SECTION 4: THE ARROW OF THE KONAE
There's no honor among thieves...or merchants...
The trail of the Arrow leads the characters directly to Castle Ramado,
residence of Joulo's Plutocrat. The trip takes ten weeks. In the first three
weeks of travel there is only one encounter: a snowman, on the horizon. It is
ten feet tall, and human-shaped. Buried inside the snowman is a clear glass
ring; it is difficult to find, and is non-magical What's it doing there? For
the last seven weeks, use the local Encounter tables.
The party ends up in Kash, Joulo's capital city. There is a 50sp charge
for non-Jouloans to enter the City. It is an incredible town: anything and
everything is for sale, including magic items (many are fake). Even an Ice
Barbarian is for sale at the auction block. There are no firm prices on
anything, and everything must be haggled for, even ale. This constant
haggling has made Jouloans the greatest Bargainers on Earth; even the lowliest
peasant or child has at least a 50% skill. Gambling is everywhere, and almost
every purchase is rolled for, double or nothing.
The Wristband leads the party towards the Castle of Koan the Magnificent,
Plutocrat of Joulo. It is surrounded by an alligator-stocked moat. To enter,
the characters must make an appointment to see the Plutocrat. Unfortunately,
this costs money: 500sp each for a ten-minute public audience, 5,000sp for a
If the character with the Wristband gets into the Castle, he finds that
the Arrow is in a block set in the right front gatepost of the Castle proper
at eye level. The brick is large, 3 feet long and 1 foot high, identical
to all the surrounding blocks. A guard stands directly under it; he gives
an alarm if he sees intruders. Four-men guard patrols go by every
half-hour. Note that the specific block is only detectable once past the
The guards are strong, burly men. They wear ringmail and leather
armor (6 points) and plate helms (8). They fight with broadswords and target
shields at an 80% proficiency.
If the characters are not able to afford to meet the King, they need
money. If they do meet the King, they still need money, for the King
charges 20,000sp per block (he has sold a few before). The King's Bargaining
skill, by the way, is 147%. Note: if the party has a public meeting with
the Plutocrat, there is a K'thorran present. If the wristband is visible or
spoken of, Thakul is warned in Section 5.
The party may, of course, decide to steal the block. This is dangerous,
for there are many soldiers in the castle, and Koan has several sorcerers on
retainer. Also, removing the block takes a pick and hard work: it would be
impossible not to make noise.
There is one way to make fast money in Kash: the Games. These gladitorial
combat games, are fought year-round in the Arena of Kash. Anyone may
participate: combats are fought to surrender of unconsciousness. Any mix of
brawn and magic is allowed. Normally, prizes are low; however, the Tournament
is starting next week, and the prizes are enormous. The Masters' Tournament
consists of randomly pairing off 16 participants in single combats, pairing
off the 8 winners of those battles, then the 4 who win again, and finally a
battle between the two remaining winners. Betting action is extremely heavy,
and is coordinated by the Bookie's Council, which has a complicated system
If the characters can convince a judge that they are qualified, they may
enter the Tournament in the Master category. Use your judgement on whether or
not they are convincing: they may demonstrate their prowess, in which case
have them make three rolls on their skills to see how well they do (if they
do poorly, they are not accepted at that level, but must compete in the
Expert level). They may attempt to bribe the instructor; this requires a
minimum of 500sp (Fast Talk may affect this cost). Finally, they may try to
intimidate the judge: this is very unlikely to succeed. The judge simply
pretends to give in, and later has the party arrested.
The initial opponents in the Masters category have skills in the 85% - 90%
range. As the PCs advance through the ranks, add 1D6 percentiles to the
appropriate combat skills of their opponents. This is an opportunity to have
the players encounter enemies with unusual weapons and spells. If a player is
battling in the Expert catagory, his opponent will be in the 75% - 85% skill
range. After winning one fight at Expert level, the adventurer may enter the
Masters Tournament. Combats are one-on-one, and are fought until surrender or
unconsciousness. All weapons are live (not padded). Combats begin with the
opponents 30m apart. Healing 2 spells are available for 400sp, as are
numerous potions and poultices (these are generally useless).
If the characters do well in their first battle (there is one per day),
they find themselves the object of interest. Strangers come to visit them,
some offering them money to lose a fight, others subtly threatening them.
