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Author Topic: Pulps adventure "Relics"  (Read 2681 times)

Offline Wraith

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Pulps adventure "Relics"
« on: August 01, 2012, 02:23:25 PM »
So I am running this for the 4th time for my home crew, and I thought I'd offer it up here for those interested. As usual, my Scenario contains tons of handouts, which are not really reflected in these storylines.

Relics, a Pulps adventure set in Syria, 1928 is a  scenario built around 3 great relics of the religions of  The Book; Judiasm, Islam and Christianity;  So named because all 3 rever the Old Testament as holy Writ. The 3 relics are The Shield Of Salah-Ad-Din, The Breastplate of the high priests of Israel, which also containd the Urim and Thummin and the head of John the Baptist. All 3 relics have strange powers that may be realized during the course of the adventure.

Scenario Introduction: It is the year 1928. Having joined the French Foreign Legion to “see the world’, the heroes  find their unit stationed in Antioch, Syria,  apparently  playing the servant to a regional Sheikh. But events quickly turn nasty as they must delve deep into the desert on the trail of a centuries old secret that could bring about  civil war in Syria…or worse.

Main NPC:  Dr. Molay is a  Professor of archeology from Yale University. He was working at the  museum of Antioch cataloging artifacts from 2  tombs  of crusaders and hassan Sabbah., until there was a robbery and some artifacts stolen. The museum is closed until a full investigation is preformed and the prof. Has been hanging out at the  French embassy.  Molay is searching for a mysterious relic of St. John the Baptist, his gem encrusted skull to be exact. In ancient writings, he has discovered the general location of the relic. Molay has also discovered in arcane texts that this relic can be used to raise the dead. Our heroes will be unwittingly drawn into Molay’s search for the relic and will have to overcome him when the discovery and subsequent inrush of arcane power drives the professor insane, unleashing the horrors of the undead to keep his newfound power. Along the way, the heroes will encounter other masonic templars, who seek to possess the relics for their own. Molay is a descendant of the imfamous Jaque de’ Molay, last grandmaster of the Templars. Though he is far removed from his ancestor, the family stories of the ancient bloodlines has led him the occult and his search for the great  Relics of the religions of “the book” which is the Old testament , recognized as holy writ by Jews, Muslims and Christians.

Scene 1 storyline:

Setting: The French embassy near Antioch in North- western Syria has a barraks that houses 25 Foreign Legionaries.  Dr. Molay, a professor and archeologist from Yale, has recently been hanging around the Embassy. Due to a hub-bub at the Museum where he was to catalogue resent aquisitions. It seems that the curator and some artefacts have turned up missing, and the museum is closed while the investigation unfolds. Being French, Molay has been hob-knobing with the well educated Legion commander, Colonel Leonne at the legion headquarters by the French embassy.

Storyline: After the Heroes to introduce themselves to each other, the Colonel announces a change to  standard orders, they are now detailed to support the Shiite Sheikh Muharrem al Rafiq in his endevours. The Sheikh has asked the  Colonel to attend a banquet in which Rafiq will announce his daughter A'shadieeyah’s (Princess, cute, perfect.) engagement to the son of Sunni rival, Sheikh Raid Jaffah. The political marriage will offer a potential for a peace that the French would welcome between the feuding  Sunni-Shiite factions. Qareeb Raid , son of Sheikh Raid Jaffah, the rival leader will be at the dinner with an honor guard to accept the Sheikh’s daughter as his betrothed. Though a truce in the feud has been called, old rivalries die hard  and the representatives from both betrothal parties will bear no firearms, having only ceremonial blades. The Legionaries will be there as a neutral party to provide security and will be armed with Concealed Pistols and swords. Though their standard kit with rifles is in their truck some distance away under guard.

Being an educated man, the Colonel asks Dr. Molay to accompany them as a witness. The heroes should be detailed to cover different areas of the compound. At sundown, the banquet, at which only the men are present, will begin.

