future should need to know where the crystal was, but he also feared that the knowledge could fall in the false hands; therefore he wrote down the information in the form of a coded text. The result was a book of poetry, The Marquis’ Wisdom, and the information can be extracted from the diverse poems if one knows exactly in which order the words have to be read.

After finishing his work, Jamarel had the book in his possession during the rest of his life. After his death the book remained for centuries in the monastery in which Jamarel had spent his life. This monastery is situated in the Southeastern Ravarra, in the city of Voromil. The Marquis’ wisdom is still in the monastery and none of the copies has ever left the monastery until lately when it was purchased by Garmion in order to steal the book pretending that his lord had promised to buy the book from the monastery but he was fooled by the abbot. But Garmion is not what he seems to be; instead, he is a Jeselite and collaborates with Refael, a heretic Knight Templar, to find information about the Eye of Darkness and to regain it for the Darkness. Both are acting by command of Marquis Lazarus himself. Garmion has studied the writings of Jamarel about his time with the priest Gealio as his mentor and friend and has found references to and quotations from a book called The Marquis’ Wisdom. By accident he discovered then that in the text there was hidden another text which insinuated something about a hidden unholy relic. But the quotes from The Marquis’ Wisdom were not sufficient to obtain more clues about that, so Garmion was compelled to get the book The Marquis’ Wisdom to learn more about the relic the hidden text referred to. He had achieved no result for Marquis Lazarus who sent him to search more information about the relic and to bring it back to Lazarus if possible.

It did not take a long time for Garmion to find out where Jamarel had lived and worked: in a monastery in the Southeast of Ravarra near the city of Voromil. He tried immediately to gather any information he could find about Jamarel’s book – The Marquis’ Wisdom. Regardless of the methods he applied to get hands on this book he did not succeed in finding a copy of it. He had just arrived in the city, stood in the dark and watched the monastery to figure out a plan that should give him a sure access to the monastery’s library when something notable happened. Standing on the outside of the monastery he watched a man sneaking out with something wrapped in a piece of fabric under his arms. The man’s showed clearly that he could only be the monastery’s abbot who sneaked out that late and as he almost slipped on the slippery ground, Garmion had a quick glance at what was wrapped up in the piece of fabric – a book. That aroused Garmion’s interest and he decided...

The intrigue, continued;
Titus, the moanstery’s abbot
Titus has been the abbot of the St. Gealio monastery for the most time of the 60 years of his life. He always rigidly followed the monastery’s laws of chastity, silence and serious contemplation. He controls the goldmine of the city and the funds for the city guards. But he is tempted more and more by the lechery of the flesh and in certain nights he sneaks out of the monastery to spend his money on one of the loose women which offer themselves for money in the city. It cost him big amounts of money to also buy the women’s silence, money which Titus took from the city guard’s funds. When the monastery was visited recently by the Church’s treasurer who demanded a statement of accounts, Titus panicked since he knew that the money he had spent from the funds of the city guard was missing, what could lead to an investigation in which he would be the main suspect. In his panic he thought of his cousin in the city, Sanaro the learned man, who was delighted by churchly poetry and who often ordered copies of books from the monastery. Sanaro had enough money to replace the losses in the city guard’s funds, therefor Titus decide to do something which contradicted the ethics and the harsh commandments of the monastery. He decided that a book would be less likely missed than the money and a vanished book could always be blamed on the library master or his assistant. Therefore he sneaked into the library of the monastery and picked a book, The Marquis’ Wisdom, of which he knew that Sanaro was interested in. He was aware that he could rely on the fact that Sanaro would not tell anyone how he had acquired the book. Then he contacted Sanaro and sold him the book. Neither Titus nor Sanaro knew that in the night in which they met to settle the affair Titus was pursued by Garmion who had watched the monastery to find out a plan to get into the monastery’s library. As Garmion saw the old abbot leaving the monastery which something that appeared to be a book, he shadowed him to the city. And there he saw which book was handed over to Sanaro the learned man in the dark alley in which Titus and Sanaro executed their doubtful deal, his dark heart was full of joy. But before he could intervene, a patrol of the city guard showed up and both Titus and Sanaro left in a hurry. Garmion could not follow any of them since he had hidden himself in a landing to avoid being detected by the city guard and Titus and Sanaro as well. When the patrol finally left the area and Garmion could abandon his hideaway there was no trace of Titus or Garmion left. After some days Garmion succeeded in identifying the man who had received the book from the abbot and a plan surfed up in his mind.

