Midgard Maps: The Lady of White Rose Manor
The Kobold King, in his scaly wisdom, became a patron of the famed cartographer, Dyson Logos (Fantasy RPG Cartography by Dyson Logos)! Magnificent maps were attained, thereby, which our Squamous Sovereign decreed would become part of the landscape of Midgard. With great celerity and a stolen thesaurus, one of his minions did set about transforming his liege’s will into stone, earth, wood, water, fur, flesh, bone, blood, and various pieces of tasteful and expensive furniture.
I humbly present to you the first portion of these labors, The Lady of White Rose Manor. Vampires seem to be popular among the humans again for some strange reason, so we hope this will entertain you, odd as you are.
The Lady of White Rose Manor
—a Midgard adventure for 5-6 level 5 5th-edition Characters—
Cartography by Dyson Logos
For the GM
Background: At the foot of the northeastern Cloudwall Mountains, at the edge of the Principality of Morgau and Doresh, a burgher in the village of Sulca did a brave and foolish thing. He saved a fellow villager from the predation of their new vampiric mistress, the Lady Ilinca, thought to be a consort of the dreaded shroud-eater known as the Blood Lord. She swept down on the man as he hurried home one night, but she did not see the burgher watching through his window until he spoke out. He pleaded the man’s usefulness to the town—and thus to her, Lady of White Rose Manor—and begged her to spare the man.
The vampire asked if the burgher volunteered to take the man’s place, but by then, he was so horrified that he’d spoken in the first place, he made no answer. Struck by the man’s temerity at opposing her, Ilinca thought briefly of killing both men, but she wished to make a point and vanished into the night.
When the burgher awoke the next morning, he found that his three children were missing. Certain they’d been killed, he was shocked to see them returned home the next evening by means of a coach, looking sickly and carrying a letter from the Lady Ilinca. The letter informed him that a large sum of blood marks had been withdrawn from the children and that they would surely die if the “drops” were “redeemed” all at once. She then left it up to the burgher to supply her with blood on a frequent enough basis that she shouldn’t need to use the blood marks. However, as a final cruelty, she did not inform the man of how frequently she must feed, leaving that to his discretion.
Blood Marks: The principle unit of coinage among the nobles of the principality is the blood mark, more commonly called the drop. This is said to date to the minting of a particular form of red gold, which has been debased over time with silver and other metals. The blood mark resembles a gold ring with single hole in the center that is a pledge of one pint of blood. They are rarely collected but rather are exchanged among the nobles of the realm as a way of measuring and maintaining the supply of available human, dwarf, and other sources of blood. When redeemed, the blood magically disappears from the person who first pledged the token (1 permanent Constitution drain). Any person foolish enough to pledge more than a single blood coin may find them all redeemed at once, as such redemptions happen at great blood feasts on special occasions. Living creatures with sufficient Constitution loss grow weak and die, and some desperate peasants always discover this to their sorrow at the great feasts each year.
Development: Since that time, the man has supplied her with victims. At first, he sought ways to extract the blood from them himself, but that was an abysmal failure and nearly led to his death. Next, he spent what hard currency he had to acquire more blood marks to send up the hill to the lady’s manor. This worked for a time, but just before he would have run out of money to spend, another letter arrived from the vampire. This letter informed him that there had been an accident, and the drops he had last sent were mixed up with those of his children, and how she would regret redeeming them by mistake. Therefore, she supposed he should look to fresher sources to avoid tragedy.
By now, the burgher has kidnapped and delivered several men to the manor house. He hates what he’s done and sees himself as lost, but he wishes to free his children. Enlisting the man he saved that night, he has reached out to a priestess of Lada thought to live in hiding somewhere to the east, at the edge of the Rothenian Plain.
Synopsis: A priestess of Lada has gathered the PCs to ask their aid in saving innocent children, a small village, and possibly a man’s soul. The vampiric lady of the manor overlooking the town has taken a village burgher’s children hostage by way of drawing a large sum of “blood marks” from them. She uses this to make the man bring her living victims. He loathes himself for what he must do, and wishes an end to it. He begged the priestess for aid, offering to surrender himself to her justice or promising to see to it himself, in exchange for sending someone to kill the Lady of White Rose Manor and take back the blood marks she holds on his children. The priestess will see to spiriting the children safely away from the town, but the manor house will require a team of daring heroes.
TO BE CONTINUED…