The Legacy of Elfric Koran

Once upon a time...

...there was a wizard named Elfric Koran. He was a powerful evoker, a master of the elements, especially earth, and was well respected by those who knew him and knew of him.

In his elder years, his mind grew somewhat erratic. He decided that he wanted no more to do with the society of man, and so set out with a handful of apprentices and some servants into the Etherin forest to live and study magic in it's purest form without disturbance. This he did, though when he first built his coven within the woods, he encountered some resistance from the beastfolk who dwell within the forest. After a short while the beastfolk learnt that it was wise to leave the old wizard alone.

As Elfric advanced further in years he became more eccentric until, seemingly overnight, he discovered God. It must be understood that this is not common among magi. Indeed, when he began converting part of the building into a chapel, his apprentices were not particularly comfortable. Elfric made one last journey into civilisation and returned with the Arch Bishop of Lanthis Keep, who he had persuaded to consecrate his new chapel and to give him texts which would enable him to learn Risian Theomancy. This displeased the other wizards further and, one by one they began to leave the company of Elfric and return tentatively to society.

The Beastfolk of the Etherin Forest mostly worship the male aspect of the pagan religion, Cernunos (or more commonly Hern the Hunter). They were angered that this man should create a beacon of Risian worship within their forest and were determined that it should be removed. Thus there followed a series of attacks upon the home of Elfric Koran, who at the time had but two wizard companions and a handful of guards to aid him in defence. Despite being outnumbered, they managed to fend off the beastfolk. Finally, the shaman of the Beastfolk tribe summoned forth a spirit from the realm of Cernunos (to them an angel, to Elfric a demon), who went forth to remove the presence of the Risian chapel from the sacred woods.

However though the spirit was powerful, he underestimated the power that Elfric could command, and was defeated. But rather than destroy him, Elfric chose to encase the spirit within a stone under a fountain of holy water, bound there in torment for all eternity. Blessing the fountain, which was far beyond his ability as a Theomancer, drove Elfric even further into insanity. He died two years later, with no- one but his God for company.

Enter the Players

This all took place some decades ago. Now Elfric and his coven are long forgotten. Forgotten by all except one magus, who in the course of his research has uncovered the memoirs of one of Elfric's disciples, which include a description of the location of the coven.

He sent his scribe, accompanied by two guards and a tracker to investigate, but they did not return. He fears that they probably fell foul of the beastmen within the wood (but see below).

Now he seeks a group of people who might be better equipped to 'deal with a little trouble' to venture into the forest and hopefully discover Elfric's lost coven.

Note that while the master knows a little of Elfric's life, he does not know of his encounter with the spirit, as the memoirs are those of the first apprentice to leave.

Travelling Companions...

The magus has already hired a unit of guardsmen to accompany the players into the woods. They are led by Sergeant Gark Fallow, a stout and experienced warrior. His broad frame and gruff voice make him a commanding figure. His main concerns are the protection of any weaker party members and the welfare of his men.

Name: Sergeant Gark Race: Human Sex: Male

PS  MD  AG  HL  MS  IN  ME  PB  SI CSP AWF PAD THA EVA PAA TPA PEA DAA
17  15  13  18  14  12  11  14  13   6  13  -1   5   3   4  15   7   2
GEN  SHK  WOC  SOC  SPP
 39   42   -1   -1   63
Loc  HEAD  NECK  L.ARM R.ARM CHEST BELLY PELVS L.LEG R.LEG
GEN    8     8    10    10    20    20    13    13    13
SHK    8     8    11    11    21    21    14    14    14

Notable Skills: Oratory 65% Gen Knowledge 60% Creaturewise 55% Treat Wound 48%

Notable Combat Skills: Broad Sword 68% Metal Target (shield) 70% Heavy Crossbow 50%

Armour: Full suit of padding armour, Chain full jerkin

Equipment: Broad Sword, Shield, Napsack: rations and blankets, Belt pouch: 25 gold.

