Saturday Seed ~ 82 (Palladium Fantasy)

This week’s seed is for Palladium Fantasy, but is easily transplanted to other gardens, of course. This seed is geared toward a new group of fledgling adventurers and in keeping with this month’s RPG Blog Carnival, deals with a call to heroism. Hopefully, the forthcoming GM’s Kit for this grand old game will be released soon and more story ideas will flow forth for this amazing game world.

The seed
Winter is near, and trouble has come to Parp, a small northern town within the borders of the Timiro Kingdom (See Palladium Fantasy Book II – Old Ones). The elders, counselors, and those with the resources to pack up and move have all given up, but not everyone in town is without hope of finding an end to the horror which has befallen them. Sir Thomas is at his wit’s end seeking the source of the villainy, but spends most of his days riding far afield looking for an enemy he will not find in places it has no need to go.

Planting the seed
This is easiest if the group has not yet begun play. At the time of these events, for character-appropriate reasons such as being raised there, guarding a merchant’s caravan through the area, heading from an even smaller settlement toward the larger cities of the nation, and so on, the characters are all present. Once face to face with the carnage, and the very certain knowledge that it will continue, it is up to them to risk their lives or not.

If play has begun, then you may wish to relocate the scenario to a similar town elsewhere, or plant unrelated seeds about the area and see if they take the bait. In that scenario, you may wish to have them arrive to find the events have played out to their conclusion and call them to do something else once they have arrived.

The details
The Parpenheimer Estate is on high alert, the Keep is gated and guarded. The mill, inn, and most of the businesses are closed, upsetting and confounding the plans of the merchants passing through on their regular routes.

The town cemetery is dotted with fresh graves, and signs in multiple languages begging for aid proclaim that a curse is claiming the children of this town.

Rumours relate that bodies have been found gnawed to the quick along the river banks, even under the walls of the Keep itself. Few who are left are thinking clearly about causes. The idea of a curse has taken root in the town consciousness and festeted into a ‘fact.’

With the fall of full darkness, the predator will hunt every night, but knows to fear the powerful warriors who search for it. It grows bolder around younger or visibly weaker beings, and takes any opportunity to sate itself.

What’s going on
The Land’s End Institute is actually responsible for the fate which has befallen the town, but they hired a group of men-at-arms to support them on a field trip due to last several weeks and have no idea of the destruction they have caused. As a part of the students’ training, the Institute had quietly and secretly had a Zavor delivered to them, which through fairly careful experimentation they thought they had split into 4 blood-thirsty replicas. Believing them safely bound and dispatched, they unwittingly caused a fifth to be released into the wilds around Parp, where it began hunting for prey and a safe place to lair.

The lone Zavor found refuge in a partially flooded underground lair of mud and stone caves accessed via a crack in the stone wall bordering the mill side of the mill pond. Known to the first Parpenheimers who settled the area, this set of caves has long been forgotten.

The Zavor, hungry and insanely focused on the kill, is also weak and malformed, limiting its abilities. As a result, it preys on children and the elderly, relying on an unusually well developed capability for stealth and attack from surprise. The death of so many children and grandparents of all races, with no known or visible causes, has caused unrest in the slave community, and confusion in the human community, sparking an exodus among those who can flee before the same death stalks them in their own houses.

The Parpenheimer Estate is on high alert, the Castle gated and guarded. The mill, inn, and most of the businesses are closed, upsetting and confounding the plans of the merchants passing through on their regular routes.

The characters, particularly if they are just starting out, may have an easier time with the peculiar Zavor than their more learned and better equipped mentors and heroes might have, if they keep their heads, and refuse to give up. (See Monsters&Animals)

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