The characters get involved
The player characters (PCs) have just arrived in the city, how and why they came to Voromil is up to the Narrator. But if they are affiliated with the Church it can be arranged that they have travelled to the city protecting a monk on his way from Ravarra to the monastery. If they have no contacts with the Church they may be hired as guards by a merchant dealing with gold. No matter how they executed the task which brought them to the city and now the are in the small but first-class tavern, the Wild Bear. The guests of the tavern are a mostly merchants and rich craftsmen. Among the guests are also some learned men. It is late and the characters have already payed their rooms and sit downstairs in the guest room drinking some good wine and eating some excellent food. As they are sitting there, an old gnarled man with cane and glass eye approaches them and asks if he may sit together with them sharing a bottle of very good wine. It is Garmion. When they drink of the fine wine Garmion bought he asks them who they are, what they do in Voromil, where they come from and so on. He presents himself as an old librarian who had worked in many of the Church’s libraries during his life and who in the last years has worked for a book collector in Orschild. He has come here trying to buy a book, The Marquis’ Wisdom which his mastered loved to acquire from the monastery but as Garmion arrived there he learned that the abbot had fooled his master and sold the book to one of his – the abbot’s – good friends in the city, Sanaro the learned man. O if Garmion will return without the book his master will suppose that Garmion has sold the book and kept the money. This leaves Garmion with only one alternative: he must get the book no matter what to save himself. He now wonders if the characters are interested to earn a large sum of money (1,000 silver pieces) trying to either persuade the collector to sell the book or, if he refuses, to steal it. He begs them to do it, if not for the money then to save the life of an old man from the wrath of his master. Garmion will try to arouse the characters compassion and conscience to get them to help him.

If the PCs accept, he smiles a little and says that he already has done some investigations to get into the library of Sanaro the learned man in case that he can be persuaded to sell the book to Garmion. An old friend of Garmion’s, Leol – master thief, forger and locksmith – is in town and is probably the one to manufacture a key to the very sturdy lock of the vault which is the collector’s library. The problem is that Leol is under arrest by the city guard because he forged a churchly paper and will be hanged at dawn. If the characters shall have a chance to get into Sanaro’s library they must free Leol and pay him to manufacture a key to the vault since it was Leol who originally made the conceptions for the lock of the vault door. Garmion will be in the tavern waiting for the PCs to come back with the message that either Sanaro will sell the book or that the succeeded in rescuing Leol and stealing the book. If he should sense that things go wrong, he informs Refael and vanishes from the tavern to watch over the characters and if the should get the book he will contact them.

How to use Garmion and Refael in the episode
Garmion is a very mighty person in his true shape but he does everything he can to conceil what he really is. The PCs should not have a chance to get an idea about his true nature until the end of the episode nor should they have a chance to slay neither Garmion nor Refael. Garmion has sent Refael to the city to keep ears and eyes open, to gather information about what is going on. He will call Refael when the characters return with the book. When Refael has payed the persons who worked „reliably“ for his cause, he will report all information he heard about strangers, Sanaro and the monastery in the city. For that he has a group of about ten informants who report to him. Refael spends the day close to the city gate sitting in a tavern, drinking wine and listening to what people say.
In the night he sleeps in the new tavern. Refael has also hired a group of doubtful characters who have the mission to rove in the city in his whereabouts looking for trouble and coming for help if he calls them. Garmion and Refael will use these henchmen when the PCs have got the book. See The End. The henchmen are well paid and clever enough not to be detected. See The End for more information about Refaels’s henchmen.

The town of Voromil
The town of Voromil is a small mining town situated in the mighty Pendarens in the Southeast of Ravarra. The whole town is built at the leg of a mountain slope and is very often called the town of stairs because all the stairs which hoist up and along the mountain’s leg to make it possible to move in the town.
The town buildings stand on a strong and burly rock ground to ensure that they do not bend but stand erect. The majority of the buildings have been made of stone, not of wood. Carved into the mountain, above the town, lies the monastery which incorporates the town’s spiritual leadership. The abbot of the monastery is partially responsible for the town to the Church and takes care of such tasks as the payment of the city guard and responsibility for the iron mine which is the biggest source of income for the town. The rest of the town falls under the responsibility of the council that consists of the richest merchants and the leaders of the guilds in the town. The nightlife is far from what the dignitaries of the Church could accept. Pretty many miners come into the town to entertain themselves and to spend the money they have earned digging gold from the mine for the Church.

Important places in the town:
• The town hall
• The monastery
• The church
• The house of Sanaro the learned man
• The quarters of the city guard

Important places outside the town:
• The gold mine

Gossip on the streets
• It is said that a person forged a document of the Church and got into the monastery where he according to the papers he should have fetched a goldened icon. But the monastery’s abbot was suspicious and called the monastery’s Knights Templar who arrested the man and examined the documents carefully. It turned out that the documents were forged and now the man is in jail close to the city quarters. Apparently he will be hung at dawn for forgery (True, the gossip is about Leol).
• It is whispered in shadowy circles that a man from the monastery visits women regularly at night and has paid a big sum for their silence. But the man has been seen by other persons and now the man faces the scandal which must follow. (True, this is the abbot. One of the women did not maintain her promise and revealed that one of her „clients“ is a high positioned man inside the Church.)
• It is said that the monks in the monastery keep a big share of the gold form the mine out of their accounting, then the greedy monks melt the gold and cast it to bullions which they hide deep in the mountains where the monastery is situated. (False, the monks surely take a part of the gold but not more than what they demand for their work.)
• The treasurer of the Church has arrived in the monastery to examine their statement of accounts (true).
• The priest of the town’s church digs up the recent buried corpses in the night and steals their valuables (false).
• The priest of the town’s church has buried a large amount of gold in the churchyard, probably he took it away from the monastery but how, nobody knows (false).