Meanwhile: The hero that is nearest the door of the Bride’s pavilion may hear a rucus in the bride’s tent. If he enters the tent, he will be attacked by 2  men as 2 more exit via a slit in the rear of the tent  to bear the girl away. The kidnappers will have  wickedly curved knives, but no firearms. A gunshot  from the ambushed Hero or loud fighting noises will alert the other legionaries and the members of both marriage parties. A small scale fight will erupt as both marriage parties and the legionaries battle a dozen  sword wielding ruffians that have been hired by he cult to provide cover to the actual kidnappers. The pistol of the will missfire, causing him to resort to his sword.

Any kidnappers that are captured or killed will have a Star And Cresent brand  on the palm of their right hands. The will also have Jambiya Daggers. If asked, the Sheikh or the Son-in-law to be will reply that the brand is the sign of Muslim cult known as The Sons of Sabbah. On the daggers are the symbol of the Ashishin.  Sheikh Rafiq asks the Lieutenant to help recover his daughter, lest the feud erupt into a full blown tribal war over the lost bride. The Sheikh will send one of his trusted men Nazih ( Pure, chaste) along with the heroes.  The brother of the groom Hamza  Raid (Lion) to be will also go along.

Scene 2:
A tracker in the group has a chance to find the signs that leads the Legionaries along a road heading South toward Alamut. The legionaries, their commander and the 2 Arab hangers on can follow the road south in the legion truck, which also holds their long arms and other marching kit. As the heroes try to follow the kidnappers in their truck, stopping to check for sign at each intersection, the kidnappers gain a lead, though they are on horses.
While approaching an intersection, the heroes will see a fire in the distance. The road they are on converges with another coming directly from Antioch. Back along the converging road is an shot up truck. Nearby, is a fire that has been started with documents and built up with planks torn from a wooden crate. The contents of which has been  stacked nearby for easy access.

Under the shot up truck may be found The Stachell which is where the documents that started the fire are from. If the heroes look the satchell over, they will find the Monogramed Plate. The XC is the monogram of Xavier Craon.

If the smouldering embers of the fire are checked out the Partially Burnt Documents will be found.
If the car is checked out, there is  blood on the seat. A tracker  may notice sign going off into the night where the wounded driver stumbled off. If this sign is followed the tortured body of the driver will be found. The Cufflinks and the Ring may be found on the driver’s body. The body is that of Xavier Craon, the missing curator from the Antioch museum of antiquities.

If the remains of the crate are checked out, it will be found to be from the Antioch Museum of Antiquities. If the remaining packing is searched  the  list of artifacts. May be found. If the heroes match the list to the remaining artifacts, they will find that 2 are unaccounted for #6: The Bronze shield and #8: the Book of metal plates.
As the heroes look over the scene and find the clues, a light sandstorm blows up. Once they begin to leave the area,  Ashishin (double the amount of Heroes, not including NPCs) will appear from the blowing sands and attack them, it is an ambush!

More scenes forthcoming.


« Last Edit: August 01, 2012, 02:31:36 PM by Wraith »
I suppose you will be wanting your ear back now that you have answered my questions -The Wraith

Online Mad Lord Snapcase

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Re: Pulps adventure "Relics"
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2012, 06:21:27 AM »
I like it! Look forward to reading the next scenario.

Offline Zwerch mit Ohren!!!

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Re: Pulps adventure "Relics"
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2012, 09:40:07 AM »
great stroy and scenario, cant wait to read the next scenes.


Offline Wraith

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Re: Pulps adventure "Relics"
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2012, 09:01:53 PM »
Scene 3

Storyline: Following the road southward from the wrecked truck, our heroes come to a split in the mountains and must leave their truck to enter it. The sandstorm has abated somewhat and a character with tracking skill can find signs of horses having recently entered the chasm. When the heroes enter they are attacked by Sons of Sabbah who are upon the crags overlooking the trail. The sons will use no firearms, only bows, swords and their trademark daggers. They will also have the brand of their order on their right hands. Once the Heroes return fire with their firearms, the Sons of Sabbah leap from the cliffs, landing on the heroes, and fighting them hand to hand. It is imperative that Molay is not killed in any of these encounters as he has an important role to play later in the adventure, therefore, he will act the coward. He may be captured, but not killed by the  assassians.