Name: Guard Race: Human Sex: Male

PS  MD  AG  HL  MS  IN  ME  PB  SI CSP AWF PAD THA EVA PAA TPA PEA DAA
14  12  13  13  10  10   9  10  12   6  15   0   2   4   3  14   4   1
GEN  SHK  WOC  SOC  SPP
 33   32   -1    0   49
Loc  HEAD  NECK  L.ARM R.ARM CHEST BELLY PELVS L.LEG R.LEG
GEN    7     7     8     8    17    17    11    11    11
SHK    6     6     8     8    16    16    11    11    11

Notable Combat Skills: Broad Sword 45% Wooden Target 50%

Armour: Plate skull cap, Chain coif, Chain Jerkin

These men are relatively high quality mercenaries, and are likely to stay loyal to their masters (except under particularly unreasonable or suicidal commands).

Also present is the magi's apprentice, Lucien Tulia. He is quick witted and intelligent, but not particularly skilled at communicating with others. He would much rather sink his head into a book and absorb information. His orders are to survey the materials within the coven and discover what, if any, of the materials there will be of any use to his master. Thus when he arrives, he will most likely want to stay in the library and sort through the books.

Name: Lucien Tulia Race: Elf Sex: Male

PS  MD  AG  HL  MS  IN  ME  PB  SI CSP AWF PAD THA EVA PAA TPA PEA DAA
 8  13  13   9  18  19  17  14   9   6   9  -5   3   4   3  11  -2  -1
GEN  SHK  WOC  SOC  SPP  WFC  SFC  LFC
 21   28    1    0  273    0    0    0
Loc  HEAD  NECK  L.ARM R.ARM CHEST BELLY PELVS L.LEG R.LEG
GEN    4     4     5     5    11    11     7     7     7
SHK    6     6     7     7    14    14     9     9     9

Conjuror Level 3

Spells: Healing Trig I, Hand of Healing, Detect Magic, Multiple Image, Quicken, Invisibility, Crow Transformation II, Enchantment Rune I & II, Armour of Panic I & II, (extend to suit players)

Notable Skills: Read Write 90% Thaumaturgy 85% Mythology 57% Treat Wound 44% Apothacary 43%

Notable Combat Skills: Rapier 38% Longbow 48%

Equipment: Parchment, ink and quill, Simple Magnifier, Rapier, Longbow and 8 Arrows

A journey into the dark

The Etherin forest is vast and dense. A low mist perpetually hangs around the trees, which quietens the sounds of the forest and chills those who venture in. As the group pass deeper into the forest, there is the dawning realisation that they are being watched. Successful SPOT HIddEN rolls might notice a head disappearing behind a bush, or a fleeting glimpse of a shadowy figure lurking in the underbrush. The beastmen are in fact not particularly hostile and will not actively seek conflict. If the group should set out from their path to engage the beastfolk, they might well regret it, as beastmen make fine warriors and are adept at fighting within the forest.

Journeys End

After a whole day of nervous travelling, the group should arrive at the coven. It is a large stone building which was magically crafted, standing in the centre of a clearing in the trees. It is approximately 40m by 40m and is Romanesque in architecture. Though the stone has stood the test of time, vines and other plants have grown over much of the building, making it clear that it has been left untended for many years. However, the vines around the gateway have been cut down recently.

The Coven Buildings

1 The Main Gate

Iron bound, heavy wooden double doors stand firmly closed to the outside world. They are 3m wide by 3m tall, and are barred from the inside. Players can make out a crest embossed upon the doors (that of Master Elfric Koran), and may (SPOT HIddEN) also notice, daubed in mud or perhaps old blood, a sigil above the crest. (This is warning sign, written by the beastfolk and intelligible to anyone familiar with their culture.)

2 Stables

There is an amount of chopped wood within the Western stable which has been gathered quite recently.

3 Courtyard

In front of the main building is an open courtyard. There are benches and tables of stone under the walkways to the West and East and there are large metal braziers at all four corners of the garden, which will cast light on most of the courtyard if fuelled with wood. Vastly overgrown, the garden is but an echo of it's former splendour. But though the trees have gone unchecked, and the box hedges lost all shape, it retains a certain air of magnificence.

(NB see "The Prisoner" below)

4 Guards Quarters

On the ground floor are six beds. A ladder leads up to a room containing two tables and a number of chairs. Doors leads out onto the parapets, and a ladder leads up to the roof.

5 Servants Quarters

In a similar layout to the guards quarters, the ground floor has a number of cooking utensils, while the top floor served as living quarters for the three servants.