The town hall
The town hall is built of red stone, lovely ornamented with exquisite frescos of red stone and placed right in the center of the town. In the biggest and most beautiful room the town council gathers each month to discuss the affairs of the town. In the building hosts also a large number of scribes who note the daily administration of the state.

The church
The church is run by three monks and a priest. Close to the small church is a churchyard with flowerbeds and beautiful oaks which give the churchyard a peaceful mood during the day. The church is richly decorated with icons covered with leaf gold which are a gift from the monastery. The priest of the church is named Uramiel.

The gold mine
The gold mine is half a day’s march to the North away from the town. It was discovered 50 years ago and since then it became the biggest source of income for the town. The profit from the mine is not big but enough to feed the town. The mining area is well protected by 200 churchly soldiers which are stationed there. Additional 400 men work there mining the ore and producing the gold bullions which feed the town Voromil. It happens quite frequently that the miners go to Voromil in their spare-time and spend their earned money for wine, women and music. The security around the mine is almost extreme and the soldiers search each person which leaves the area so that no gold can be smuggled outside.

The monastery
The order of St. Gealio and St. Gealio
Gealio accomplished a lot of things during his life. After having been on a “voyage to explore and clean his soul after the fight with the Darkness” he returned to the life in a monastery. Gradually he settled down in a small monastery in what is now the Southeastern Ravarra. In his first year in the monastery he wrote a lot of books about herbs and their application.
These books were widely spread and today almost every learned person with the knowledge of the use and production of healing drugs knows about his work. His books are found in almost every monastery’s library. At that time Gealio was 50 years old and had spent the biggest part of his spare-time studying herbs and writing his knowledge down in books. Moreover, he spent a lot of time in the library to increase his vast knowledge. During a such visit in the library a catastrophe happened. It was night and Gealio had remained alone in the library much longer than permitted, reading a book. The day after he was to give a lesson about healing herbs. That was not uncommon. But this time something was uncommon. Marquis Amenus’ nephew Aejonus had visited the monastery to participate in Gealio’s lesson. That was a big honour and as Gealio knew that Aejonus was well-educated in the art of using herbs and drugs for healing he wanted to discuss some issues with him after the lesson would be finished. Therefore he studied carefully in the library if he could find facts to back up the theory he wanted to discuss with Aejonus. As he sat there in the library suddenly the world began to tremble as an earthquake struck the area. After several minutes the buildings began to collapse, everyone, including the monks, fled from their houses. After twenty more minutes the trembling stopped and almost no building was still standing. The monks started immediately to help the people in the small town close to the monastery. They began to help the aggrieved and began to look for survivors in the collapsed houses. After two hours the searchers found Aejonus who had been hit by a beam and buried in one of the now ruined buildings of the monastery. Aejonus was almost dead. Then Gealio executed a minor miracle for which he became famous afterwards. He sat and pledged close to the dying Aejonus as Gealio’s tears converted to blood. And then he held Aejonus’ head with his left hand while he prayed, bleeding from his eyes, and the wounds of the young Aejonus began miraculously to disappear. Directly after Aejonus was completely healed while Gealio collapsed, his eyes as badly wounded as Aejonus had been before. The people who were present were shocked and baffled about what they had seen. One feared for Gealio’s life because he had obviously taken life-threatening damage. But after three days in bed, when the people believed that he would die, Gealio was fully healed. After that incident the rumour of the mysterious healer spread like a wildfire and that strengthened the belief in the people he met. Soon he started preaching and attracted each time more people. All people in his vicinity felt piece of mind and a tranquility which they did not experience when they were not close to him. Step by step he became incredibly popular but Gealio humbly decided to give again lessons in healing. He got the Church’s permission to found a new order, the order of Gealio. Gealio realized his plans and soon decided for what purpose to dedicate the first monastery of his new order. (He did not want followers who sought out his knowledge, wisdom or holiness.) He decided to dig the monastery out of the mountain above the old monastery in which he had previously lived and served the One. During the following years the monastery grew slowly but surely in the mountain. Down below, people started to gather in a small town. Among the monks who joined the order of Gealio were many of the best learned men of the Church. Thus the new-founded order became a rich source of knowledge. The main purpose of the monastery was to record the knowledge. To write books, to copy books and more. Till he was 60 years old, Gealio was very active as teacher and preacher. But as he felt the fall of age he retired and limited himself to the most important tasks which he had as the abbot of the new order. A few years after he had retired form preaching and teaching the people’s interest in the order started to fade. In the monastery one proceeded to conserve the knowledge and to write books for the Church. But all activity which Gealio had engaged in, lessons of healing and herbs, healing of diseases and wounds, decreased. As Gealio died at the age of 82, the order of Gealio had become just an order out of many. Many people forgot the monk who had healed a next of kin of one of the Church’s holy leaders. The Church nevertheless remembered his deed and proclaimed him saint, a shining example of the churchly love and faith. Thereafter the name of the order changed to Order of St. Gealio.

