Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Loki Encounters, Part III

Quests of Loki
Chaos unfolds, though whether it serves the gods may be up for debate. Roll 1d12.

1. Spread mischief: The next individual to drink a potion in the party's presence is in for a surprise. It turns out that someone 'accidentally' switched it with a vial of poison. The drinker must save vs. poison/ make a Fortitude save DC 15 or take 4d6 damage, though if they have tasted such a potion before, then they gain a +4 bonus to the save in order to spit it out in time. Whatever the case, the drinker will feel awful from what they thought would help.

2. Spread deception: A very unlucky party member is led to believe that their true love awaits, thanks to coaxing love letters he receives. Pursuing this will reveal that it is 
certainly untrue, and he will suffer a -6 penalty to all rolls for the next 1d6 days due to the great sadness caused from her complete disinterest. Finding the follower of Loki who actually sent them might clear that up a little faster.

3. Breed monsters- they make life more interesting! Word is, a family has a child that no one has been allowed to see. There's a 50% chance of it being an actual monster (see #6 below for a list), otherwise it will likely act like one when finally brought around people.

4. Point out others’ flaws; it really helps to annoy them: All in the area must make a Morale check/ Will save DC 15. Those who fail experience flyting, being unable to use one of their spells or other abilities, nor able to interrupt the malicious duo who levy the frustrating insults. After they depart, the situation persists until those affected can find the followers of Loki who did this, and vigorously point out their flaws.

5. Burn down the structures of those who would control you: Within 1d4 hours, the closest wooden building to where this quest occurs will be set ablaze, burning down within 1d4 turns. Hilarious laughter can be heard throughout the process.

6. Shapeshifting itself: A lucky party member is turned into a random monster for the next 4d6 rounds. And unless he's a follower of Loki, he will likely dislike it (a base 85% chance). Roll 1d6 to see what he becomes, gaining the full powers of the monster and unable to control his destructive nature: [1] dire wolf, 
[2] giant snake, [3] night hag, [4] kraken/ giant octopus that can also breathe air, [5] frost giant, [6] fire giant.

7. Being a catalyst/ change/ instigation: The party realizes that one of their most prized items has been stolen. And though the giant who took it is ostensibly the one to blame, Loki would point out how much this actually helps them (even if a disciple of Loki was the one to initiate it).

8. Being an outcast: Everyone present has a 50% chance of becoming seen as 'the other/ an outsider' by everyone else for the next 1d6 days. Of course, fellow outcasts will not feel that way about each other and can band together against those who would be against them. Followers of Loki will be pleased at such kin turning upon kin.

9-12. Reroll 1d8 twice: Both encounters occur.

See also Vagabond Encounters in Volume I.

Idun's Riddle
a Lokian Encounter
Something appears to have changed. Not only does the air seem still and the sky darker, but lawful and neutral Norse spellcasters have lost much of their power (they suffer -1d6 to all spell rolls and they lose 1d3 caster levels until the matter is set right). That any chaotic Norse they encounter seem unaffected may provide a clue as to what has happened; that followers of Loki find these circumstances wonderful will more clearly point the finger. 

If sorely outmatched for the challenges to come, a friendly sisterhood of Freya will lend the party their falcon cloaks, granting them each the ability to fly at 120' per round.

Encounter I
With the likelihood that the cult of Loki is at work, the party can locate one of his followers. Fridmund the cleric or Balki the trollman (from Part I) may be hesitant to assist at first, but realizing the punishment that followers of most of the other Norse gods will inflict upon him, he will relent and reveal that the apple of Idun needs to be returned to a temple of the gods in order to set things right again.

Still, his antics may include (roll 1d4):

1. Cast Amnesia, causing an important fact to be forgotten by a party member, then relay it again to seem like the one who had originated it.
2. Steal a possession that will be realized lost when very much needed.
3. Make it sound like someone's divinity is speaking to them, conveying hypocritical guidance.
4. Cause an animal to grow nearby- hopefully it will be friendly!

1. Talk in an annoying voice, especially when quiet is desired.
2. Promise to have something finished at a certain time, only to delay it for 1d4 days to get it "just right".
3. Ignite the next structure the party is residing in.
4. Ignite the next garment a party member dons.