When this group of assassians are defeated, the heroes can continue down the rough  pass, obviously watching the cliffs for more assassians. A character with a high climbing skill can climb to sheer walls of the cliffs on one side or another. As they travel along the sun goes down and the sandstorm stops completely. It is pretty dark among the cliffs. If a character asks about ambient light or the moon or starlight they will see the moon is out, as is a single star. The two form the holy cresent moon and star of the muslims in the Eastern sky.  The characters should see this as an omen, for the Sons of Hassan surely do.

The truth is: The kidnappers have brought the princess  to the ruins of Alamut  to use her in a sacraficial ritual to reawaken the arcane powers of the  shield of  Salah-ad-din that they took from the curator who absconded with it from the museum, after waylaying his truck in the desert and murdering him.  The ritual must be preformed when the holy cresent moon and star are in the sky on the altar at Alamut. Unfortunately, to complete the ritual, the virgin daughter of a descendant of Hassan Sabbah  must be sacraficed. Ergo, The princess A'shadieeyah.

The sun will have been down for a few hours when they finally make it to the Vale of Hassan wherein squats the Ruins of ancient Alamut. A few torches are here and there among the ruins as are sentries. In a ruined tower in the center of the vale, a large bonfire blazes and chanting can be heard. Making it to the ruined tower as they may, the heroes will arrive just in time to see a high-priest dressed in a strange outfit swaying over the princess who is tied spread eagled to an altar that drains upon The Shield of Salah-ad-din. A direct assault would seem hap-hazard, but there are ways to sneak up, if the heroes have not already given away their positions with gunfire. After saving the princess and capturing or killing the priest, they will find the The Book of Shadows that the priest had been reading the incantation from. Molay will be able to translate it given time.

Offline Wraith

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Re: Pulps adventure "Relics"
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2012, 09:07:22 PM »
Scene 4:

Background: The village of El’Halil is a village in Syria in an area that was part of the Kingdom of Edessa during the crusades. The village is built upon the ruins of a Templar Cathedral. The catacombs below the monastic church supposedly held the most sacred relic of Christendom, the Head of John the Baptist, in addition to the corpses of many Templars. Suliman razed the cathedral. Over the following years, a village grew upon the ruins and the stones were either carted off or worked into the village homes. The only discernable remaining portion of the church is a circle of pillars that were the pillars of the crossing in the  nave of the Templar cathedral. There is a French foreign Legion outpost in the village with 15 troopers.  Some ancient stone  foundations can be seen worked into the outer village structures. These are foundations of an old  crusader cathedral.

After rescuing the Princess from Alamut, the heroes head back north toward Antioch. But an attack from a hundred or so Camel Mounted Jihadis who have been roused by the surviving assassians drive them eastward to the Village of El’Halil where with the help of some Legionaries stationed in the village, they fight off a dozen Jihadis who persue them into the village. The remaining Jihadis set up a perimeter about the village to wait for dark. The Legion troopers stationed there will man the walls to defend the village. A standoff will begin, with the leader of the riders calling for the infidels to hand over the Shield of Salah ah-Din’ and the Book of Secrets if they want to live.

« Last Edit: August 17, 2012, 03:05:20 PM by Wraith »

Online Mad Lord Snapcase

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Re: Pulps adventure "Relics"
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2012, 11:06:52 AM »
Has all the elements of a classic pulp story! Great story.

Offline Wraith

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Re: Pulps adventure "Relics"
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2012, 03:55:29 PM »
The post commander has the heroes stand by in case he needs their help. He will give them ammunition and feed them. It is early, and the heroes have time to look around the village before dark. A Arab trader named Habib  approaches the heroes and asks if one of them is De’ Vichers.  (Habib has the Ephod stolen from the crate in scene 2 to sell to him). If they answer no, he will try to sell Templar Artifacts to them. Some are fakes, but some are real. (The trader’s son Habibi has found a tunnel leading to the catacombs and has been raiding for artifacts for the family business.) If they enter the hostel, they meet Missur De’ Vichiers.

