The Cursed Cavern of Time – Wizard’s Tower
I’ve been working on this project for a while now. That means I’ve been procrastinating a lot. I have this adventure that I’ve been tweaking on and off and rewriting and adding and subtracting. So many edits that I’ve wandered very far from where I started. I wrote about this years ago on here. A lot of this should open ideas for the game master to flesh out things, setting scenes and not forcing the players to act in any specific way. I’ve got a lot more setup that I didn’t before, and changes of details as you can see from here (Cursed Cavern of Time). You might not like what I’ve put together so far, but I would appreciate feedback either way.
(I have my world setting writeup here… It’s rather specific, so Generic Adventurers in the big city type stuff)
Bilkfellow Troubleshooting Company
Ask each of the players to introduce themselves. They have each been recruited by Rufus Bilkfellow of Bilkfellow Troubleshooting Company (BTC). This can be by a letter or a messenger, maybe even some magical type of communication.
The BTC headquarters is a two-story building in the industrial part of town with large gold painted “B T C” letters on the front doors. Two large wooden doors open to a reception area with chairs lining the walls and in the middle. A few other troubleshooters are sitting in the chairs waiting. There is a door to the left and an open window in front of you with a person sitting behind it with a name plaque that says “Cecilia Davr’hert”. There is a pad with a pencil that has a spot for name, time, and team name.
Cecilia is an older half-elf female looking up and smiling. Speaking to Cecilia and handing the invitation to them, “Hello let me see..” as she reads. She will let them know that Rufus is expecting them and points to the door on the left. She says to go through the open door, down the hallway and it’s the door at the end of the hall.
Walking into any of the other doors reveals an empty office with furniture, and one has a staircase that goes downstairs to the basement. The basement is dark and damp. There are shelves with a few boxes and most of the shelves are bare. Some of the boxes contain paperwork others are empty.
Rufus is a loud and humorous white-haired halfling that has lots of contacts and decades of experience as an adventurer/business person/merchant. To be recruited by Rufus means you might be pretty good (?) All of the players have been teamed up together by Rufus as adventurers for hire.
Rufus will ask the players for a team name and team captain. If asked he will give some suggestions:
|Heroes for Hire
|Jesters of Destiny
Afterward, each person is been given a small piece of jewelry by Rufus. He has a wooden box full of inexpensive trinkets that will vibrate when there is a job (jewelry type is the choice of the player: ring, necklace, bracelet, etc.). Each trinket has been stamped with BTC inconspicuously. He explains that when they feel a vibration from the trinket, they are asked to return to BTC Headquarters and sign in and wait in the reception area. At BTC headquarters they will receive their mission with details and how much they will earn. He pulls out a contract for each of the players to read… (should I put a contract together? Will players read this?)
Let me see your Papers
(I am going to add a side combat scene here. Corrupt guards shakedown (actual rogues in disguise). Turns into a fight. Bim Bam Boom…)
It’s been a few weeks since signing the contract/agreement/whatever. Things have happened.
The trinkets vibrate and when the players sign in. wait. then Cecilia will call them and say Rufus is ready to see them.
The door to the office is open. Sitting at his desk is Rufus writing in a log book. Rufus stops writing and waves for them to come in. Rufus pulls out a large brown envelope and places it on the desk, and pats it. “that’s your mission”
Inside the envelope are a fancy invitation, a key, and a few written details about the dress code. Rufus goes over the details; the party is meeting a royal arbitrator named Claude Mitchelle at a public restaurant. Claude is a half-elf and will be wearing a royal signet ring. The invitation has each of their names written by Rufus on the invitation. It lists the address of the L’Abeillreh, an elegant restaurant, and the time of the meeting is 7 p.m. and today’s date. (It is now 5 pm)
Rufus explains that there is a royal family heirloom that has gone missing, a gold scepter. It isn’t worth much but it belongs to the King. It may have been accidentally gifted to a man named Fritzz by one of the royal family. The King does not know the scepter is gone, and the item needs to be returned discreetly to the castle by way of Rufus.
Fritzz has not returned to the royal castle for the royal arbitrator to “request” the scepter back. The royal is flustered and needs to get the scepter back in place at the royal castle before it is discovered missing. And the reward for returning the scepter to the mediator without anyone finding out is a shared deed to a parcel of the land, along with a landed gentry title of Laird. If Rufus is asked about his cut/share/etc. He will smile, shrug, and say it is minor/modest and nothing to boast about, just a few pieces of gold as a recruiter.
“Any other questions? Good, then get going and come back here with the scepter. If you have any trouble, troubleshoot it.”
The restaurant is part of a large hotel. Several people are helping guests with their baggage. The main dining room is straight ahead. Showing your invitation alerts the staff, and you are quickly escorted to a private dining room. The room is extravagant and there are 4 servers and a maître d‘ at your attendance. The maitre d’ says welcome to the L’Abeillreh and asks you to please sit, and menus are placed in front of you by the waiters.
The maître d‘ quickly lets the party know that the meal is complimentary, and wine and water are poured. The oyster appetizers are set by the servers at each table placement. He snaps his fingers and the servers rush out of the room. “We will wait a few moments for your host. I will return.” The doors to the room are opened, and the maitre d’ bows and then exits, and the doors are shut.