Encounter II
If not slain beforehand, Fridmund or Balki directs them to where he spotted a great eagle some time ago (when the change had occurred actually) nesting in a large tree. He found it suspicious that the bird was holding an apple, being sacred to Idun and the key to the gods' immortality and all.

The party will find it still there, in a huge pine, ~80' high from which it will swoop down to attack.

Suspicious Giant Eagle
AL: C, Mve: 30’/ 180' fly, AC 6, HD 8, HP 50, Attk: 3; Dmg: 1d6 talon/ 1d6 talon/ 2d6 bite; SP: can dive for +4 to hit and double damage with talons, Mor: 8

If the eagle is in danger of being defeated, it will attempt to flee (to Encounter III). If defeated, it will be revealed to be a polymorphed, giant (see Encounter III, Location 4). If it defeats the party, then it will feast upon their corpses of course, likely with Fridmund or Balki sneaking away or even congratulating it.

Still, the apple is not to be found here. In fact, it remains about 1 mile away in the eagle's lair.

Encounter III
Whether following the giant eagle or interrogating the giant it actually is (or finding some other clue if it was slain), the party comes to a cave situated upon a peak which is supposed to be the creature's lair. If the party has means of flight, the journey will likely go much faster.

(Each square = 5') 

Ceilings are roughly 6 +2d4' high at Locations 1 & 2, and roughly 20 + 4d4' high at Location 3 & 4.

Whether the giant they face is actually Thiazi, a relative or avatar or him, or simply one so blessed, fire will have no effect in this area, especially with regard to cooking. Only a sacrifice of the choicest meats will end the prohibition, though any followers of Loki will of course become enraged at the idea.

Location 1
The steep trail leads to a large opening in the mountainside. Outdoor light will show the beginning of a cave with the shimmering hint of water located off to the side. A few large eagle feathers are scattered about.

Location 2
The cave passage widens after the menacing (yet harmless) stagnant pool to the west. 

After half the party enters the wider passage, they are set upon by goblins (check for surprise)! The first is incredibly loud, for its job is to alert the giant of any intruders. The second appears quite green and underhanded. (The third remains hidden and will attempt to sneak attack when opportune).

AL: C, MV: 30’, AC: 7, HD: 1-1, HP 4, 3, & 5, Atk: 1, Dmg: 1d6 short sword, SP:
     goblin #1: +4 to alert others of intruders,
 but is incapable of stealth
     goblin #2: +1d2 to rolls when being underhanded, -1d2 when not
     goblin #3: +4 to hide and move silently, but must flee after 1d3 rounds of being discovered.
SV: F1, Mor: 9

Location 3
The passage ends at a large, subterranean lake. Unless they can fly, the party will have to either swim or construct some sort of raft to traverse its dark waters. 

If the giant still lives, then it will change into a giant eagle again to harry them here. Those swimming will suffer a AC penalty of 4 from its attacks. 

Giant Eagle
AL: C, Mve: 30’/ 360' fly, AC 6, HD 8, HP 50, Attk: 3; Dmg: 1d6 talon/ 1d6 talon/ 2d6 bite; SP: can dive for +4 to hit and double damage with talons, Mor: 8

If the giant is already slain, a giant octopus can inhabit the lake (~30' deep) instead.

Giant Octopus
AL: C, Mve: 60’ swim, AC 7, HD 8, HP 40, Attk: 7; Dmg: 1d4+1 tentacles (x7)/ 4d4 beak; SP: constriction, Mor: 7

Location 4
The shore here is spacious and dry. In the alcove to the south lies a giant goat hide bed and various chests (with treasure inside per Referee). In the alcove to the east, upon a simple altar with runes (dedicated to Thrym), is a glowing apple (of Idun). Destroying the altar will break the prohibition against fire working in this place. Returning the apple to a temple of the gods will end the magical disruption that began this whole affair.

If still alive, the giant will transform into its true form for a final battle.

The Giant
AL: C, MV: 50’, AC: 6, HD: 8, Atk: 1, Dmg: 4d6, SP: immune to frost damage & can take on giant eagle form 2 times per day, SV: F8, Mor: 8, Appearance: bluish skin with certain aquiline features, 15' tall 

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