The monks
The monks in the monastery belong to the Order of St. Gealio, an order that is devoted to record the teachings of the One and to copy already existing writings and to golden icons for the reckoning of the Church. The monks in the monastery follow a strict discipline and aspire a life in silence, austere contemplation and chastity. Laughter is not tolerated and consequently one never sees a monk expressing happiness. They do their work very earnestly and copy the texts without the slightest deviation from the original texts.
The texts are often lovely illustrated; therefore the monastery’s services are highly asked for in Ravarra.
Thanks to the fact that the gold mine is the biggest source of income for the town, the monks have a good supply of gold which they use to golden icons and books. The overseer of the monastery is abbot Titus. See Intrigue and the description below.

Important persons in the monastery:
• Titus – abbot
• Ilmar – master librarian
• Sianus – treasurer
• Lamaris – master of supplies
• Hominus – highest Knight Templar.
• Romentlios – the treasurer of the Church visiting the monastery to examine the monatery’s bilances.

The monastery
The monastery has been built into the mountain above the town. Originally it was built into old caves by the monks who built the castle. But with time one they started to dig deeper into the mountain and now the monastery has a lot of rooms and corridors within the mountain. Small cracks and windows in the mountainside light the rooms and corridors which are situated entirely within the mountain. The windows are five meters deep and 30 x 30 cm wide. The monastery disposes of a very large library for the monks to execute their task. Because of the big library and the monk’s work with gold the Church has installed twenty Knights Templar there in order to protect the monastery and its treasures. The monastery depends on the town to acquire what the monks need for their simple life. Therefore each merchant, craftsman and peasant has to pay the monastery each month a tenth of what the earn or cultivate. The money thus earned is spent for the material which is needed to do the work, food, clothing and so on. A small part of the money is used for the city guard upholds law and order in the town. The monastery has three entrances. The main portal is mostly used by visitors and big transports of goods in and out of the monastery. The main portal can be shut with two large bronze doors and is generally closed at night. The two other entrances are small metal doors at the side of the mountain in which the monastery is buried. One of the two doors leads to the kitchen; this is the one Titus uses to leave the monastery at night. The other leads to the food storeroom; here the comestibles are brought into the monastery.

Important places in the monastery:
• library
• dining-room and kitchen
• storeroom
• gold workshop
• stone-mason’s workshop
• Church
• carpenter’s workshop

Titus, the monastery’s abbot
Titus
STR 9 MEN 12
PHY 10 PER 10
AGL 9 CHA 13

Learning 3
Theology 2
History 1
Awareness 2
Communication 3
Persuade 2
Movement 2
Sneak 2
Thief 1
Hide 2
Equipment:Black clothes and gown, golden necklace with the One’s rose.

Titus has been the abbot of the St. Gealio Order for the most part of the 60 years of his life. He always followed strictly the monastery’s commandments of chastity, silence and stern contemplation. He is responsible for the book-keeping of the towns’s gold mine and the fund for the city guard. But subsequently the old abbot has been tempted more and more by the lust of the flesh and in some nights he sneaks out of the monastery to spend money on one of the prostitutes in town. See Intrigue for more information. If someone could discover Titus’ nightly excursions he will either try to bribe him to keep his silence or flee form Ravarra to Orschild and hide to escape his punishment. Nevertheless, he will always be haunted by the knowledge that someone knows about his horrible sin, something which drive him mad or towards the Darkness. In that case Titus may return in the future to take revenge on the characters because the reveiled his secret and therefore, according to him, destroyed his life.

To spy out Titus
If the characters decide to investigate the rumour that someone from the monastery sneaks out at night and watch the monastery at night they will see at one or two o’ clock in the night a man hurrying out of one of the two minor metal doors in the monastery’s mountain wall (the one leading to the kitchen). He locks the metal door behind him and rushes past the fountain outside the monastery and to the town. If the PCs succeed shadowing him they can follow him to the house in which he meets a woman who is obviously a whore. The man pays the woman from a big and heavy purse and then they disappear in the house, the man looking anxiously around before he disappears behind the house’s door. At that moment the PCs can get a short glance at his face. After approximately three hours the man gets out of the house and sneaks hastily back to the monastery disappearing through the same door through which he left. See the description of Titus for what happens if he is discovered.

Visiting Sanaro the learned man
Sanaro the learned man
STR 7 MEN 15
PHY 11 PER 13
AGL 12 CHA 16

Learning 3
History 2
Theology 1
Awareness 2
Close combat 2
Communication 3
movement 2
Equipment: Plain gray clothing and gray gown. Big long oak cane which he uses to support his old body.

Sanaro is a quiet old man who prefers to walk through the town, chat with the people, tell histories and read churchly poetry for those who are willing to listen. If he is not roving in town he spends most of the time in his library which is situated in a vault under his house, reading one of the books he has collected for himself. Sanaro is very well-known in town as a sage and his private book collection is almost legendary.
He is also the cousin of the monastery’s abbot, Titus, and therefore has an advantage when it comes to lend or buy books at certain occasion from the monastery. He is zealous book collector and tries to get a collection of the oldest churchly tomes he can get; preferably churchly poetry which delights him very much. As he was able to buy The Marquis’ Wisdom he was full of joy but at the same time uneasy because he knew that meant that his cousin must be in trouble since he had broken the holy commandments of the monastery. But he decided that he did best to keep silence and help Titus buying the book.