After a few minutes… Claude Mitchelle discretely enters the room and arrives with an entourage and guards. Claude quickly explains the situation that has already been gone over by Rufus. He says that this has been done discretely, quietly, and quickly. The only clue that they have is, “Fritzz has a small parcel of land and a tower to the south of the city. He also has an apartment in the city above the bookstore. We have sent messengers to both without a reply from Fritzz.”
The Wizard Fritzz had been employed by the King’s court as an advisor on occasion for advice on matters of state and is a Fellow of the royal magical society. He has worked for the royal family for many years, but also comes and goes as he pleases. Fritzz is a practiced wizard and is deemed very dangerous. Attacking Fritzz is heavily discouraged. Fritzz is described as a tall thin human wizard wearing strange fancy clothing and a purple bathrobe. He has a gray bowl hat with a feather in the black/maroon hat band. He always carries a small oak wand that he whips out to cast spells. He has a small comet tattoo in magical ink on the knife edge of his left hand that changes colors randomly.
A lot of the story has happened so the next part leads to leaving the restaurant and a fight scene from the rogues in the first fight bringing their friends. And then investigating Harry’s Bookstore, Fritzz’s Tower, or other parts of the town…
The bookstore is sandwiched between other businesses. It has a glass storefront with books on display. The front door has a little bell that jingles when the door is opened. A young man stands at a shelf sorting books from a cart. “Welcome to Harry’s! We have a large historical selection along with lots of other books on magic.” Asking about Fritzz will get a frown, and “Oh. Fritzz. He has an apartment upstairs. The entrance is up some stairs in the back alley; not in the store.”
The wizard’s tower was cold and silent and sat on a patch of grass surrounded by a thicket. A heavy wooden front door was on the first floor, and three windows were built above it. The front door was pushed open and there was darkness in the room beyond. There was a trail in the grass on the right that went to the back of the tower. Now, all we need to do is to talk with the wizard about the gift.
Frittz lives on the southern edge of the city in a 4-story square stone tower with windows on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors. There is a long dirt trail off the main road that leads through an overgrown thicket that canopies over the path. A signpost is at the beginning of the trail that says “Wizard.” The trail is tall and wide enough for a single person on horseback to travel, and it ends at the base of the tower that is surrounded by a grassy lawn. Four stone steps lead up to the base of the tower to a large oak door that is protected by a small roof. (see the map for the 4 floors/basement). The door has several notices nailed into it.
Tower – Floor 1
This floor is alight from a magical light source that illuminates the ceiling when a person walks into the room. This floor has a table and a small kitchen with pots and pans to the right. There is a staircase on the left western wall that leads upstairs. A small library of books resides on a bookshelf under the stairs. There is a large ornate rug on the floor. Stepping on the rug gives a wooden creak. (under the rug are two wooden doors that open to stone stairs) There is a stone golem looking at the party as they enter. It guards the staircase. It will not attack unless attacked, and a magic mouth on the golem will warn anyone that approaches not to go up the stairs.
Tower – Floor 2
This floor has a staircase that continues on the northern wall. There are 3 windows in this room and a large bed with two nightstands. There is a wooden door under the staircase that serves as a closet. The closet is full of clothes. A transport ward is on the floor in the corner.
Tower – Floor 3
This room appears to be bare. A window. A staircase leading up. A small rat is standing on the window sill, and staring at the players (it’s just a rat?).
Tower – Floor 4
This room is rather sparse on furniture except for a chair next to the window with a table to the side. There is a book on the table with a pipe. The room has several bookshelves that are full of books. They appear to be spell books from different apprentice wizards with their spells marked with red ink.
A transport sigil is on the floor in the corner. Stepping on it doesn’t do anything. There is a word that is needed to invoke it. (“basement”). It will transport the person standing and speaking the word to the basement.
Tower – Basement
Access to the basement is from the rear of the tower (or sigil from the 4th floor). The large double doors on the ground are secured with heavy chains and a lock that leads to stone stairs going down.
The basement has stores for food and other items on shelves. There is a stone wall with an iron door that is locked to the left.
Upon opening the iron door, in the middle of this room is a small table with a shimmering cube hovering an inch above it. The cube pulsates different colors and appears to shift & rotate a few inches sporadically. Each time that it shifts the cube leaves an opaque trailing image of itself in its wake. If the cube is touched by any living creature, they are transported to the cave. Anyone who witnesses someone touching the cube will see everyone near them freeze for a few seconds as the cube continues to pulsate, and the people appear to disintegrate into nothingness.
The cube is a tesseract that transports every creature from the small basement room to the city of Grimsby. The location of the city is up to the game master. It can be in another county or another world.
With a flash, you feel yourselves stretched and pulled until you are suddenly a few feet above the ground. You fall to the ground with the sun above you and three brick walls to the left right and behind you. Anyone later traveling through the tesseract will appear before you in a flash. You are in a narrow dead-end alleyway between two buildings. Ahead of you is a dusty street with a few carriages and people on horseback. Behind you are steps that go to a door. There is trash littered about.
The player’s characters have teleported to an alley in the city of Grimsby after touching the tesseract. The alley is empty except for the trash on the ground and a few half-full trash bins. The doorway leads to the kitchen of a hotel.
From Grimsby, this will lead to the Cursed Cavern of Time that I have tweaked a bit since then. Taking into account what Manos Ti commented on my previous post. Soon, I’ll get it all together and have a proper adventure. I hope that setting BTC will allow for a jumping-off point for adventures. And then onward to asking others to playtest.