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A Slight Distraction
Author: Morgan Rodwell
System: AD&D 2nd Edition
Requirements: Group of characters of 2nd through 5th level
The adventure was written to take place in the city of Redspan, in the Duchy of Tenh, during Harvester 585 CY, but could easily be placed in just about any city in the northern Flanaess. The city should be fairly good sized, with a mediocre watch at best, and all the guilds one would expect in such a city, including a source of mercenaries and an assassins guild.
This adventure is written for a group of characters of 2nd through
5th level, preferably of good to neutral alignment, and well balanced
across the classes. It can be easily customized for higher or
lower level characters. This adventure is especially good at introducing
a new player or character to a campaign, as the player can be
creating and developing his character while the rest of the group
attempts to rescue the new character from the kidnappers.
The adventure was written to take place in the city of Redspan,
in the Duchy of Tenh, during Harvester 585 CY, but could easily
be placed in just about any city in the northern Flanaess. The
city should be fairly good sized, with a mediocre watch at best,
and all the guilds one would expect in such a city, including
a source of mercenaries and an assassins guild.
Contrary to the events portrayed in WGR5, Iuz the Evil, Redspan
has not yet been overtaken by the forces of the Old One in this
author's campaign. The city is occupied by the Stonefists who
have overrun Tenh, and the Tenha who have succumbed to Fist rule.
The western side of the city is haunted by the ghosts of those
Tenha generals who committed suicide when the Fists overcame them,
and a few followers of Iuz have taken up residence there also.
It is not yet the wretched place described in WGR5.
The PCs have been resting in the Duchy of Tenh for some weeks,
training in new skills and to new levels of capability. While
in Redspan, they have taken up residence at the Witch's Legs,
a small inn and tavern on the east side of town.
The PCs have taken up with the Fists and few remaining Tenhas
who now occupy this walled city.
The Witch's Legs
The Witch's Legs is a pleasant tavern, run for the last 16 years
by a pleasant Tenha in his fifties, Grynen Beret. In his many
years running this hostel on the edge of the Bandit Lands, Grynen
has learned to deal with pretty much anyone. He is not a "good"
man per sé, but one who likes order and making money. His
attitude can be summed up in "If it doesn't hurt my business,
it's all right by me". By no means does this give people
free rein in his inn. He knows that reputation is very important
in his business, and those patrons who offend others easily drive
away customers and profit.
The inn has three floors, the top two of which contain rooms for
rent. The ground floor consists of the Common Room, a private
dining room, the kitchen, and Grynen's rooms. The south wall of
the inn is an old stone wall, and the remainder of the inn is
wooden frame with a plank and thatch roof.
Unfortunately for Grynen, he cannot see far enough to perceive
the dangers around him. He knows that attractive serving girls
draw patrons loose with their purse, and has hired four girls
in their teens to work in the common room.
- Tasha Hundare is a slim blonde girl of seventeen, who stand
5'8" tall and is quite obviously descended from barbarian
stock. Quick to smack the hand of a patron who is getting too
"friendly", she will be pleasant to a polite patron,
and can be a source of innumerable rumours to a good tipper.
- Grete Inach is a busty brunette girl of bronze complexion
who is a vivacious and flirting type, and is nineteen years of
age. One never really knows what Grete is getting at or what her
intentions are, but she does enjoy the company of rugged and handsome
- Rial Cziarn is an somewhat attractive girl of seventeen, coppery
skin tones and dark hair, but she is not as eye-catching as her
co-workers. However, her quick wit and sense of humour make her
a favorite of many regulars, who flirt and joke all night.
- Leis Jaakan is a pretty and out of place girl. Sixteen and
standing a slight 5'2" tall, one cannot miss her in the common
room. Red haired and pale of face, she is a quiet girl who gives
the patrons shy smiles and is extremely polite. The other girls
like her, and feel protective of this youngest member of their
Leis is the source of Grynen's impending problems. She has become
involved with a young man from the west side of town: Faisal ibn
Som Nyskos. Faisal is a young priest of Iuz, and the nephew of
Said ibn Fal Nyskos, a notorious mage/priest of Iuz know in the
region around Stoink and Riftcrag, and rumored to be a ranking
member of the Boneshadow. He has been using Leis to learn about
potentially meddlesome or disruptive visitors to Redspan.
Grynen's other staff consist of:
- Maersk the cook, who bosses even Grynen around. At first one
would think they are married, but they are not.
- Nasran the undercook, a small man who does much of the messy
work in the kitchen, and has a running dialogue of insults going
at all times with Maersk. Nasran is very observant, but is difficult
to talk to because of Maersk's almost constant demands.
- Acera the chambermaid, a woman of about 30 who cleans the
rooms of the inn. She is pleasant, but withdrawn, having lost
all her family in the Wars. She is quiet and difficult to talk
to, and keeps her head down when altercations erupt.