Sanaros discovery:
While studying the poetry in The Marquis’ Wisdom he discovered the hidden text and wrote it down on a pergament which is hidden in his sleeping-room. He is very concerned about the hidden content of the book and relizes that it could mean a lot of bad things if someone finds out that he has discovered a heretical text about unholy relics.

Inquiry about The Marquis’ Wisdom
Sanaro will deny any knowledge about The Marquis’ Wisdom. And no-one can make him admit that he has it nor convince him to sell it, especially as he is aware how he got the book and what is hidden in it. He is very anxious that someone could have seen him in the night when he bought the book and he begins to sweat notably if someone asks him about the book. But no-one can make him confess. The only option for the characters is to try to break in his library.

Sanaro’s house
Sanaro’s house is situated in the vicinity of the monastery, surrounded by a big wall and a beautiful garden. Within the wall six guards patrol the garden at night. The main building is a beautiful stone house with three floors. His library is in a very large burglar-proof vault in the cellar. The vault’s door is protected by an iron door with a very complicated lock (DL -15) and only Sanaro has the key for it. The lock can be opened with the key Leol made, if the characters ask him. Searching the library takes 60 minutes for two persons. A successful Search roll with DL -4 means the book is found in half of the time.

Breaking in
It can be a very demanding task to break in the vault which is Sanaro’s library and it is up to the Narrator to adapt the difficulty level depending on the knowledge levels of the characters and their number. Anyhow, the theft of the book should be done without any violence. If there is an outbreak of violence and it is detected the city guard will be called as fast as possible. The characters also risk in that case to be hunted in the town which can make it almost impossible to solve the adventure. If the characters succeed in sneaking behind the guards patrolling around the house at night and to get into the house there will be three guards, each one patrolling one floor. Sanaro himself has moved his sleeping-room to the library because he does not like to be separated for long from his dearest property. If the PCs succeed in stealing the book (which will be much easier if the have freed Leol and got the key from him) without using violence or being detected the theft will not be reported to the guards, but if the characters confront Sanaro again, he will become very suspicious about them. If they are surprised during the theft but succeed to escape without using violence Sanaro will actively search for them in the town to offer them 6,500 silver pieces for giving back the book, revealing for whom they stole it and keeping silence about the affair. If the characters have any ties with the Church, he will instead admit what he has found, tell all what he knows about the affair and what he has found out. He gives them the book if they can give him pardon for his sins and save him from the wrath of the One and the Inquisition.

The quarters of the city guard
The city guard’s quarters are situated at the side of the monastery and consist of a group of five plain stone buildings in which the guards live. A bigger stone building aside the five main buildings serves as prison and has bars at the windows; it is guarded by two guards during the day. In the most comfortable building lives the officer of the guard who has his nicely equipped office there. The common guards live either in their houses in the town or in the remaining four houses when they are on duty. Normally a city guard is on duty four days a week. In between the houses is a gallow which is designed to execute prisoners which have committed severe crimes and thus have been sentenced to death.

Leol – master thief, counterfeint and locksmith
Leol
STR 10 MEN 13
PHY 10 PER 13
AGL 14 CHA 10

Craftsmanship 5
Key crafting 2
Locksmithry 2
Learning 1
Churchly documents 2
Theology 1
Awareness 2
Detect danger 2
Close combat 2
Dagger 2
Communication 3
Bluff 2
Bargain 2
Movement 2
Sneak 2
Thief 4
Lockpicking 3
Hide 2
Equipment:
Black clothes. Key on chain around the neck.

In his life Leol has been busy with stealing, forgery and even „honest“ work as locksmith, the only profession he ever was skilled in. He has manufactured locks for a lot of important persons in the town.
He is thirty years old, of normal height and has brown hair. He is constantly planning genial ¬– at least according to himself – coups to become rich. His latest idea was to forge churchly documents which should have given him access to the gold manufactory of the monastery where he – according to the papers – should have fetched a gildened icon to take it to Ravarra. The problem was only that Hominus, the highest Knight Templar in the monastery, was suspicious and gave the papers an extra look. In a very short time Leol was sentenced to hang for falsificating churchly papers and now he waits in his prison cell, working on an escape plan. Leol knows Garmion since he was a little chap because Leol's grandfather was a priest and took him to the library in which Garmion worked accidentally. Garmion use the opportunity to tell Leol fantastic stories. By mentioning Garmion’s name the PCs can assure themselves Leol’s help.

Freeing Leol:
Freeing Leol is not an easy task. It takes a very good plan from the player’s side and you as Narrator should not permit a good plan to fail. The prison is guarded by two guards all the time and there is another guard inside who controls the prisoners and hands out bread and water. Leol is imprisoned in one of the four cells in the prison’s cellar.

To get Leol’ s help:
If the character manage to free Leol and to convince him to help them (by naming Garmion or paying him) he asks them to follow him through the town. After twenty minutes of walking Leol stops at a house, produces key and opens the door. The whole floor is empty. Leol opens a hatch in the floor and climbs into the cellar. In the cellar is his workshop where he produces keys, picklocks and more. He needs four hours to produce a key for the characters. When he is ready, he thanks them another time for their help, asks them to greet Garmion (if they have named him). However he asks them never to seek him up anymore nor to come to this house. When the characters have left the building, Leol escapes from the town.


