Knights of Darkness
|Knights of Darkness|
The characters (the "Knights") are in the employ of Zhentil Keep.
- Nerthus, female ogre mage smith in Melvaunt.
Jezebel is a female blackguard. She serves the Church of Bane with fanatical devotion.
Bishma is a feral half-ogre barbarian. He likes drinking, violence and shiny things.
Eobrandel is a renegade elven bard.
Franz is a temple assassin from the Church of Bane.
The Powers that Be
Items in the party treasury ("loot bag") is listed below. It is administered by Jezebel. Some items from various adventures are listed as "shared", which means that it was given to some character, but to whom is not important. This is mostly consumables such as potions and scrolls.
- Longsword +2
- Full plate +2
- Large steel shield +1
- Leather armor +1
- Greatsword +1
- Periapt of Health
- Wand of Lightning Bolts (34 charges)
- Potion of Cure Critical Wounds (4)
- Potion of Swimming (2)
- Potion of Water Breathing (2)
- Potion of Water Walking (2)
- Cash: 300 gp
Loot from episode 7 and later is not included.
Note: The episodes should be moved to separate pages once they have proper names.
The villains They were summoned to Teshendale by magistrate Pluton Glinksy. He had not received the taxes that were due from a remote village, and the patrol of twelve mounted men-at-arms he had dispatched had not returned. Needless to say, he was anxious to resolve the matter and promised to reward the protagonists if they took care of it.
They rode towards the border for several days and passed well-ordered and prosperous villages. On the fourth day, they discovered the a burnt-down cottage. A grim woman and her children told them that heroes from the south had slain her husband when he refused to answer their questions and told them to leave. She asked only that her husband was avenged. Soon after, the villains arrived arrived at the village. No villager were out in the open, but some made surreptitious gestures towards the sheriff's office from windows or opened doors.
After Franz had stealthily taken position of the roof of the building, the others approached and dismounted. Jezebel called for the heroes to surrender to the rightful authority of Zhentil Keep. As could be expected, she was greeted by a fireball and and a charge by the heroes. After a pitched battle, the heroes were killed. The villagers told them that the heroes had "liberated" the village by slaying the sheriff and used the jail as a base of operations. Jezebel's worg and the local pigs feasted on the remains.
The villains returned the missing tax money to magistrate Glinsky in Theshendale and were well paid.
Loot: The tax money was returned to magistrate Glinsky. He gave the protagonists a reward of 250 gp each. Other loot form the adventurers included:
- 1,600 gp → 400 gp each
- Potion of cure light wounds (10) → shared
- Potion of bull's strength (3) → shared
- Potion of eagle's splendor (1) → shared
- Potion of restoration (2) → shared
- Potion of invisibility (1) → shared
- Potion of cure moderate wounds (2)
- Wand of cure light wounds (18 charges) → Eobrandel
- Large steel shield +1
- Longsword +1 → Jezebel
- Greatsword +1
- Leather armor +1
- Handy haversack → Jezebel
- Wizard spellbook with unknown spells
Share: 400 gp
The protagonists were summoned to the military headquarter of Zhentil Keep to an audience with the city commander.
He informed them that they had been chosen to put an end to the troubles caused by the barbarian tribes of the Ride. The barbarians were raiding Zhentil Keep's goblin allies as well as trade caravans from Zhentil Keep itself, and this was of course unacceptable. They were issued funds to be used at their discretion.
After making some inquiries, they learned that the barbarian raiders were likely young warriors from the three or four largest tribes. The Knights left Zhentil Keep and set out towards the Ride.
Unlikely encounter with very angry old man who lived in a lone stone hut on the plains. He raged at Bishma and hurled invectives until the half-ogre responded aggressively and blows were exchanged. Apparently satisfied with Bishmas potential, he promised to one day lead him to the fountain of wrath.
After a few days, they arrived at the goblin lands. They goblin informed them that they had been raided by human warriors from the Buzzard tribe who had absconded with goblin sheep. The barbarian could easily be identified by the birdlike crest on their caps.
They rode into the barbarian lands and were eventually hailed by a mounted warband. Jezebel proclaimed that they must stop their raids, and was told that they should bring their grievances to the ting.
The Ride was well named, for further riding was of course required to reach the barbarian assembly which consisted of little more than tents pitched near a circle of stones, horses and boisterous barbarians. Bishma was soon involved in some good-natured violence until he was finally knocked senseless by a mighty barbarian.