6 Battlements

It is possible to walk all around the walls of the coven building and look out into the forest. The only exception to this is that the ladder on the eastern walkway leading to the main roof is broken.

7 The Main Building

Two storeys high with a tiled and sloping roof, the main building's once impressive Romanesque facade is now engulfed in creeping vines. The large wooden doors which bear the crest of Koran stand slightly ajar, creaking in the wind. Several of the wooden shutters which previously adorned the windows lie rotting on the floor or hang limply from rusted hinges.

9 The Lobby

Great stairs rise up out of the smooth stone floor, now littered with leaves. Stone pillars, intricately carved, support a balcony on the upper floor. There are wooden doors to the East and West.

10 Conference room

This room is particularly musty, as the rug which lay upon the floor has had many years to rot and decay. The room is dominated by a round wooden table, intact, and a circle of chairs which surround it.

11 Study/library

The little light which penetrates this room reveals a musty and dust ridden library. Bookshelves line the Northern and Western walls and two long oak tables are set out for studying upon. There are some books upon the tables, perhaps placed there recently (see below), but like many of the books on the shelves, they have decayed to a point where moving them risks destroying them. The books are on a wide range of subjects, including the geographical and historical texts about the land of Morritias and other lands across the sea, books on many different cultures and religions, and of course books regarding the study of magic, particularly regarding the school of evocation. Close examination of the bookshelves will reveal that there is a secret panel, behind which is a passage leading to the basement summoning room (see 16).

12 The Chapel

Despite its current state of disrepair, the chapel retains a distinct air of holiness. Behind three magnificent arches hangs a tattered veil, beyond which is a stone altar. Atop the altar is a silver tree bearing the likeness of crucified Ris. No dust has fallen upon the altar or the statue. Lying where he died, upon the steps up to the altar is the body of Elfric Koran, now a mere skeleton.

The chapel is consecrated ground. You should make yourself familiar with the section on Theomantic Bless (p14-4) in Dandanon. The chapel is consecrated as a level 7 bless, but the ground behind the curtain is further blessed to a level of 15. Thus if any followers (priests in particular) of other religions enter the chapel they will be ill at ease, or perhaps just ill.

13 Bedrooms

These were the rooms of the apprentices. They are mostly empty, with the remains of furniture in some of the rooms.

14 Elfrics Study

Elfric used to sit behind his desk and look out through large windows onto the courtyard and over the forest. Now the room is filled with must and cobwebs, covering the oak desk, the large oak chair and the books on the shelves behind. The books consist of religious texts and Elfrics personal journals dating back many years. Within the journals are many stories, including his encounter with the spirit, Uriacholah. Thereafter, the journals are merely the rantings of a deranged mind. Prior to that point, he was but slightly senile.

15 Elfrics Room

The four poster bed sags with age. The bedding is little more than compost. At the foot of the bed is a iron bound chest. It is protected by a glyph of flame (4d10 + 10 damage to anyone opening the chest other than Elfric). Within the chest are 3 Healing Drinks (3d10 each), two potions of skabbo and a potion of skabbo plus, a silver crucifix and Elfric's spell books.

The spell books are protected by a Fire Warding.

16 Summoning Room

This room, which is hidden below the main building is where Elfric and his apprentices would summon elemental beings and the like during the course of their studies. Upon the floor is engraved a Magic Circle and a Thaumaturgic Triangle for this purpose (see 14-3 Dandanon). There are also two iron candelabras, a work desk and some chairs in here.

Hiding within the sanctuary of the circle is Thuurig Philiphop (see below).

The Ill Fated Mission

One month previously, the magi hired a small group to try and discover this coven. He believed that they were probably killed by the beastmen in the woods, but in fact they met their deaths at the hands of the spirit in the fountain (see below). As the players explore the compound they may well discover evidence to suggest that someone has been here recently: ash under the braziers in the courtyard, a rough bed made up in one of the old bedrooms, and the fresh wood in the stables for instance. If they find the secret basement summoning room then they will discover the only surviving member of that expedition, Thuurig Philiphop a hobgoblin scout who has hidden there every night, only venturing out occasionally to attempt to find food. Unfortunately, the poor little man was driven quite mad when he saw his friends being killed by the mysterious force within the coven, and he is now virtually catatonic. What little he can communicate is ambiguous and doom laden. If they can calm him down, perhaps magically , he may be more informative, giving some hint as to how his friends met their bitter ends.

