Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Hera Encounters, Part III

Quests of Hera
Whether matriarchy or matrimony, women lead, though what happens to their men isn't always clear. Roll 1d12.

1. Women come first, men must follow: 1d4 men accompany an imposing woman in a servile manner. Strangely, there's a 50% chance of each one liking it.

2. Never let a man subjugate a woman! A group of 2d3 amazons are spotted, and they look determined. If asked, they will plainly state that they are out to punish an upstart male, and then will proceed to punish any males who asked before continuing on. Still, the party may wish to follow to see who their original target is. 

3. A clever matriarch must carry herself well: The next female the party encounters (or if already in the party, a random member) gains 2d3 Charisma for the next 2d3 hours. Any attempts at wooing her though (except for marriage, of course), will be met with a divine test from Hera.

4. A clever matriarch must have eyes all around her... An item the party has recently acquired turns out to be enchanted to provide clairaudience to Hera's followers. The fact may become revealed via magical detection, or when upstart men mysteriously start to go missing.

5. Take vengeance upon those who wrong you, especially if they are men, and especially if they have been unfaithful! With a pulse of Heran wrath effusing the area, its motherly but intractable force causes 1d6 damage to those who have wronged her cult, 3d6 damage to men, and 6d6 to philanderous men (if the latter is not known, there's a base 25% chance that it's so).

6. Otherwise being a good wife and mother: A Heran priestess may have gone a bit too far and wishes to remedy her prior wrath. An entire village remains petrified for agreeing to house some devout follower of Heracles for a night. She needs the party to locate him to offer her apology, which is the only way to break the spell- especially delicate since he has also run off with her daughter. 

7. Children, child birth: With the birth of a lame boy, it is said that he is blessed by Hephaestus. The latter wishes him raised in the ways of smithing; Hera wishes him cast out. It's a highly difficult decision to make, especially since it's a cleric of Hera who gave birth to him.

8. Cattle, 'ox-eyed': Is that cow sacred? One keeps showing up, soiling the path before any males (and only males), especially so for those who have been unfaithful. It may in fact be one of Hera's, though it will watch for any eagles of Zeus very closely. If one does arrive (a base 15% chance per encounter), then the cow will leave too.

9-10. Reroll twice: both occur.

It Happened at the Heraean
a Hera Encounter

Part I
Whether hired as guardians of the Heraean (women's Olympics) or simply an event they come across, the party witnesses 3d4 young women running a race. One in particular glares at any party members she sees. As they near the finish line, a surly-looking man rushes out to stop them, waving his hands about in an enraged fashion. 

Surly Man (Melas)
AL: N, MV: 40’, AC: 8, HD: 1, Atk: 1, Dmg: 1d3 (bizarre waving, subdual damage only), SP: not as evil as he looks, SV: F1, Mor: 6, Appearance: black hair, medium complexion, average build, surly. 

Those who are more level-headed (and don't kill him right away) will find out that his name is Melas and he has felt wronged by Hera. His wife ran off due to supernatural reasons, and he says he has proof. The administering cleric of Hera (either Clio or Aethre from Part I) will grudgingly agree to allow the party to investigate, ostensibly to remove any blame from the cult, though more likely to give this upstart male a more fitting punishment when the time comes. Of course, if killed, then a Speak with Dead spell will be needed to get this information from him.

Part II
If the party wishes, they can follow Melas' directions to arrive at his cottage. Though pretty run down and he drinks even more wine once he arrives, strange symbols can be found etched on the walls of his wife's (Lanike's) room. The wise will realize that this isn't the work of Hera, but instead a fell force: Eris (aka Unharmonia). The arrival of a minotaur (one of her signature creatures) will seal the assertion.

Erisian Minotaur
AL: C!, MV: 50’, AC: 6, HD: 5, Atk: 1, Dmg: 2d6+2 (gore) or 1d4+2 (whip, also causes opposed Strength 19 check to disarm those it hits), SP: never gets lost, x2 gore damage with a charge, SV: F5, Mor: 10, Appearance: bull head, large, muscular, especially chaotic. 

Part III
Melas (if he still lives and is sober enough), will share that his wife likely ran off to a temple about a mile away. 

The place is one claiming to follow Hera, but in fact does follow Eris. The façade appears as a Greek temple, roughly 100' long, 30' wide, but the cella simply has a hole in the middle of the floor, 10' wide. Those brave (or foolish) enough to venture down will drop 10' down... 

(Each square = 5') 

Location 1
A short cave complex is revealed, misshapen and haphazard. Torchlight on sconces positioned about illumes it fairly well, though there's a sense of great heartbreak in the air too. Ceiling to floor clearance varies between 6 +1d3'. 

Location 2
Herein is an intersection, The eastern passage leads to Location 3. The northern passage comes to a stone subterranean shore to some underground lake. Referees can expand this section if need be. The Erisian cult came to this area via such means. Hera's followers would certainly wish to find out more in order to exact revenge. 

Location 3
The feeling of romantic anguish becomes more palpable here. An attractive, winged, and fiendish woman flutters into view with an unholy symbol upon her neck- most likely the cause.

AL: C, MV: 60’/ 210' fly, AC: 2, HD: 5, Atk: 1, Dmg: 2d4 (dagger), SP: save vs. poison/ make a Fortitude save DC 15 or be paralyzed for 1d6 rounds, other spell-like abilities, SV: F6, Mor: 10, Items: dagger, unholy choker, additional treasure (per Referee) hidden in shallow pool on eastern side of the room. Appearance: blonde hair, fair skin, voluptuous. 

Location 4
This larger chamber reveals another subterranean shore, even with a rowboat docked there, though the southeast corner holds a shrine of some sort. The wise who note its perverse and torturous elements will know it is dedicated to Eris/ Unharmonia. Two attractive women are spotted: Melas' wife Lanike is here, as well as one of the young women who was at the Heraean (Phylia, the one who glared). They will both begin mocking intruders (especially Melas, if present). Phylia will also use magic if need be, but both will attempt to flee if outmatched.

Lvl 3 Greek cleric of Eris (Unharmonia), Align: C, MV: 40’, AC: 8, HD: 3, HP: 16, Atk: 1, Dmg: 1d4 (curved dagger codpiece), SP: cleric abilities, spells prepared (1st Level: Command, Allure* (men have a -5 penalty to the save), Charm Person* (the same), 2nd Level: Ray of Enfeeblement*, Rope Trick*, Shatter* (works on a man’s heart after ending a relationship with him), SV: C3, Mor: 7, Items: unholy symbol, sexy leather armor, curved dagger codpiece, 24 gold pieces. Appearance: black hair, voluptuous build, tanned complexion.

AL: C, MV: 40’, AC: 9, HD: 1, Atk: none, SP: strangely attractive, SV: F1, Mor: 4, Items: unholy symbol, sexy leather outfit, the Surly Man's broken heart, Appearance: brown hair, voluptuous, medium complexion 

Next week: our series on divinity encounters continues with Loki!