There are some regular patrons of the tavern who may be of some
use to the PCs.
- Garrand Stormfist, a warrior of good spirits and fairly good
ethics. He likes his drink, and carousing is more important than
war ever could be. He is protective of "his" girls here
at the Witch's Legs, and often accompanied by a small group of
- Gil Ferth; once a travelling bard, he now lives in Redspan
and tells stories. He is about fifty-five and has know Grynen
for over 25 years.
- Hendrik One-Handed is a retired mercenary, and resident of
this town. He spent much of his career raiding the Great Kingdom
from Ratik with the barbarians. He gets along with the Fists,
and had no reason to flee when they came. He does not like Iuz
at all however.
- Varrus of the Poor March, a half-orc with a sense of humour
and a glib tongue, this warrior is also a priest of the Laughing
Rogue. Those who know him are wiser than to play cards or dice
with him present.
- Dara Sindara, a mysterious and exotic woman from the far west.
She is a priestess of Istus, though none here know it. They think
her a merchant who has taken a liking to this town. In truth,
she is watching this place carefully, as omens have indicate that
Redspan's fate and that of the Flanaess itself are linked.
Faisal ibn Som Nyskos has been questioning Leis about the patrons
of the Witch's Legs, and has identified the PCs as people that
should be "removed" from the scene before they get in
the way of his scheming. He has hired some thugs from the mercenaries'
guild, specifically people who are not locals or Fists, to do
his dirty work. The thugs' objective is to kidnap one or more
PCs and take them to an abandoned shop where Faisal's minions
will take the PCs to be sold into slavery in Rookroost.
Alternatively, Faisal ibn Som Nykos is totally unaware of the
PCs, and his intended victim(s) is someone else totally different
-- the previous occupant of the PCs' room, who left Redspan under
the cover of night, and without paying his bill. Grynen decides
to make the best of a bad situation, and offers it to the PCs.
If the party has been staying at the inn for some time, he may
offer it to them at a slight discount, particularly if the party
is bunked two or three to a room (he'll still make a small profit
off of it).
The thugs decide to break into the inn via the second-floor windows
and kidnap the PCs. Unfortunately, they are not particularly bright
and case the joint ahead of time by becoming regulars in the tavern.
Also, they do not properly determine which rooms the PCs occupy,
and break into one room occupied by the PCs (two characters per
room) and a neighboring room occupied by a third individual. This
third individual is a good way of introducing a new player or
character to the campaign.
The thugs climb up the outside of the inn with ropes hung from
the roof, and the help of a silence spell from a ring given
to them by Faisal. The ring is a special ring of spell storing
that can only contain a single spell at a time, but can be used
The thugs will try to attack the PCs silently if possible, and
try to beat them into unconciousness without killing them (due
to their ineptitude, only one-half of the damage sustained will
be temporary, instead of the three-quarters normal to subdual
attacks) Afterwards, they will try to steal the PCs' equipment,
unless they are discovered (which they likely will be, having
cast the silence spell on the window, not on one of them...).
They will drop the PCs out the window, where they will be "caught"
by the thug leader, Mule. They will sustain 2d4 points of damage
from this "catch".
Thugs (5): Hu/m/F0; AC 8 (leather); MV 12; hp 5; THAC0
20; #AT 1; Dmg 1d6 (clubs); SA nil; SD nil; AL NE; XP 35
Mule: Hu/m/F1; AC 7 (leather, dex); MV 12; hp 9; THAC0
20; #AT 1; Dmg 2d4 (mace); SA nil; SD nil; AL CE; XP
The thugs will take the PCs to the abandoned shop as instructed.
The thugs' directions are to leave the PCs here, bound and gagged.
If one or more of the thugs has been captured, the victims will
be moved within a few hours to a new location. The thugs have
been paid partly in advance, with the promise of more funds to
The remaining PCs will need to find some leads as to the location
of their cohorts. They have two days until Faisal takes their
friends upriver to Rookroost.
Obviously, Leis is the best place to start, but they don't know
that. It will be necessary to question many persons and be careful
whom they offend. Obviously, matters will be somewhat easier if
one or more of the thugs is identified or captured.
The thugs will get worried if the PCs are too close to finding
them, and the mercenaries guild may get nervous if it is found
that they are also working as would be assassins/kidnappers and
infringing on that guild's business.
The assassins guild may get suspicious of any investigation and
take exception. They would not be so sloppy, but because their
image is at stake they may attempt to stop the PCs.
The following information may be gathered:
- Grynen Beret recognizes any description of the thugs, but
doesn't know their names or any other personal information. He
has seen them speaking to a Bakluni man on several different occasions.
The man was much better dressed than they were, and spoke with
some authority (Grynen either doesn't remember or couldn't hear
what was said).