At the thing, the barbarians chieftains agreed to cease their cattle raids if Zhentil Keep would supply them with enough sheep or cattle to last them two months. Jezebel readily agreed to this, but there was still the problem of the attacks on the caravans. The young warriors needed an outlet for their agression, and one of the chieftains suggested that they place trinkets, gold and jewels at some predetermined location for them to fight over. This would gve them bragging rights and shiny baubles to woo women.
To goblins to buy sheep. Suggested that we take care of three-headed monster in the mountains. This chimera was to prove a most fearsome opponent. The Knights brought three sheep with them as bait to a valley which showed sign of being a feeding ground for a large monster. Franz though that he spotted a likely cave opening in the mountainside and decided to scale the mountain and reconnoiter the cave. Before he had returned, or even before the Knights could tether the sheep and prepare an ambush, they were spotted by the chimera. The huge beast swooped down and scorched Knight and sheep alike with its fiery breath. The chimera pounced on Bishma, who managed to slay the beast albeit with some help from the other Knights.
Franz retuned soon, encumbered with loot. Feasted on the charred sheep, returned to the goblins who were happy to part with eight score sheep. One of the valuable jewels was made into a necklace, and delivered to the barbarians along with assorted other jewelry to provide sport for the young warriors.
Loot The loot below was recovered from the chimera's cave.
- 15,000 cp
- 4,500 gp
- 460 pp
- Wand of fireballs (36 charges) → Eobrandel
- Chain shirt +2 → Franz
- Elven cloak → Franz (unknown to the rest)
- 20 jewels, valued at 1,000 gp each
- Shortsword +1 keen → Franz
Share:' 7,785 gp
The Knights had some downtime, and Bishma was cunning enough to spend most of his money on an armor upgrade before he had a chance to spend it on ale and wenches. He asked Eobrandel for help, who in turn asked Jezebel to use her connections in the Church of Bane. In the end, father Slobodan agreed to enchant Bishmas chain shirt. This left the half-ogre with little money, and was soon arrested for a drunken violence. Jail was no great hardship for the half-ogre, for he was fed and had a roof over his head.
A week or so later, Franz was ordered to meet with a shady individual who gave him four passes to the southern Dalelands and instructed him to report there for a mission briefing. He contacted the other Knights who learned that Bishma was once again in jail. Jezebel talked to the commander of the city jail who agreed to let Bishma go if a fine of 1,000 gp was paid by Jezebel in the lieu of time served.
The Knight made their way to the occupied Shadowdale where Franz reported to his contact. They were told to present their credentials. This was none other than High Marshal Scylla Darkhope, supreme commander of the military forces of Zhentil Keep. She received the Knights in her office where Semenon was also present.
The High Marshal had devised a plan to ferret a few of the remaining rebels in Shadowdale. Eobrandel was to be act the paret of a captive elf, and the rest of the Knights were to be his captors. With any luck, the rebels would stage a rescue attempt. If they took the elf to their headquarter, it could be located by magic.
The Knights requested some resources, such a ring of spell storing with a sending and a few scrolls of summon monster to create a diversion, but High Marshal Darkhope was clearly reluctant to divert troops from the war effort to support Semenons plan. In the end, the Knights decided to deal with the problem on their own, albeit with some magical support (more sending, scrying, potions of invisibility) from the headquarter.
The Knights took Eobrandel on a ride through the forest, and made sure that Bishma and the elf were injured in order to give their captive a semblance of competence. The Knights were indeed ambushed, and they let the rebels escape with their prize after killing a few of them. The camp was located easily enough, and the knights prepared to assault it.
In the camp, Eobrandel convinced his hosts that he needed to sleep and recover from his ordeal. The elf traitor seemed to lack confidence in his ability to fool his rescuers, for he stalled for time several times. In the end, he let himself be escorted to the leader's tent while the rest of the Knights waited for a signal to attack. This was easily spotted when the elf unleashed a fireball from his wand. Isobel cried havoc and unleashed her summoned wolves to cause havoc in the camp while the Knights stormed the flaming command tent. Several prisoners were taken , among them a female human cleric felled by Bishma. The Knights made themselves invisible and escaped with the unconscious leaders.
Even High Marshal Darkhope favoured the Knights with a terse smile when she learned that the leaders of the resistance had been captures. Some rebels remained at large, but interrogation of their prisoners should reveal the location of any other bases in the Dalelands. Bishma offered to give the female cleric to Jezebel in exchange for the fine he owed here.