These actions are not against the law. The character who has done best is
offered a magic luck amulet free, being told that he has "friends". The
amulet does not register as magic. It adds 5 points to the wearer's DEX while
worn, but when during actual combat, a sorcerer in the crowd casts a spell
that causes it to subtract 10 from the wearer's DEX. The amulet could be
taken off, negating this effect, but the character must roll under reduced
DEX x 3 to do so, and would be incapable of any other action. A sorcerer
might learn how to control this amulet through the same mechanic as learning
a spell (500 hours study and roll under INT x 3). Each participating
character fights in four contests (if they lose one, they may not continue).
The first has a prize of 50sp, the second yields 500sp, the winner of the
third contest wins 5,000sp, and the final winner gets 50,000. Opponents are
selected randomly; party members could have to battle each other.
If you wish, the Plutocrat could offer the party the option of going on a
quest (of your own devising) in place of the 20,000sp. Keep in mind that the
quest should be extremely difficult! Also, the Plutocrat has no concern for
the future of the Peninsula - he is greedy, period. When the block is
purchased, Koan has it gift-wrapped and delivered, at no extra charge. The
block has 100 hit points and will surely damage non-enchanted weapons used to
hit it. However, it falls apart when struck with the Wristband, revealing the
Arrow. If opened in public, it is observed by the K'thorr; five assassins
with skills similar to those of Wastik (see Section 2) led
by a K'thorr assassin (use the Right K'thorr in Section 5) are dispatched to
kill the party within the week. The Arrow is +100% against the Fire only,
slaying the wearer of the Guard instantly; otherwise it is +30% and +6 to
damage. It is unbreakable.
Immediately after the block has been opened, the party receives a scroll;
It says: "Time is growing short, and Thakul's power is growing greater. If
Thakul is not slain soon, Emon will walk the Earth again. Remember, you have
friends. Take the western side passage by the black stone, slay the demon,
and bring the Guard to the King's Castle in Thamon Vale. I will meet you
there. Do not wear the Guard! Take this ring, and use it in your mission.
Beware of the Loghuna. PS- If you meet Kamira, give her the ring. Tell her it
is a token from her father." The scroll was left before the party's door.
There is no signature. With the message is a gold ring in the shape of a
Mobieus coil. It is magic, and adds 75% to the Hide and Sneak abilities of
all those within a 5 meter radius of the wearer.
SECTION 5: ASSAULT ON THAKUL'S FASTNESS
The Final Battle begins...
The key to this section is the rune on the map. Make sure that the
adventurers have a copy! The meaning of the rune is that the party should
take the upward trail past two circling trails; beyond the second, the path
is obscured. Near the top, there is a bridge leading to a secret entrance. If
the party takes a wrong path, they run into increasingly stronger bands of
goblins each day.
Thakul's mountain lair is seven week's travel from Kash. Use the ENCOUNTER
table. The land of northern Belitfint is stony gray, and bleak. A cold wind
constantly blows from the North. If encounter #1 (wolf dog) has not yet
occurred, it does on the 3rd day of the 3rd week. The party reaches the River
Fanaibe at mid-day on the 2nd day of the 6th week. It is wild and clearly
unfordable. After half an hour, an old man on a large raft poles upstream and
stops by the adventurers. He is Trostag. Bitter and half-mad, he is
nonetheless very canny: he questions the characters closely, and sees through
any lies or evasions (Human Lore 81%). He hates Thakul for a number of
reasons. Trostag would be pleased to hear of Thakul's death, but he dreads
the thought of harm befalling Kamira. He demands that the party promise not
to hurt her, or else he will not take them over. If seriously threatened, he
teleports away with his raft. He may also, at your discretion, demand that
each passenger tell him a story; he gets very bored waiting by the river. He
will not discuss the movement of other passengers, for he believes in client
The party enters the mountains at the end of the seventh week. On the
first two days, riding/climbing is easy, with no encounters. On the third a
Climb (or Ride, if riding) roll must be made each day. On the evening of the
third day, the party runs into a patrol of twenty goblins, marching leftward
along a path that crosses the upward path. If anyone makes a successful
Listen roll, the party may attempt to Hide. Otherwise, the party may chose
to fight from a hilltop, or may move to a narrow pass that only allows 2
goblins to attack at once. Goblins should be generated as orcs from the RQ3
Creatures book. Once revealed, the party must slay all the goblins, or else
Thakul will be warned. On the fifth day, the path seems to come to an end; it
is crossed by a horizontal path. A large boulder sits on the opposite side.