Conclusion
If the PCs have got the book the following things can happen:

Sanaro has not revealed his discovery
In this case the characters have no idea of the hidden text in The Marquis’ Wisdom. Probably they go to the Wild Boar to hand over the book. When the characters show up and tell Garmion they have the book he says: „Very well that you were successful with your endeavour but you understand that it is the best if we handle this affair discreetly. Besides, I have to get the money from the secure place where I stored it to pay you for your admirable exploit. Let’s meet in the stable behind the tavern after darkfall. I’ll wait with the money; till then , be cautious. May the One guide your steps till we meet again.“
After that he goes upstairs via the stairs in the tavern. As soon as the PCs are gone Garmion visits Refael who calls his hired henchmen. When the PCs come to the stable after nightfall the stable doors are open and there is light in the stable. An oil lamp is standing on the ground and when the PCs come in they hear Garmion’s voice from the floor above (a ladder is going up there): „I am up here. The ostler came so I have hidden here. Get up!“ The characters cannot se where Garmion is but the fact that someone has left an oil lamp on the floor and then went away should make them suspicious. If they do not get up Garmion will eventually come down from above complaining about his old knees.
He carries a leather bag over his should which emits the sound of coins. He exchanges it for the book and pays the characters their 1,000 silver pieces. The Garmion disappears through the door. When the characters leave the stable they see Garmion disappear behind a corner of the house and hear him laugh scornfully; the laughter which echoes between the houses. Directly afterwards Refaels henchmen accompanied by Refael himself and Garmion ride out of the town rapidly. The henchmen have been ordered not to leave anyone behind alive and have been payed 2,000 silver pieces for that task. The only thing which can stop them from executing their orders is if the PC pay them more than 2,000 silver pieces or if they succeed to disable half of the henchmen. In that case, the remaining henchmen will flee. There should be at least two more henchmen in the group which Refael hired than the PC are in number.

The PC try to sell back the book to Sanaro:
Should they for whatever reason try to blackmail Sanaro for the return of the book Garmion will know that very soon because of Refael's informers. In that case he will take horrible revenge on the characters. He will send Refaels henchmen after them (see above) while he and Refael attack the PC in order to take the book away from them. They leave the killing of the PC to the henchmen. As soon as Garmion or Refael have got their hands on the book they will both flee. Neither Refael nor Garmion will interfere in a possibly dangerous fight: their task is way too important, and will attack from safe distance – Refael with a light crossbow and Garmion with the help of sorcery. Garmion will shout to the characters that he will save their lifes if they toss him the book. If the PC do as ordered he takes the book and flees together with Refael whilst the henchmen attack the characters.

Sanaro reveals his discovery in The Marquis' Wisdom:
If that happens Garmion and Refael together with their henchmen visit the characters or whoever has the book and try to take it away with force (see above). That is a method that they do not prefer since it will attract attention but their mission is of utmost importance. They must succeed.

Refaels henchmen
STR 10 MEN 13
PHY 10 PER 13
AGL 14 CHA 10

Movement 3
Sneak 2
Awareness 2
Detect danger 2
Close combat 2
Cudgel 2
Communication 3
Bluff 2
Thief 4
Hide 2
Equipment:
Ordinary clothes, 2,000 silver pieces in total

What happens then?
The PC have discovered Titus nightly excursions:
Titus will regard the charcters as the persons who have destroyed his life for all times. He will try to take revenge if he has the possibility in the future. However, at the moment he must flee from the town and the monastery.

Sanaro has not revealed the hidden text in The Marquis' Wisdom:
The day after the characters fought in one way or the other with Refael, Garmion and their henchmen and eventually lost the book to them, Sanaro hears about that incident and decides that he must take the burden off his soul which his discovery has put on him. He contacts the PC and asks them to meet him in his house, all possible "misunderstandings" that might have occurred are forgotten. He has to tell them something very important.

The PC fight Garmion and Refael and force them to flee without the book:
In that case Garmion will get mad; he will go to Sanaro to threaten him and try to find out if he knows about the hidden text. Sanaro will give in and hand out the copy he has made of the text. Garmion then slays him. The characters will learn that Sanaro has been killed by a mysterious stranger.

Other:
This episode may end in many ways; anyhow, the PCs understand the Garmion is not what he pretended to be; additionally the learn that there is a hidden text in The Marquis' Wisdom. Garmion and Refael have to escape with either the book or Sanaro's copy of the text.
Non-player-characters (NPCs)

Garmion, learned man (Jeselite)
Garmion,58 years old , appears as a man whose body has been worn by his work as librarian in the service of the Church. He is about 1.75 meters tall (5’ 9’’), slim with white hair, white beard and moustache, conspicous features over which lies a wrinkled, pergament-like skin. His gray eyes are sunken into his eye-sockets and his lips are thin and slightly chapy. He often wears a gray gown and because of his crooked gnarled back he uses an oak cane which is as old and gnarled as he himself. His behaviour is dispassionate, polite and friendly. The only occasion in which he shows excitement is when he finds new books which he has not read yet. Garmion is, however, not what he seems to be; his doubt in the world has made that his soul has been devoured by the Darkness and that his body became possessed by a Jeselite. His prime motive is to find books and knowledge which can help the Darkness to discover unholy relics that have disappeared so that they can be used in the Darkness’ fight against the Church. Garmion only assumes his demonic shape if his life is directly threatened. But mostly he tries to use his astuteness to get out of difficult situations. Garmion collaborates with Rafael, an heretic Knight Templar, in a misson given by Lazarus to find one of the Darkness’ most powerful relics, the Eye of Darkness.