Loot The loot below was recovered from the resistance.
- Full plate +2 → Jezebel
- Full plate +2 → Loot bag
- Longsword +2 → Jezebel
- Longsword +2 → Loot bag
- Amulet of Natural Armor +2 → Bishma
- Wand of Cure Light Wounds (24 charges) → Jezebel
- Gauntlets of Ogre Power → Jezebel
- 300 gp → Loot bag
Share: (from Zhentil Keep) 1,000 gp
Early autumn in Zhentil Keep. Jezebel and Franz were summoned to meet Father Ördög, who was responsible for much of the day-to-day operations of the Church of Bane, in the city center. He told them to get dressed properly, for they were to meet with important people. The Knights returned to their quarters and dressed properly for the occasions.
A few hours later, they met once again with Father Ördög. He led them to the Grand Temple where they waited outside an audience chamber. From inside, a loud argument could be hears. Soon, Semenon appeared and gestured for them to enter.
Inside were the rulers of Zhentil Keep, Fzoul Chembryl, Lord Manshoon and the beholder Manxam. They were informed that they had been summoned to deal with the problem of Melvaunt.
Melvaunt is a city that sits on the northern coast of the Moonsea, adjacent to Thar. It is a city of smithing and mercantile services, serving as the port of entry to many travelers coming to the region. The city itself is cold and gray, with a mist that rises from the Moonsea seeming to cover it entirely.
Zhentil Keep had tried to extend their influence there by bribes, trade and military means, but these had failed. Manxam was reluctant to release more funds, so the Council had decided to let the Knights establish and embassy in Melvaunt. They were to be issued a small budget and diplomativ credentials. The Pike, a pinnace, was a their disposal. The Knights had been noticed by the powers that be, but were still expendable.
Jezebel enlisted the aid of a few acolytes from the Church of Bane. The Embassy embarked on the ship and left for Melaunt. They were becalmed for a few days, but arrived in Melvaunt after ten days.
Loot: None, but the Knights were given 7,500 gp for expenses, as well as means of magic communication.
Episode Five: A Family Affair
In Melvaunt, the Knights rented a house for use as embassy and presented their credentials to the merchant council. Once they had settled in, the Knights discussed how to improve the relationship between Zenthil Keep and Melvaunt.
After some discussion they decided to attract the attention of the pirates which plagued shipping on the Moonsea. Of course, some pirates or privateers were sponsored by Zenthil Keep, and no doubt other cities on the coast of the Moonsea. Still, action against the pirates would be an act of good faith.
The Knights spread word that they were carrying dispatches and valuables to Hillsfar and set sail on the Pike after a few days. The journey to Hillsfar was uneventful, as was their dealings there. They had netter luck on the return trip, for the lookouts soon spotted a ship behind the Pike.
The pursuing ship kept its distance until the night. The Knights correctly assumed that the pirates would strike at night, and rested during the day. Noght fell, but they saw nothing until Eobrandel was knocked unconscious by unseen assailants, as were several of the crew. Once the rest of the Knights heard the scuffle, they made their way to the edck and engaged the pirate. They spied several elves who were about to about take Eobrandel over the railing and into a waiting longboat. These were killed by the Knight before they could escape, with the exception of a she-elf who was knocked unconsious by Jezebel.
Once Eobrandel regained consiousness, he recognized the leves as his kin. The captive told them than Eobrandel's family had decided to taken him home and punish him for his evil deeds. Instead, the she-elf provided her cousin Eobrandel and the crew with some amusement until the ship reached Melvaunt.
While their plan had failed, the Knights were still convinced that it had merit. They decided to try again, but to book passage on a commercial vessel rather than use the Pike again. Jezebel, Franz and Bishma left for Mulmaster on the Seagull a week later.
After a few days at sea, the were hailed by another merchant vessel. It seemed friendly enough, but when the ships drew closer to exchange news, some of the crew stealthily climbed up the stern. Once the ambush was sprung, the other ship threw grappling hooks and boarded while a mage unleashed lightning bolts. Bishma and Franz started to dispatch the enemy. Once Jezebel heard the commotion, she leapt upon her worg and jump to the other ship. Bishma did likewise and slew the mage while Jezebel took care of the captain. With the officers dead, the pirate surrendered. They were placed under guard while the Knights looted the ship. The captain of the Seagull put a skeleton crew on board once the Knights offered to split the prize money with him.
