- The adventurers are summoned by a Dwarven prince who seeks their help in avenging his father's death. As they investigate, it's quickly revealed that there's something rotten about the whole thing.
- Belim Bolvir, the First King of the Hidden Barrier Stronghold has recently died. One of the adventurers is an acquaintance of the young prince, Helment Belimsson. The prince sent for his adventuring friend for assistance and meets with the adventurers in the state room of the stronghold. His uncle, Glordias Silveranvil, has married the prince’s widowed mother and has now been named Regent to aid the prince. The prince, however, believes that his uncle killed Belim. His father’s ghost walks the halls of the Hidden Barrier Stronghold; the uneasy spirit is proof enough for him that his father was murdered and who stood to gain more from his father’s death than his uncle?
- Whether the story comes from his own deductions or from speaking to his father’s ghost, the prince’s information about his uncle is correct. Glordias poisoned the First King for the dual purposes of marrying his sister-in-law and taking over the leadership of the stronghold. Glordias has done his best to discredit Helment in the minds of the other dwarves in the stronghold; most of them believe that Helment is crazed with grief over his father’s death.
After meeting with the prince in the state room, the adventurers will likely have to confront the ghost and get the details of the murder from his own mouth, as the new Regent covered his tracks quite expertly. They will have to find some way to evince a confession from the Regent or will have to find some corroborative damning evidence. They cannot simply act upon the “belief” of the prince, for the dwarves in the stronghold are loyal to Hearth, Clan, and Stronghold above all else. The adventurers should be able to find a clue that leads them to the stronghold’s burial grounds. There they will find the bones of the First King’s halfling bard, Yurik, whom Glordias killed a short time before killing the First King and whose spirit witnessed Belim’s death. Yurik will gladly share this information with the adventurers out of his love for Prince Helment if they can convince him that they are truly acting in the prince’s interest.
Any direct action against the Regent without good supporting evidence will be taken as an act of war and “addressed accordingly” by the warriors of the stronghold. It should be noted that ro receive full Experience Points for this adventure, the adventurers should also be required to learn and convince Prince Helment that his remarried mother has no knowledge of the misdeeds of her one-time brother-in-law and new husband.
- Belim Bolvir, First King of the Hidden Barrier Stronghold: Dwarf Fighter 20 (Ghost); Lawful Good; Undead traits; Init +6; AC 21 (Full Plate; Heavy Steel Shield); 130 hp; Saves: Fort +12; Ref +8, Will +9; Speed 20; Fly 30; Attack: Touch +27 (1d4+9 /19-20 x2) or Waraxe, dwarven +19 (1d10+2/ x3); Base Attack/Grapple: 20/25; Abilities: Str 20, Dex 14; Con 0, Int 13, Wis 13, Chr 11; CR 22
- Helment Belimsson, Prince: Dwarf Fighter 4; Lawful Good; Init +3; AC 18 (Hide Armor; Buckler); 30 hp; Saves: Fort +6; Ref +4, Will +1; Speed 20; Attack: Handaxe +7 (1d6+2 / x3); Full Attack: Handaxe +5 (1d6+1/ x3) and Handaxe +5 (1d6+1/ x3); Base Attack/Grapple: 4/6; Abilities: Str 14, Dex 16; Con 15, Int 12, Wis 11, Chr 7; CR 4
- Glordias Silveranvil, Regent: Dwarf Rogue 15, Assassin 4; Neutral Evil; Init +4; AC 18 (Chain Shirt); 85 hp; Saves: Fort +7; Ref +14, Will +5; Speed 20; Attack: Sword, short +18 (1d6+3 / 19-20 x2) or Dart +20 (1d4+4 / x2); Full Attack: Sword, short +18/13/8 (1d6 +3 / 19-20 x2) and Dagger +11 (1d4+1 / 19-20 x2), or Dart +18/18/13/8 (1d4+4 / 20 x2) range 20; ; Base Attack/Grapple: 14/17; Abilities: Str 16, Dex 19; Con 13, Int 14, Wis 9, Chr 11; CR 19
This is the eighth of 26 adventures that I will be sharing over the month of September. They are designed for use with edition 3.5 of the world’s most popular fantasy RPG, although they can be easily dropped into any fantasy setting (or modern/sci-fi setting with a little work). These posts are a part of Asshat Paladin’s OSR Short Adventure Challenge , and utilize his Get Ready, Get Set, Go! Format.