Monday, 14 December 2009

Heroes falling in love... with the villain!

The other week I ran a solo session with one of the players, who uses an Elf character. In the session he had cleared a cave system of nasties and fought his way through a mansion that belonged to a Succubus... he was doing very well, until he set eyes upon the Succubus, that is!

The Lady Gwendolyne is no ordinary succubus, she's an ancient evil that the ancients trapped in ice to rid the world of her. Ossiric, the party wizard, in his infinite quest for knowledge, freed her and since then she's been a naughty girl, seducing powerful men, toying with them, robbing them blind and then introducing them to various gruesome ends. Being an evil manipulator of men, any man that sees her risks becoming charmed and worse: they risk falling in love.

Which is exactly what happened.

Now things started to get complicated! Gwendolyne asked our hero to hand over all of his valuables; which of course he did, to please his love. She then sent him on a quest to get the treasure from the Dire Eel tunnels, which meant lots of swimming through submerged passages to get very old valuable items for her. He did this too, finding some neat magical gear in the process, but all for the love of an otherworldly woman.

The session ended with the player stating he wasn't going to tell the rest of the players that he was charmed, but let them find out later. This was going to be interesting!

In my session yesterday, all the players were back (except for the party's thief). The elf cooked up a story for them, stating he hadn't met the succubus who the party were supposed to slay. Before all of this had taken place, they had made a deal with the Serpent Queen wherein she had provided aid to kill the Ghoul King but in return the Queen wanted the Succubus dead, for she was jealous of her beauty. Being honour bound by duty, the party had set off to do just this.

However, the Succubus had also imparted to the Elf the knowledge of how to leave the Deep Dark, to return to the surface (which is the overall campaign goal!). She had done this when she ordered the Elf to get more gold for her; he was supposed to raid the nearby port town and return. So at the start of the latest session, he's in the raft ready to sail out of the great cave lake in the Deep Dark. He finds it pretty easy to convince the group to go along with his plan - i.e. to sail to the surface.

All is going to plan until the Serpent Queen got involved. To leave the Deep Dark, the group had to sail along an underground river, going right past the Serpent City. Unfortunately, the Serpent Queen had blocked the river with two trireme warships. After showing the party that the Succubus lived, by letting them peer into a crystal ball to see for themselves, she ordered them back to fulfil their end of the bargain. The Succubus had to die or she wouldn't let them out.

So, the party return to face the Succubus... and in the confrontation, they discover that the Elf is in love with her! Not only that, but he will let no harm come to her. To make matters even worse, one of the fighters becomes charmed by her; splitting the heroes in half: two for her, two against.

Undaunted by this recent turn of events, Ossiric the wizard and Brigette the fighter cook up a plan to get rid of her anyway. The mage uses his magic and casts fear upon both the elf and the Succubus - an ingenious solution so they do not have to hurt friend, instead he cowers in the corner of the room and they move past him - while the fighter pushes past the charmed one. This brings the charm to a head: will Boris Blood hurt his friend Brigette Wyvern Hunter? He gets an additional saving throw because of the dilema. He makes it! This breaks the charm and the party go in for the kill on the Succubus. They make short work of her now her powers have been rendered ineffective - she has already played her ace cards. Finally, the world is rid of this ancient manipulator of men, and the elf's love fades as the female demon's life does.

A brilliant conclusion to a complex scenario! :-)

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