Saturday, September 6, 2014

Under the Skyport Part 1: Dueling Pixies

Under the Skyport is an adventure for Dungeons and Dragons Fourth Edition.  It is designed for a starting party of three to five 1st level player characters (PCs) .  If there are more or less PCs simply adjust the number of opponents as needed.

The PCs begin play having only recently been hired by a newly formed detective agency in Five Fingers, a neighborhood in South Gonga District, Diamond City.  The new agency is aptly named Five Fingers Agency.  Some PCs may be on their first day on the job, others might have been with the agency since it opened three months ago. 

The PC’s employer is an goliath male in his late 50s named Carnatine, who owns the agency.  None of the PCs know Carnatine particularly well, as he is often absent the office while pursuing his political interests.  He says he used to be an adventurer who has retired into management.  Money always seems to be an issue for Carnatine, and he isn’t motivated to put any resources toward the missions of his agency.  He often espouses communist economic ideas that run counter to the common practice in the city, and belongs to a local organization that discusses and promotes these ideas.  Carnatine doesn’t play a part in this adventure, but he will become more prominent in the future, so you should be able to describe him briefly to the players if they ask about the agency. 

The agency’s latest client, Glitterbug, is a pixie warlock in oath-bound service to the hummingbird baron, Peder Starfly.  She has light brown skin and wears rollerskates, although the PCs never see her set foot on the ground.  While one of the PCs (chosen at random) is standing outside on a warm summer evening, she approaches the agency with a chicken on the end of a leash.  It is unclear who is leading whom. 

Glitterbug ties the chicken to a post outside the agency, and enters.  If you think your players would enjoy a bit of opening scene zanity, Glitterbug can bring the chicken inside, where it escapes the fairy and runs amuck in the lobby.  She yells at the bird (named Sandwich) until it the PCs catch it.  Glitterbug bought Sandwich that morning to take home and slaughter for an actual sandwich, but she grew attached and has been taking the chicken around with her all day.  She promised the chicken that she would free it in the countryside, but first she wants to show it a good time out on the town.  Eventually she ties the chicken up outside and proceeds.

Glitterbug tells the PCs that she has recently purchased a small abandoned skyport not far from the agency, for purposes of a dance studio, and she needs it cleared of any squatters or monsters.  She adamantly specifies that she doesn’t want the PCs to actually kill anyone, only coercively persuade them to leave the premises.  While this is not exactly detective work, the PCs know that Carnatine will be upset with them if they refuse the job.

While spinning and dancing in the air, Glitterbug lists a litany of events she must attend or participate in that prevent her from completing the act herself, such as the Cat Lord’s birthday party, reading her lizard friend’s treatise, and tending to the garden at the Orange Lodge.  Glitterbug shows the PCs the deed to the property without solicitation, to be certain that trust is established.  She offers 200 gp (a very generous offer, she notes) upon the successful completion of the task, and provides an address where she may be reached.

Glitterbug is actually quite wealthy; she originally purchased the skyport simply because she wants to drive her twin sister, Tigerlily, out of town.  After some consideration, she is honestly enthusiastic about her new dance studio.  Glitterbug has always been jealous of Tigerlily’s natural magical aptitude, and the two sisters clashed early and often.  Glitterbug has established herself as a significant personality in the party scene of the city, and doesn’t want a run-in with Tigerlily to throw her off her game.  Thus, as soon as she found out Tigerlily was in Diamond City, she’s been trying to make her life difficult in the hopes that Tigerlily would simply move along. 
South Gonga Skyport 
This skyport was once a docking area for small personal spelljammers.  Larger docks have been built elsewhere in the borough, and this port has fallen into disuse.  In the upper piers, the party can see what appears to be a blanket fort suspended about 50 feet above the ground.  Several birds circle above.

The skyport is thoroughly abandoned, and the majority of it's contents have been long since looted.  The upper floors are not pictured.  They were once used for lodging for interplanetary travelers.  They can be explored, but they yield nothing of value and no encounters.  The bulkhead doors are open and the basement is partly flooded with water.  In a dark, dry corner of the basement the rotted wooden floorboards have been broken, revealing a small natural passageway into the ground.

Upon entering the building through the wide open front door, the party finds a pair of spitting drakes nesting on the ground floor.  They appear undernourished and scarred.  Scattered garbage and the bones of rats litter the floor. The drakes growl for a round and then, unless the party has swiftly placated them, attack the PCs. 

Note: This map is by Mike Schley, it is not one of my own creations.

Two rounds later, a pixie named Tigerlily appears from the upper levels.  This sorcerous fairy lives in the blanket fort in the skyport’s piers.  Accompanying her is a storm shard that follows her every command.  It looks like a spinning tornado of crystals, crackling with soft multicolored lights and electricity.  She shouts at the PCs, calling them ‘fight pit freaks’.  She implores them to leave her and her friends alone.  She seems to think that the PCs have come to retrieve the drakes and return them to some fight pit.  Tigerlily attempts to reason with the party through the course of the fight.  If the PCs refuse, she continues to fight. 

The drakes will fight fiercely as long as they are both alive.  If one dies the other retreats, or both of them retreat if Tigerlily gives them an order to.  Tigerlily will fight nearly to the death if the drakes are still alive, but once both drakes are dead or retreated she will only fight until she is bloodied, at which point she flies away cussing and begins to pack her belongings.  Shortly thereafter Tigerlily will return to the PCs and inform them that if they were any sort of decent adventurers they would let her hire them for a real job, not just hassle innocent fairies and kill their friends.  Any conflict with Tigerlily outdoors will draw the ire of her other friends, four local bloodhawks.

Tigerlily is not particularly attached to the skyport, and is willing to relocate.  If the party is willing to suspend the battle to talk with the fairy, she tells them that she will leave and take the drakes with her, and even help clean up, if she can hire the party for a job.  Any mention of Glitterbug by name will provoke Tigerlily to engage in a long discussion the history of the two sisters, and the various reasons she feels betrayed by her sister, and just spends some time describing various conflicts they have had.  This puts Tigerlily in a poor mood, and any Charisma-based skill checks the party makes while interacting with her suffer a -2 penalty until after the next encounter.

Tigerlily wants to hire the party to put a stop to the fight pit and try to find a way to free the animals.  She knows that monsters running free in the streets of Diamond City won’t be a good idea, so she plans to rent space on a spelljammer to bring the creatures to a distant, less populated section of Alam.  She does not currently have the resources to actually accomplish this, but she knows she is resourceful and has luck on her side.  She offers twice what Glitterbug is offering, which alone will strain her supply of money.

The two fairy sisters, Glitterbug and Tigerlily, are presented as NPCs that will continue to have a presence in the game for the next few adventures.  Although the party may engage in battle with Tigerlily, the DM should take extra care to ensure that the fairy survives the encounter.

Tigerlily shares with the party what she knows about the fight pit, as described to her by the drakes:

Down a far distance through the tunnel is a room that’s a cave, where the drakes were kept when they weren’t fighting other creatures and even demons in the fight pit.  There had originally been three drakes that had survived by working together, but the enemies they had to fight were getting more and more deadly, and the third drake died in the last battle.  The drakes escaped and climbed up the passageway to the skyport.  In the center of the fight pit complex is the actual pit where the fights take place.  Surrounding the pit are various enclosures for creatures.  In the middle of the pit is a drain where all of the blood from the battle runs.

No comments:

Post a Comment