The ships were ambushed off the coast of Mulmaster a few days later. Several galleys appeared on the horizon and it as clear that the Seagull was no match for their speed. Things did not go well for the pirates, however. Jezebel had correctly assumed that a few potions of water walking would come in handy, and Bishma proved her right. He quaffed one of the potions and jumped over the railing. The pirates were astonished to see a charging barbarian running towards them on the waves. Their astonishment soon turned to dismay when the raging barbarian smashed the hulls of several of the galleys. The other pirates began to withdraw, no doubt influenced by Jezebel's commanding presence on the poop deck as well as the destruction of the galleys. The Seagull launched ships boats and picked up survivors.
Once in Mulmaster, arrangements were made to sell the Revenge. The harbour master informed them that the reward was 2 silver pieces per pirate, and that most of them would be pressed into service on other ships. The Knights decided that an example should be made of the score of pirates that had survived the journey. They spotted an advertisement for Ivan Bulgakov, necromancer. They located his tower and were greeted by a hunchbacked goblin. The necromancer was suave and businesslike, and was happy to take care of the pirates, and assured them that the would be put to good use as undead laborers. He offered them a gold piece for each pirate. The Knights accepted, not for the money, but for the propaganda value this gesture would have. A fate worse than death might befall the pirates of the Moonsea!
Expenses: Potions of Water Breathing (3), paid by embassy.
- Pirate Flag from the Revenge → Jezebel
- Spellbook → Sold with other spellbook in loot bag for 1,800 gp.
- Periapt of Health → Treasury
- Chain shirt +3 → Franz (he gave his chain shirt +2 to Jezebel)
- Wand of Lightning Bolts (34 charges) → Loot bag
- Longsword +2 → Jezebel
- Potion of Cure Critical Wounds (4) → Loot bag
- Potion of Swimming (2) → Loot bag
- Potion of Water Breathing (2) → Loot bag
- Potion of Water Walking (2) → Loot bag
- The Revenge, a sailing ship. The Knights' share after auction is 2,500 gp (total).
- Coins: 2,200 gp from the captain's strongbox.
- Payment from necromancer for 20 pirates: 20 gp
While the rest of the Knights were at sea, Eobrandel incited some of the faction to fight each other, and soon the streets ran with blood. The Knight had barely arrived when they were deputized and instructed to bring order to Melvaunt.
- This is a work in progress.
Recalled to Zenthil Keep and ordered to seize Phlan.
Episode Eight - Ruins of Phlan
The Knights boarded the Pike and set sail for Phlan. The city was abandoned and decayed but the quay in the harbor seemed in reasonable shape. The Knights decided that it was better to be prudent, and took one of the ship's boats to the shore.
They were ambushed by half a dozen chuuls when they were disembarking. These ate some of the sailors while the rest fought for their lives. One of the chuuls had sought refuge in the lighthouse, but this had little effect other than leading the knights to a pile of loot from eaten adventurers. Once the quay had been secured, the knights ventured further ashore and cleared out the harbor master's office which was infested by a hive of gricks. The light house and harbor office seemed in decent enough shape, and Jezebel gave orders for the ship's carpenters to fortify the office once they had repaired the damaged ship's boat.
Loot: Eobrandel did not get a share since he was seasick and completely useless.
- 1,500 gp
- 10 gems @250 gp each
- Light mace +1
- Large wooden shield +2
- Dagger +3 → Franz
Episode Nine: Death in Phlan
The Knight reinifored the harbour office and the troops patrolled the vicinity, alert for any inhabitants. When scouting the city, Franz and Eobrandel discovered a sacrificial circle on a square in the city. The bodies have been dead a day or two, but there is no blood. They made their way back to the headquarter which was attacked by gargoyles. Their leader was a fearsome infernal giants, who killed Franz before he could reach safety. The Knigts and the troops defended their stronghold from the flying enemies. The infernal giant was slain, as was most of the gargoyles.
Krangor the infernal giant:
- Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds x 4
- Javelin of Lightning x 3 → Jezebel
- Large Chain Shirt +4 → Bishma
- Keen short sword +1
- Dagger +3
- Boots of elvenkind → Vinod
- Elven cloak → Vinod
- Short sword +1
- Potion of haste x 2
- Potion of neutralize poison
- Oil of greater magic weapon +5
- Potion of invisibility → Eobrandel
- Potion of bull's strength x 2
- Chain shirt +3 → Jezebel
Returned to bag:
- Large chain shirt +3 (from Bishma
Episode 10: Rumble in the Rubble
Vinod, and orch archer with goblin arrow caddy (and a squad of goblin troops) arrives from Zentil Keep. They broight with them a chest with Jezebel's newly enchanted adamantine full plate from Mulmaster.