(The final Templar descendant from the Yale triad.) Molay knows him from his days at Yale (They were both members of the Skull and Bones) One way or another, Di’ Vichers will slip away to meet Habib. De’ Vichiers will have a large amount of Syrian cash on him and a satchel. At least one of the heroes will witness Habib kill De’Vichers to steal the money from him. The satchel holds the De’Molay document, the Joseph Smith page and the Urim and Thummin notes.  If the heroes notice the Watermark  they may determine a way to make it readable. In De’Vichiers coat pocket are the Strange Spectacles. On his shirt will be the Cufflinks and on his hand is a Silver ring.

One way or another, a  shootout with Habib will occur. If his corpse is searched, a Bloody envelope, Bloody letter will be found. If the heros look at the address they will discover it is from De’Vichiers , mailed from Salt Lake City, Utah. If they search Habib’s shop the heros will find the Ephod. If they follow previous clues they find the Thummin hidden within. If the heroes assemble the spectacles and Thummin to view the De’Molay Document, adjusted per the instructions in the same document, they will discover the Cathedral blueprints.
Habibi  will try to sell the Urim to the heroes (he had taken it from the Ephod previously) If the heroes add the Urim to the spectacles and view the De’Molay Document, they will discover the Catacomb blueprints.

Offline Wraith

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Re: Pulps adventure "Relics"
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2012, 04:20:48 PM »
Scene 5:

With the blueprints overlaid, the heroes may determine the original staircase to the catacombs were in the Templar chapter house basement, which is now below…the Mosque in the village. One way or another, the heroes must enter the  Mosque by way of the Mahdi – (Guided to the right path) and discover the basement. On one wall of the basement is a carving of a head. (John the Baptist’s head) Investigating the carving will reveal a keyhole. One of the templar artifacts they bought from Habib is the key to this lock. Working the key will reveal a secret door that leads to the Crypt in which they will see what seems to be a well, along with many Mummies and bones.  Putting all the previous clues to use, the heroes will eventually find the mummy of Jaques De’Molay, last grandmaster of the templars. Searching the mummy will reveal that his head is the wax covered and sculpted Templar Relic, the Gem encrusted head of John the Baptist. Molay will be overjoyed and one way or another he will talk the heroes into letting him hold it.

Meanwhile: Darkness has fallen outside and the Jihadis have overcome the legionaries above. They have tracked the Heroes to the basement of the mosque and come through the secret door that the heroes left propped open. A firefight breaks out with the heroes and Jihadis using the stone coffins for cover. As the fighting rages, Molay who is the side grotto where the well is puts on the Ephod lays open the book of secrets and begins reading from it while holding the skull of the Baptist. The stones of the ephod begin to glow and spirits rise out of the Well of Souls. Molay becomes possessed by the spirit of his ancestor Jaques de’Molay and determines to kill off all the heroes and legionaries to have the three artifacts for himself. Molay uses the Templar Relic, and the Book of Secrets to reanimate the skeletons and mummies and any recently dead legionaries and Jihadis in the catacomb fight for him. He uses the Shield of Salah Ah’ Din for protection. (The shield moves on its own accord protecting Molay from gunfire. Each of the stones in the ephod supply power for magical things. When a spell is completed, one stone loses is power and therefore its glow. The 12 stones allow for 12 spells. Empowering the shield is 1 spell that lasts as long as molay lives, and one spell per undead that is reanimated. Each spell takes 1 action.)

The Jihadis flee in fear back out the secret door and close it, effectively sealing the heroes inside. The fight will go on until either Molay or the heroes are dead. If the heroes survive, they may find the tunnel that habibi was using to raid the tomb and crawl to their freedom. Outside they will discover that legionary reinforcements have arrived from Tripoli and have driven off the Jihadis, restoring order, or so they may think...


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