The path is found to continue if anyone goes above the boulder and makes a
Track roll, or if they continue to go straight up in any case; the upward
path does seem to have been obscured and neglected. On the morning of the
sixth day the party comes upon a roaring river that parallels the path. An
hour before sundown, they come to an enormous abyss, 50m wide and hundreds
of meters deep. The opposite side is a smooth cliff wall, going up hundreds
of meters; it is a surrealistic sight, and most impressive of all is the
river, which bursts from a hole in the opposing cliff side to arc over the
abyss and land near the path, which ends here. Anyone rolling a Scan sees
that there is a small (1m diameter) dark hole next to the exit hole of the
cataract. No grapple will hold on the other side (05%).
If the characters put the Ice Amulet that was worn by the wolf dog into
the waterfall, it freezes solid, forming a steep ice bridge. Removing it
converts the cataract back to water immediately. If they fail to think of
this after a few hours, the dog begins to whine and point with its snout,
trying to indicate what they should do. They must figure this out, as it is
their only option; they cannot simply wait. If Thakul has been warned, a
patrol of 60 goblins attacks them the next morning; otherwise, the party has
three days. Make it clear to the party that waiting is suicide; if they do
nothing, kill them.
Horses cannot cross the ice bridge. Humans must make three Climb rolls,
one at the beginning, one at the middle, and one at the end. If they fail,
they must roll DEX x 5 or fall (if they fumble the Climb roll, they also
fall). If they fall near either end, they may attempt to catch hold of the
cliff wall; their chance to do so is equal to the average of their DEX +
STR%. From the end of the ice bridge, the hole is easy to reach. It is too
small to stand in, however; the party must crawl. Under the circumstances,
use of torches is impossible. The tunnel is 100m long, with many turnings. It
is damp and cold.
The tunnel ends in a secret door; a Devise roll must be made to open it. A
heavy tapestry covers the door. Note the sound the party is making. Are they
moving Silently? If not, they will alert Kamira, who is in her bedroom on the
other side of the door. Remember, the party is crawling in a line; if the
person wearing the ring is in the back, the ring will not effect more then
two people in front and behind. If the party is silent, they may surprise
Kamira asleep. If not, she leaves the lights off and Hides (105%) in a closet
when she hears them coming. When all members have come out of the tunnel, she
covers them with her Firebolt staff and warns them to surrender. There is no
one else in her bedroom.
Total Hit Points: 16
Magic Points: 21
Armor: None (0 points)
Damage Bonus: +1D4
Skills: Dodge 91%, Listen 91%, Scan 93%, First Aid 103%
Spells: Cast Back 90%, Damage Boosting 101%, Damage Resistance 112%,
Fly 93%, Glow 99%, Magic Point Matrix Enchantment 107%, Mystic Vision 105%,
Neutralize Magic 90%, Regenerate 98%, Skin of Life 87%, Smother 99%, Spell
Matrix Enchantment 109%, Treat Wounds 100%
Special spells: Firebolt (does damage as Touch Illusion, but
+1 damage) Summoning Enchantment (allows her to teleport an enchanted item
to herself from any distance).
All her spells are stored as matrices in her staff, which is also a 20
point magic point matrix. It is enchanted to 20 hit points, and a Summoning
enchantment has been placed upon it. The staff can cast Firebolts instantly,
without time delay.
Kamira is a proud and bitter woman, but not really evil at heart.
Deserted (so she thinks) as a baby, she believes that the world is against
her. In retaliation, she is against the world; and so she acts as Thakul's
advisor (but not as mistress, for a surprising reason). She is untrained, and
uses none of the inborn gifts of her people; she is nonetheless a great
sorceress, for she is over a thousand years old (and still looks young). If
the party gives her the ring and shows her the scroll-fragment, they may
convince her to allow them to pass in silence (she may even let them use the
ring). Whether or not they persuade her is your decision; though you could
simply require the party to make Oratory rolls, it's recommended that you
play her part and let the players convince you. If they are very persuasive,
she may accompany them when they leave the mountain. In any case, she will
not help kill Thakul; she respects the demon as a fellow outcast from the
world, though she dislikes torture.
There are several several rooms in her suite, but only one door opens onto
a corridor. It is dimly lit by Glow spells placed along the (5 meter high)
ceiling. To the right are stairs leading down: they go 100m down, and then
lead to goblin barracks. To the left, there are a large set of bronze double
doors, with elaborate demon-head knockers. The doors are unlocked. They open
onto an enormous (100m across) room. The entire room radiates magic. Directly
opposite the doors is a large throne, carved in horrifying demonic style. In
the center of the room is an enormous (70m) pentacle: in the center of the
pentacle is an evil-looking alter. On top of the alter are the remains of a
recent human sacrifice. There is a black door to the left of the throne.