The Divine Conqueror Worm and its cult is slain.
- 41,000 gp
- Full Plate +1
- Longsword +1 (x6)
- Longsword +3 → Jezebel
- Heavy Mace +1 (x3)
- Large Steel Shield +1 (x2)
- Large Steel Shield +3 → Jezebel
Episode 11: Finale
It was autumn in Phlan, some weeks after the Conqueror Worm had been slain. The Knights had brought a semblance of order to the ruined cit, and the rabble had begun to gravitate to the outpost in the harbor. They seemed eager enough to swear allegiance to Bane and Zenthil Keep in exchange for protection. Jezebel organized work details to clean up the rubble in the vicinity and put Vinod in charge of the guards. A report on their progress was sent to Zenthil Keep with a request for more guards and administrative personnel.
A few weeks later, guards spotted sleek black ship on the horizon. This was surely no ordinary vessel, and the Knights dressed themselves in their finest clothes and went to greet the visitors at the pier. Tese were none other than Semmenon and Manxam the Beholder.
The surly beholder was interested in how much gold the venture had yielded so far, but Semmenon had bigger plans for the Knights. He knew that a powerful creature had a lair in the palace, and was confident that Zenthil Keep would be in command of the city if the Knight could slay it. He proposed a wager. The Knights would give up the gold they had amassed so far in Phlan. In return, they could keep whatever they found in the monster's lair. In order to sweeten the deal, he offered Jezebel the position of Governor of Phlan if the succeded. If they failed, were most likely dead. The Knights accepted the challenge.
Semmenon could tell them little expect that earlier expeditions had learned that the palace garden was overgrown and that the creature was powerfl and resistant to magics. The Knights left for the palace and sent Eobrandel ahead to scout. He scaled the walls of the palace and found nothing inside excpet many twisted plants. The Knights advanced into the courtyard towards the palace. Animated plants tried to impede their proress, but Bisha cut a path for the Knights. When they neared the palace, Eobrandel spotted a large, sinuous dragon rising into the air.
The Knights took cover while Vinod unleashed a volley of arrows. The dragon pounced on Bishma who heaved mightily with his greatsword against the dragon who was soon bleeding from many wounds. Jezebel charged the dragon but was unable to pierce its hide. Eobrandel was caught near the palace doors and torn to pieces in to with a single bite. Soon, the raging half-ogre fell to the dragon. Jezebel and Vinod retreated into the palace but were caught in the shadow dragon's life-draining breath. In the end, the dragn fell to Vinod's arrows and Jezebel's morningstar.
The Knights had won the day, but Bishma and Eobrandel were dead. Of the original Knights, Jezebel was the only survior, and she had gained much wealth and position. Vinod was content to become a captain of the city guards, a position which was sure to earn him a great deal of bribes.
XP: 21,650 (for the survivors only)
The lair of the Shadow Dragon:
- 300,000 gp
- 18 as yet unspecified major magic items
- A plethora of lesser magic item which do not need to be specified but may be useful to equip followers.
The list below takes promotions into account. The fighters started as commoners but have been upgraded to fighter instead of gaining levels.
3 squads of 1 lvl 3 fighter, 1 lvl 2 cleric, 10 lvl 1 fighters.
Jezebel's retinue is:
- Lvl 4 blackguard
- Lvl 3 cleric
- Lvl 3 cleric
Embassy in Melvaunt:
- Lvl 2 cleric
- Lvl 1 blackguard
Also 5 lvl 2 commoners (sailors)
- The player characters are evil, so "villains" or "protagonists" are used instead of 'heroes'.
- Bishma had no need of a mount since he is a fleet of foot as a horse.
- The mission was probably initiated by someone within the Black Network, perhaps Sememmon.
- The 'Knights' are used to identify the protagonists of the Knights of Darkness campaign, even if none of them is knighted.
- I.e. frenzied berzerker prestige class.
- Or whatever brid of prey 'slaghök' in Swedish translates to (there are several alternatives).
- This is quite a lot, but Bishma is a violent repeat offender.
- Ask GM for details
- This is the same year as the Purple Dragon campaign finale