Name: Thuurig Philiphop Race: Hobgoblin Sex: Male

PS  MD  AG  HL  MS  IN  ME  PB  SI CSP AWF PAD THA EVA PAA TPA PEA DAA
13  16  19  17  11  10  14  10   8   4  14   0   6   8   8  16   3   1
GEN  SHK  WOC  SOC  SPP
 28   28    0    0   56
Loc  HEAD  NECK  L.ARM R.ARM CHEST BELLY PELVS L.LEG R.LEG
GEN    6     6     7     7    14    14     9     9     9
SHK    6     6     7     7    14    14     9     9     9

Notable Skills: Track 80% Hide 80% Sneak 70% Hunt 60% (these skills are severely affected by Thuurigs insanity)

Note that the bodies of the rest of the group were flung from the compound by some poltergeist-like force (see below), where animals have feasted upon their remains. A lucky search might discover an item of clothing, or perhaps a knawed, severed hand...

The Prisoner

The centrepiece of the garden is a fountain made from obsidian, shaped as a mesh of strands drawn up out of the base rock, intertwined and creating a beautiful effect. It has obviously been magically created as no hand could craft such a fine sculpture. It might be noted that no weeds have grown on or near the fountain. Bound for decades within the black rock fountain is the spirit of Cernunos, Uriacholah. The water which runs over him is holy, as is the fountain itself.

As time has passed Uriah has managed to taint the bless to the degree that he can now exercise some limited power within the confines of the coven. He plans to taint the bless further by committing acts of violence against those who are in the compound, in order that he might break free from his binding. Each time he manifests his power, he must either injure a mortal to sustain his current level of influence or kill one to increase it by a stage. His power is depleted one stage by each unsuccessful attempt. If Uriah has not tainted the bless sufficiently to escape by dawn then his efforts will have been in vain, as the new light of day re-envigours the enchantment which binds him. Note that this spirit is not evil. He is a representation of the male aspects of nature, and whilst his power comes from life , death is for him merely the return to the earth mother. His acts are not those of malice but he needs life essence to give him power, and the very nature of the bless means that only humanoid life essence is accessable ( as Risian religion is based on the assumption that man is the only creature with a soul, Uriah can only taint his bless by using the life energy of humanoids).

Each time Uriah progresses a stage, tainting the bless, the flow of water from the fountain reduces a little. At first it flows steadily, the water propelled by a captive water elemental.

Each progression lowers this a little. This is barely noticeable at first, but as the night goes on it will become more and more obvious to anyone who examines the fountain.

The Stages of Incarnation and Carnage

At first, Uriah has abilities similar to that of a poltergeist. If he successfully kills then he will be able to summon forth spirits of warriors who died on this ground, who appear as Shadows. After that, the Spirit can influence the minds of men within the compound, urging them to anger and to fight one another. The next stage after that is for Uriah to project his spirit forth, not unlike the shadows, but stronger and with his intelligence. The final manifesting of his power will be to conjure the plants and undergrowth up, weaving together to form a physical body for him to possess. If he can kill a mortal at this stage then he will have tainted the bless sufficiently to break free from his incarceration.

The Night Falls

As dusk falls, there will be a series of three "accidents". The first is that a guard is struck by an iron nail while tending the horses in the stable. The second is that one of the guards, Phillipe, whilst preparing the evening meal in the servants quarters, is cut by a knife. He believes that he was cut by another of the guards, Jean- Paul, with whom he has an old quarrel, though the other man swears that it was not him. The last accident is the most grievous, as Uriah is now a little stronger. Guard Roget Garrat 'falls' from the Western battlement, landing on his head. He is killed instantly. Examination of the body will show no impact other than that of the fall and no sign of struggle. It might also be realised that, gauging by the distance of the body from the battlement of some nine feet, that he did not fall but that he must have been pushed, perhaps even flung.

The Spirits Rise

With Roget's death, Uriah gains a much greater influence. He becomes able to summon forth the spirits of the Beastmen who died in the area. They appear as Shadows (see 16-23). Once every hour, Uriah can summon one forth. If they manage to injure one of the mortals then he regains his current level of influence. If he fails to injure anyone, then his power will decrease once more to that of a poltergeist. If he kills a mortal then his power will further increase.

