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Champions of Slaves

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So it has been a while since I blog/posted/breathed on the boards except for snippets here and there. Been busy working for the school district and my practicum....

After another session of Thunderspire, even my devoted kill joy players are starting to feel the monotonous battles and story on this one. That will teach me to run a 4e game by the book! They even forget why they are there most of the time.

So I will be ending the adventure pretty soon. I halved the monsters hit points to get them out of the way and I am working back on a new set of adventures that are more episodic.

My new approach is to limit my writing down to the plot and some elements and try to wing it from there. Most of the time I write as if I plan to publish the adventure--but that is unlikely to happen anytime soon. This new approach with only about three encounters should provide a better session.

The players are entering Paragon, so I wanted them to be more involved in the workings of the world. I am having two of their PC's (who never wrote backgrounds) returning to the Slave City of Sutulak (Described in Cityscape) to reclaim their exiled family houses. The adventures center on them dealing with issues at the city (which I used random adventure starters from the 3.5 DM guide and other books.)

The 1st adventure: Champion of Slaves: the PC's are summoned by Lady Ester Gullian, a half-elf priestess of Pelor, has worked feverishly for the poor and discarded of this despicable city. Ester had continued the work years under the corrupt government until she was accused of treason by the high council for crimes against the oligarchy. The standard punishment for such a claim is gladiatorial combat in the cities arena.

She sought a champion for herself but none in the evil city would take up the challenge. She now has used the last of her resources and called upon outsiders to intervene in this matter. The word has reached Dree and Jerry (both player characters) who's families were prominent Houses in Sutulak many years ago.

Plot: Ester has been accused of treason, providing materials to an underground operatives known as the Silver Blades; a secret organization trying to overthrow the government. The evidence they present is that the Silver Blades recently had slain Councilman Pol Ghurther a month ago in his estate. Ester had appeared to the councilman in hopes of negotiating a deal to release a set of child slaves from a mine the very night he was slain. It is her responsibility to prove her innocence before the combat trial is imposed.

But the Silver Blades were not responsible. Instead, another councilman, Jurl Demen had hired the The Red Scorpions , led by their Medusa Underlord to slay Ghurther. Jurl Demen was being investigated by Ghurther for embezzlement of city funds. The Red Scorpions infiltrated the manor and slew Ghurther quietly, placing blame on the Silver Blades as cover. Jurl hoped the frame up would keep him from suspicion.

But when Jurl learned that Ester had been in the manor only moments before, he panicked and sought to tie her to the death of Gunther. He made the accusation of treason (there appeared to be no evidence), which by law required a trial by combat. He had hoped the cleric would simply leave the city and not face the challenge. Ester, however, had no intention of leaving her work and accepted the challenge, provided she could find a champion. Jurl made many attempts to dissuade potential champions for the cleric and believed she would eventually leave the city.

Ester wants to prevent a trial by combat. She has asked the Dree and Jerry, the descendants of two houses, long expelled from the city, to investigate the crime and find evidence to prove her innocence. Should they succeed, she offers them a powerful magic item from her church as payment for their services.

That's basically it--I will go into detail how I will use a skill challenge in this investigation.

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