Garmion (human shape)
STR PHY AGL PER MEN CHAR
8 9 12 16 18 18

Reaction:14
Initiative (Close Combat): 15
Initiative (Magic): 19

Area of Know. KL AR Spec. KL AR
Learning 3 20 Theology 5 30
History 5 30
Close Combat 1 9 1-Club 1 12
Missile Weapon 0 4
Communication 3 20 Bargain 3 26
Bluff 5 30
Movement 2 12
Awareness 3 18
Magic 1 14

Garmion (Jeselite)
STR PHY AGL PER MEN CHAR
25 23 17 16 28 7

Reaction:17
Initiative (Close Combat): 20
Initiative (Magic): 34

Area of Know. KL AR Spec. KL AR
Learning 3 20 Theology 5 30
History 5 30
Close Combat 3 19 1-Club 1 21
Missile Weapon 0 4
Communication 3 9 Bargain 3 11
Bluff 5 15
Persuade 5 15
Movement 2 12
Awareness 3 18 Detect Danger 2 22
Magic 6 36 Fire 3 46
Kinetic Energy 3 46
Organic matter 3 46
Dead matter 3 46

Nature (both forms) :-48
(Dark Soul, can feel the presence of persons with a nature of 25+, can convert persons to the Darkness)
Equipment: clothes, cane (club DAM 6 AV 10), leather-covered book, glass eye.

Refael, heretic Knight Templar
Refael is a Heretic Knight Templar of the Order of Derak, known for its brutality and courage as well, and he is firmly loyal to his order and the fallen marquis Lazarus. He is a Knight Templar of the eighth grade and has been sent out with a special mission by Lazarus. His mission is to find and bring back with Garmion’s help the unholy relic known as the Eye Of Darkness, so that the Darkness can use it in the battle against the Church. Refael has fallen totally for the Darkness and found it a cause worth fighting for, a cause a believes in with all of his heart. To crush the Church totally and put the realm under the Darkness’ iron heel is what he longs for and he wants to see the day when he and his brethren will battle the churchly armies openly.. Refael is a cold and reckless man. He enjoys to have power over others and is a full-bore sadist. Hen uses the means which are necessary to get what he wants, but he is careful not to attract attention. He is full of despise for the Church and the teachings of the One, but pretends to be a Knight Templar of the Order of the Burning Star or a knight who has lost the lord whom he served, depending which fits best into the part of the realm in which he is at that moment. He is dispassionate, reckless and calculating when he executes his dark mission.

Refael
STR PHY AGL PER MEN CHA
20 18 15 12 10 16

Reaction: 14
Initiative (Close combat): 19

Area of Knowl. KL AR Spec. KL AR
Learning 3 12 Theology 2 16
Heraldic 3 18
Close Combat 5 21 1-Sw 6 33
Missile Weapon 4 14
Communication 3 18 Etiquette 3 24
Bluff 5 28
Movement 4 19 Ride 4 27
Awareness 3 14 Search 2 18
Scrutinize 3 20

Natur:-18
(Can feel the presence of persons with a Nature of 25+)
Equipment: Full armour (plate) AV 12,Light helmet AV 8,Bastard sword DAM 9 AV 17, Knight’s shield AV 20 RP –7.

Objects
The Marquis’ Wisdom (book)
The Marquis’ Wisdom is a collection of poetry praising the first marquis. It is a very old leather-bound book written by the monk Jamarel who was the disciple and protegé of the priest Gealio. Very few copies have been made of this book and none of them has ever left the monastery. These days only one copy of the book still exists, although there is a quotation in Jamarels second book which also refers to The Marquis’ Wisdom. This quotation from the book together with the reference to it is the only hint which can guide one to the knlwledge that the book contains.
Gealio was also the one who founded the monk order of St. Gealio. After The Marquis’ Wisdom Jamarel wrote a lot of books about the time he spent together with Gealio and these books are quite famous among the persons who know about the history of the order. If one knows what one has to read in The Marquis’ Wisdom, one gets knowledge of the words which priest Gealio uttered in his dying-bed and which will reveal the place where Gealio, by the marquis’ order, hid the Eye of Darkness. To read the hidden text in the book one has to read every fifth word on every fifth page through the whole book. This words constitute the words which Gealio said on his dying-bed and will give the hint how to find the place where the Eye of Darkness is hidden.