Name: Shadow Race: Undead Spirit

 PS  MD  AG  HL  MS  IN  ME  PB   SI  CSP  AWF PAD THA EVA PAA TPA PEA DAA
 15  10  14  13  11  10  24  -7   13    5   11   0   0   4   2  15   5  1
GEN  SHK  WOC  SOC  SPP
 36   36   -1   -1   66
Loc  HEAD  NECK  L.ARM R.ARM CHEST BELLY PELVS L.LEG R.LEG
GEN    7     7     9     9    18    18    12    12    12
SHK    7     7     9     9    18    18    12    12    12

Notable Combat Skills: Claw 40%

(Note that as shadows are spirits they can strike opponents regardless of non-magical armour or shields. Unless the group have any such equipment [Armour of Panic or Enchantment Runes perhaps] they will almost certainly be killed. As the spirit's main aim is to taint the bless by killing, it will attempt to kill the easiest opponent. This might well mean attacking one of the guards, who are without any magical protection.)

Confusion Reigns

At the next stage, Uriah can influence the minds of mortals within the compound. If they fail to resist (by rolling under their Mental Strength x 5) then the spirit can implant one directed emotion. For example, he might cause someone to hate/love/desire/detest another. The spirit can influence one person at first, but if they commit acts of violence then he can influence more. One example of this power would be sending Phillipe, the guard whom he cut while in poltergeist form, against Jean-Paul, whom he believes attacked him. When Phillipe punches him, the Spirit can influence the mind of John-Paul, who will hit him back. The Spirit might then try to influence the mind of a bystander to join in on one or other of the sides. Thus the argument escalates into a brawl and then into a riot and then further until (Uriah hopes) someone is dead, when the emotions implanted will vanish from the minds of the participants.

The Ghosts return

After this confusion and bloodshed, Uriah will project his own spirit into the physical plane.

Name: Uriah's Shadow

PS  MD  AG  HL  MS  IN  ME  PB  SI CSP AWF PAD THA EVA PAA TPA PEA DAA
26  10  12  22  28  20  23  -3  18   6   5  -5   0   2   1  19  16   5
GEN  SHK  WOC  SOC  SPP
 57   74   -3   -5  119
Loc  HEAD  NECK  L.ARM R.ARM CHEST BELLY PELVS L.LEG R.LEG
GEN   11    11    14    14    29    29    19    19    19
SHK   15    15    19    19    37    37    25    25    25

Notable Combat Skills: Claw 70%

The appearance of this spirit is similar to that of the shadows, except that the shadowy form is larger and has the appearance of a magnificently muscled beastman. In the crisp moonlight, the spirit is quite awe-inspiring to behold. The spirit will seek to attack and kill one of the mortals within the compound.

One point about this spirit is that is able to communicate using Mind Speech. The party may try to talk and reason with the spirit. Having been trapped for the past forty years tortured within a holy fountain, the spirit has but little patience. It might request or demand a living sacrifice to be made upon the fountain in order to destroy the bless. Alternatively it might ask that the mortals attempt to contact the beastfolk within the forest.

Nature Fights Back

The final stage before freedom is for Uriah to create a body for himself using the plants and overgrowth in the garden. Wind will rise and form a small hurricane, which will push people away from the centre of the courtyard. From out of a tempest of dust and dry leaves will step a creature, seven feet tall and formed from tightly knit vines and branches. It wields a large sword in one hand made from many thorns bound together.

Name: Weaver Spirit

PS  MD  AG  HL  MS  IN  ME  PB  SI CSP AWF PAD THA EVA PAA TPA PEA DAA
30   7   9  25  28  20  23  -2  21   7   5  -5  -3  -1  -2  20  20   6
GEN  SHK  WOC  SOC  SPP
 66   83   -4   -6  119
Loc  HEAD  NECK  L.ARM R.ARM CHEST BELLY PELVS L.LEG R.LEG
GEN   13    13    17    17    33    33    22    22    22
SHK   17    17    21    21    42    42    28    28    28

Notable Combat Skills: Sword of Thorns (as Two Handed Sword) 75% Fist 70%

Note that the Sword of Thorns remains after the disappearance of the spirit. It acts as a normal Two Handed Sword, though it has an improved Break of 23, and can hit spirits as if it were enchanted.