- Tasha Hundare noticed the thugs on several occasions, but
only knows that they weren't Fists. She is on good terms with
many of the Stonefisters.
- Grete Inach served the men most of the time, but they always
seemed furtive and vaguely guilty, and she spent as little time
as possible near them. She noticed they were very interested in
the other patrons, and occasionally one or another would wander
up to the second or third floor for no obvious reason.
- Rial Cziarn knows the most about the thugs. Other regulars
had commented on them, calling them "bandit rabble"
and "sell-thugs". They sometimes met with a Bakluni
man called Faisal, who had numerous contacts "out west"
(meaning anywhere west of the Zumker River).
- Leis Jaakan has seen the thugs, and knows they sometimes worked
for Faisal ibn Som Nyskos. She insists Faisal isn't engaged in
anything criminal, and that he stays on the west side of town
to give in solitude for meditation and contemplation. She knows
Faisal has a powerful uncle somewhere near the Phostwood.
- Maersk doesn't remember or know anything about the thugs.
Faisal she recalls only because he once requested some unusual
spices on a dish, spices she didn't have.
- Nasran knows the thugs by reputation, and that they've recently
taken a job for a Bakluni named Faisal. He heaps insults and abuse
upon anyone who asks.
- Acera has seen a few of the thugs upstairs, studying doors
and concentrating very hard, as if trying to remember something
(they were trying to remember where the windows were on the outside
of the building). She has seen Leis with Faisal, but didn't think
it was any of her business, and won't bring it up unless prompted.
- Garrand Stormfist didn't notice the thugs or Faisal, but suggests
contacting the mercenaries guild, within which he has numerous
- Gil Ferth noticed the thugs and Faisal, and knows some information
about the Bakluni: that he is a priest; that his uncle is Said
ibn Fal Nyskos, an infamous wizard; and that Faisal has numerous
contacts in the Bandit Kingdoms. He knows a few people in the
mercenaries guild, and can even arrange for a meeting with the
assassins guild if the party knows how to ask.
- Hendrik One-Handed knows the thugs, and can give the PCs their
names. He also knows they were doing alot of work for a Bakluni,
who operated out of the western side of the city. Hendrik must
be bribed to reveal any information. He will arrange a meeting
for them with the mercenaries guild if enough money is offered.
- Varrus of the Poor March played a few card games with the
thugs (they lost badly, and in poor spirits). He avoided Faisal,
but saw Leis walking with him on several occasions.
- Dara Sindara noticed the thugs, but dismissed them as minor
pawns of a greater master. She can correctly identify Faisal as
a priest of Iuz.
- The mercenaries guild is largely unhelpful, unless very well-paid.
If the PCs seem disinclined to ask many questions, the guild may
steer them towards the thugs, in the hope that the party will
"take care of" the thugs and thus hide any activities
that might draw the attention of the assassins guild. If the PCs
are rude, pushy, and don't pay well, the thugs will be forwarned,
and may come seeking the party, to get rid them.
- The assassins guild is very interested in meeting and sharing
information about anything the PCs have uncovered. They will freely
reveal Faisal's hiding place, the abandoned shop where the kidnapping
victims are kept, and the thugs' lair. They will let the PCs work
unopposed, but under constant surveillance. If the PCs successfully
confront the thugs, and/or rescue the victims, the assassins will
move in and attempt to kill any surviving thugs, party members,
and kidnapping victims as a warning to anyone else thinking of
infringing on their territory. Faisal will escape successfully,
unless the DM rules otherwise.
There are many outcomes to this scenario, some of which are positive,
and some negative.
- The PCs find their friends before Faisal takes them to Rookroost,
and everyone goes on their merry way. The DM should try to have
Faisal escape, as he has the potential to become a good nemesis
NPC for the party.
- The PCs fail to find their friends in time, and must follow
Faisal to Rookroost.
- The PCs raise the ire of one or more guilds, and find themselves
hunted down and disposed of.
- The PCs fail to find their friends and fail to find the trail,
leaving their friends to be sold into slavery. This is not a preferred
option, but if the players are running multiple characters can
make for an interesting future adventure (search and rescue from
the slave mines or something similar).
The statistics for Faisal and his minions (mostly men-at-arms
and low level fighters) may be fashioned by individual DMs to
the difficultly level of their campaign. He also has a small group
of undead creatures at his command, mostly zombies and ghouls.
Faisal ibn Som Nyskos: Hu/m/Pr4 (Iuz); AC 5 (chain, dex);
MV 12; hp 30; THAC0 18; #AT 1; Dmg 1d4+2 (dagger+2); S11
D6 C16 I10 W17 Ch8; SA spells; SD spells; AL CE; SP Chaos, Charm,
Combat, Divination*, Healing (rev), Necromantic (rev), Summoning,
Sun (rev); PW may cast change self (W1) once per day at
will, and has +2 bonus to saving throws versus spells cast by