The concealed text reads:

”Such a heavy burden. Eagles circle above us, looking for their prey. Two weeks we have been marching now, Dorban bears the heaviest burden ….the eye puts his dark influence on our minds….each day passes by, the legs are entirely heavy, totally tired to march on… Below us is are the clouds, the mist, and the beautiful mountains below us... The sun burns, its fire reddens our skin... …in spite of that we are horribly cold …how can our skin burn when it is so cold?….has the One left us ?…..the light so strong that it blinds us... the eyes ache constanlty and none of us has very much eyesight left… the Darkness falls heavily on us………………………………………Blood in the snow, Dorban lies dead in a deep ravine …his blood stains the white snow and rocks down there…Vilbur was fast enough to save the unholy eye …we MUST succeed with our mission ….the Darkness is not to use it against us once more……………….So hungry, so warm, so cold, so hungry….have we come here to die? Before we have completed our mission?………………………………..
If we only had a little wine to cool to cool the heat with, to warm the legs and to quench the thirst ………Jonaz was lucky today, he killed a big bird of unknown kind with his sling. At last something to eat. That was my last meal…….
I can hardly see the hand before my very eyes, the skin is covered with blisters and chappy. That must be the influence of the eye which affects our bodies. The malicious influence affects the immaculate………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………….It is night, we sneak out of the small village, before dawn we must reach the Pendarens………Resna's bishop has sent his best Knights Templar to help us executing the mission the marquis have given us ………………may the One be with us …………………………….So cold, I have grown thin…………………Blood in the snow……..Jonaz lies dead….
Lorvim the traitor, what a luck that Vilbur's blade fell him, no-one will ever know.......
IT WHISPERS TO ME! UNSPEAKABLE THINGS; UNNATURAL THINGS; AGAINST THE ONE’S WILL! MAKE IT STOP; MAKE IT STOP……………………………………………………….Morning……………
Somewhere echoes a churchbell………………………………..behind us, a group of strangers….They want to get back the dark eye ….this must not happen…..Vilbur, Morgan try to get around them while I give them cover with the bow ……
Difficult to dig, there are only snow and stones, almost not enough to cover Morgan’s body ripped asunder …………………..
PAIN! An unutterable pain pesters my body… Only the pain keeps me awake fto continue my wandering …………how long have we wandered? Days? Weeks ? Months? Vilbur marches on in spite of the wound in his side……Has the One forgotten us?…………………………A mountain with two summits, the midday’s sun rests between the tops….. A SIGN! THE ONE HAS NOT FORGOTTEN US!………………………. We approach the double tops………………….dark, so dark, sso warm, I’m not able to proceed, the snow warms so nicely, so tired …must only rest for an hour until…………… WHERE AM I?………….Vilbur rests at my side …… an elf …What is he doing here? ……………………………………Vilbur finally awake………Storalko says he is a Salem elf… wonder what that means. ...In any case he has saved our lives and accompanies us. …..wonder if we can trust him……………….immediately after Vilbur met him we have hidden the eye…………………….
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
So deep in the Pendarens, I do not believe that a living soul has put his foot here before …..Storalko falls.
………..Finally up at the pair of tops…………somekind of a cave yonder the shadows………………..
Vilbur looks down along the steep behind the elf’s body…..well….then we do not have to worry that he will tell anything…
So dark in the cave, even after such a long time in the blinding light….without Storalko’s herbs we had never made it here.
……So many corridors…………………….Where are we?…………………… INCREDIBLE! So BEAUTIFUL!!…………..
…………What a peace…..This must be here where the One wanted us to go to………….the Eye will be safe here ………..Vilbur’s blade succeeds cutting off one of the beautiful crystals …………… We will never move that stone block ………………………… At last outside………………………Who are that men below the mountain……so many of them……………………………………….FOOD! O so delectable….What a friendly people…. almost a sin to abandon something so spiteful near their winter camp…… welll …what they do not know will not harm them…… Interesting, it seems these people folk spends all of their lives up here……………………….
I shouldn’t have eaten that much, now it would be easier to walk……… Poor Vilbur ……But no-one must know what we have hidden. Wonder what will happen to me when I come back to report... Will I come back? WHAT IF I DIE HERE?……………………………………………………………………….
O you shining One. Give me your blessing. Guide my steps so that I will soon come home…………………….
O you One!…..Morgan was not buried deep enough….I believe I must vomit …crows have feed on his body……………… the memories of what the Eye Of Darkness showed me… .what if it was the truth …..but that cannot be.
Must flog the sinful thoughts out of my body………………………………………………………………………
The snow feels good on my flagged back……………………………..the path is narrow; careful not to fall like Dorban……………………. Do not see his body…. Anyone or anything has removed the remains of him…………..
Perhaps his body is covered by the newly fallen snow ………..to tired to pray …….must go on...
So tired …….the snow so deep……….. everything is misty….starts to get warmer………how long will the clouds last?………
At least warmer ……the melting snow flows along the mountainside….the water is drinkable…………….How long since since I prayed to the One?…I am not to neglect my duties……………must go home, must tell…
At last! A village………………………………………….food and wine strengthen me, but mitt my mind is haunted by memories ….. somewhere in the back of my head I hear the whispering of the dark eye …..if it tells the truth?
Does the One not exist? NO! This is an unholy thing that I feel. I KNOW the One exists. How could otherwise the marquis assert that he came to them……………………………………………Finally at home hemma
Feels hard that no-one will ever know about the brave men who saved the world from something so terrible….It will be nice to go back to the monastery life…The marquis’ wisdom is infinite, their goodness and holiness only exceeded by the One’s ……………………………………………………………………………………”

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