If the creature successfully kills someone, Uriah will release his power over the vines which will then fall inanimate in a heap. The water flowing from the fountain ceases completely. After a moments silence, the fountain begins to crack. The spirit Uriah begins smashing his way out of the obsidian. He is nine feet tall, with the appearance of a white-furred beastman, but with horns of flame and eyes which pierce the soul. He will probably ignore the mortals completely, unless he feels that they present him with any threat, and instead set out for the chapel. When he reaches the door, he will stamp one mighty hoof upon the floor, and with the sound of thunder, the stone begins to crack.

Almost instantly, flowers and vines begin to break through the rock, cracking the stone walls and floor and eventually engulfing the room. The bless which was present before is now completely desecrated. He is able to communicate in tongues, and may apologise for the acts which he was forced to commit in order to break the binding. He will then seek to leave, disappearing into the forest.

Name: Uriahcholah Race: Avatar of Cernunos

PS  MD  AG  HL  MS  IN  ME  PB  SI CSP AWF PAD THA EVA PAA TPA PEA DAA
38  12  15  30  28  20  23  16  25   5   5  -5   2   1   4  27  28   9
GEN  SHK  WOC  SOC  SPP
 82   99   -5   -7  119
Loc  HEAD  NECK  L.ARM R.ARM CHEST BELLY PELVS L.LEG R.LEG
GEN   16    16    21    21    41    41    27    27    27
SHK   20    20    25    25    50    50    33    33    33

Notable Combat Skills: Uriah can use any object as a weapon and have at least a base of 70 in weilding it.

Some Notes on Running the Legacy of Elfric Koran

The idea behind this scenario is not that the players merely sit around and wait for each new manifestation of Uriacholah and attempt to combat it. Rather it is hoped that it should become a race against time. Once the players realise that something unusual and perhaps supernatural is going on (probably when Roget falls from the battlements but maybe later) then they should be attempting to discover what is behind it. The Games Master should not give too much away too soon, nor leave the players without a clue as to their situation. As the power of the spirit increases, so should the feeling of impending doom, and the increased urgency to find out what is going on. This requires careful play on the part of the Games Master so good luck. Note that if the players do attempt the 'stand and fight' approach, that the penultimate incarnation of the spirit is the 'final fight', as the spirit himself should be far too powerful for most opponents.

There are no right or wrong ways to deal with this scenario. One possible solution is to get chopped into mincemeat by the various incarnations of Uriacholah. Another would be to attempt to contact the Beastfolk of the forest and persuade them to offer a sacrifice. If they so choose, they could all attempt to hide within the basement summoning circle until the arrival of morning, though it is unlikely that they would all be able to fit within the sanctuary. If the players have powerful allies, they might be able to reason with the spirit to leave them be if they arrange for them to get help. As the Games Master, you must decide whether an idea will work or not. Try not to limit the players' creativity too much. After all, it would be rather unfortunate if all the players finished the scenario dead.

One further point is that the scenario intrinsically requires that people should die. To this end, the games master should consider the guards in a similar way to the Red Shirted members of Star Trek's away teams: fated to inevitable death. But bear in mind that, as more of them die and Sergeant Gark becomes more concerned for their safety, they will be less inclined to stand around on guard.

A Note on Religion

This scenario is described as a conflict between the Risian and Celtic faiths, but it must be made clear that this is intended merely as a convenient reference point for the reader. The Games master should feel free to substitute these with faiths more suitable to the players and characters involved. What is important here is not good and evil, and it is not the intention of the scenario to suggest that either of these faiths is good or evil. This scenario is intended to present the players with a quandary. Do they attempt to defend the Risian chapel, do they attempt to aid the tortured spirit within the fountain, or do they simply attempt to survive the night?

Remember that whilst the spirit is using questionable means to escape from his bindings, the torment inflicted by the Risian means that he literally has no choice.

It is very important then that the Games Master carefully consider the religions which are used. The scenario runs best if players either dislike or are impartial to one or both of the religions, but it is interesting to see what the players do when some follow the same faith as Elfric Koran and others that of the spirit. A little conflict of faiths between the party will breathe no end of life into this scenario.

That's all Folks. Hope you enjoy the Legacy of Elfric Koran.