There are no traps or magic effects in this room (now), but those staying in
it for more than 5 minutes must resist a POW of 18 or be Demoralized. This is
not a spell effect, but rather a function of the sheer horror of that room;
the effect lasts until the character leaves the room.
The black door is locked with a normal lock. Beyond it is a staircase
leading up. At the top of the staircase is a 15m long corridor, leading to a
large wooden door. Two goblins are standing sentry duty in the corridor; if
Thakul has already been warned, there are eight exceptional (+20%) goblins.
The door is locked, and there is a needle with a poison of POT 16 in the
center of the knob that stabs out when the knob is turned.
Past the door is a 20m long hall. There are doors in the left and right
walls; the left leads to an amazingly educated and erudite library, while the
right leads to what appears to be a pleasantly decorated music room; in the
center is a strange-looking harpsichord. Closely examined, it proves to be
constructed entirely of human bone; the strings are made of human hair. The
manuscript is written in blood, and the music and script are beautiful. When
played, screams rather then music are produced (the screams alert Thakul).
Both rooms are uninhabited.
The center door is unlocked; it leads to a torture room. Torture
implements line the walls, and a large unoccupied crucifix is in a metal
stand in the center of the room. There are grooves in the floor, to channel
blood. There is a door ajar on the right. In the far wall, there is a large
window. Staring out of it, his back to the door, is Thakul: a female demon!
She is wearing the golden breastplate, the Fire red in its center. She turns.
Thakul is human-appearing, but eight feet tall; her hair seems to be made of
fire, as do her eyes. She is startlingly beautiful. If the character with the
Arrow shoots immediately as Thakul turns (ie., he must already have it
nocked), he may do so; otherwise, Thakul says a Word of Power. The Word snaps
all bowstrings in hearing distance, and alerts the two K'thorr in the map
room on the right. If Thakul is hit by the Arrow (whether from a bow or by
hand), she dies immediately and her body melts. The Arrow disappears. If this
happens, the party must still fight the two K'thorr, who try to escape.
Thakul: Demon Female, age unknown
Total Hit Points: 21
Magic Points: 20
Armor: The Guard (special; * indicates infinite AP for abdomen and chest,
16 points elsewhere.
Damage Bonus: +2D6
Skills: Virtually any non-magical skill desired at 100%
Bastard sword, RH...3....130%....1D10+3+2D6......87%......14.....magic: +2
Bastard sword, LH...7.....99%....1D10+5+2D6......50%......14..+4, Venom 20
Thakul is not affected by heat, cold, or suffocation. Fire affects her
normally. The power of the Guard protects her arms, legs, and head as 16
point armor; over the chest and abdomen, where it covers, its hit points are
infinite. Criticals affect normally, but the power of the Fire heals the
first 13 points of damage she takes instantaneously (including fire damage).
She fights with both swords at once, and may attack a third time (on SR 10)
with her right hand by halving her RH attack. The left-hand sword is +10% to
hit, +2 damage, and the right is +4 to hit only; in addition, it has the
effect of secreting Blade Venom 20 at all times. Magical pluses are taken
into account above. She tends to attack more then one person in a round, if
possible, and does not waste time on a person who is down. The Arrow may be
wielded as a dagger, in which case it is only +3.
Total Hit Points: 15
Magic Points: 17
Armor: Heavy leather, no helm (2 points)
Damage Bonus: +1D6
Money: 500sp (pouch), 400sp (boot), 3 vials blade venom 18
Skills: Dodge 78%, First Aid 59%, Intensity 91%, Duration 83%, Range 99%
Spells: Venom 80%, Damage Resistance 76%, Magic Resistance 72%, Mystic
Vision 65%, Drain 92%, Skin of Life 43%
DEX: 27 (enhanced by magic)
Total Hit Points: 15
Magic Points: 17
Armor: (Heavy leather, no helm (2 points)
Damage Bonus: +1D6
Money: 1 copper piece, Venom 1 matrix (ring), 379sp, gold armband with
Skills: Dodge 102%, First Aid 68%, Intensity 92%, Duration 87%, Range 82%
Spells: Cast Back 84%, Enhance DEX 81%, Form/Set Bone 97%, Hinder 77%