Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Zeus Encounters, Part III

Quests of Zeus
The father above will see who his heroes are. Roll 1d20.

1-2.  Exercise your leadership in the name of Zeus: If not so already, the most patriarchal member of the party feels compelled to be leader. If already leader, then he will work to expand his authority for at least the next 1d3 days. Others might protest, but they do so at the peril of Zeus' ire.

3-4. Usurp those who are unfit: Though technically a king, there is one who no longer protects his subjects nor keeps his house in order. He and his circle of corrupt advisors must be removed before his land is destroyed by the many invaders they are allowing in.

5-6. Rule justly: A henchman, associate, or hireling of the party demands better treatment and pay. There's a 50% chance of this being just. Whether they should be rewarded or flogged is up to Zeus, though one of his priests or clerics could help the party gain a better idea before that happens.

7-8. Sow your royal oats: Three fine women come into a lucky male party member's life. Each exhibits the qualities he desires, though allocated with different emphasis and amounts per woman. Still, he must work fast to bed them down, for they will become actual harpies sometime within the next 1d3 days if he does not, and they have him line their nest-beds instead.

9. The Greeks Themselves: A threat to a group of Greek city-states is on the horizon. Roll 1d4 to see what it is: [1] orcish 'settlers', [2] a cult of debased degeneracy, [3] a tyrannical army of Nergal (see Volume III), [4] all three. Those who warn city-state residents will be met with doubt or even scorn, but great approval by Zeus himself. 

10. Heroic Adventure: Heroes are needed. Those who agree to a fitting quest will receive a divine blessing of Zeus until it is complete, and for 1d3 days afterwards. Those who attempt any deception will receive a divine test instead. Roll 1d4: [1] like Perseus, slay a gorgon, gaining +2 to Wisdom or Charisma, [2] like Theseus, slay a minotaur, gaining +2 to Intelligence or Dexterity, [3] like Achilles, defeat a non-Greek human, gaining a +2 to hit or AC bonus, [4] like Hercules, defeat a hydra, gaining +3 Strength.

11. Syncretism with another sky and/or storm god: Thunder crackles, showing mortals that the ire of a god is nigh. Though it may be Zeus, other candidates might be correct (roll 1d4): [1] Thor (see Volume I), [2] Perun (see Volume IV, [3] Jupiter (Roman equivalent of Zeus, see Volume II), [4] Taranis (combine Dagda in Volume II with Thor until he can be detailed separately).

12. Local variation: Zeus Lykaios reins here, representing Zeus' ways along with much wolf iconography. The association doesn't end there, for his worshippers, though regal, are savage too. For more details on such wolf barbarians, see upcoming Volume V.

13. Archaic, Mycenaean: A strikingly gorgeous woman is rumored to dwell in a cave nearby. Those who investigate will find that to indeed be true, and that she is caring for a young boy-child as well. The sound of his cries are drowned out by wild satyr-men. That he is an avatar of Zeus might make things more interesting.

14. Eagle spirit: Soaring above, a great eagle is seen. And though it has abducted various people over the last few weeks, followers of Zeus state that it is all part of the Sky God's plan. When titan worshippers move into the area, the plan becomes clearer.

15-20. All are emphasized: Reroll twice.

Titan Times
Older gods once ruled the cosmos. Dethroned by Zeus and his siblings, most were banished to Tartarus. Some mortals foolishly wish to return their reign. Below is such a place.

Map © John Godsland - licensed under CC BY 4.0 
Each square = 5'.   Buildings are megalithic structures, roughly 15' tall.

Location 1
The woods surrounding are strange, though not uninviting. Still, the presence of titan followers may attract the interest of a cyclops (a 33% chance), and it will attack any it meets indiscriminately. 

MV: 40’, AC 4, HD 10, Atk: 1, Dmg: 4d6, SP: hurl boulders for 2d10 damage, suffers -4 to ranged attack rolls, but will attempt them anyway; for additional  special abilities, see upcoming Volume V, SV: F10, Mor: 9, AL: N, Items: giant club, 3 boulders, loincloth, 44 gold pieces

Location 2
2 titan followers are on watch here. The back area holds food stores along with a bas relief showing a gigant (Enceladus) imprisoning an armored goddess (Athena). Vanquishing these foes and breaking the bas relief will please Athena greatly.

Battle Titan Guards
MV: 40’, AC 6, HD 1+1, Atk: 1, Dmg: 1d6 (spear), SP: +2 to all rolls made against followers of Athena while within the building, -4 when not, SV: F1, Mor: 8, AL: C, Items: spear, light Grecian armor, 1d12 silver pieces

Location 3
3 titan followers guard this place along with 5 noncombatants. Various art and craft supplies are strewn about, including a fresco showing a youthful god (Apollo) being defeated by a gigant (Ephialtes). Apollo will smile on those who purify this place and eliminate the fresco.

Solar Titan Guards
MV: 40’, AC 8, HD 1+1, Atk: 1, Dmg: 1d6 (short bow), SP: +2 to all rolls made against followers of Apollo while within the building,-4 when not, SV: F1, Mor: 8, AL: C, Items: short bow, leather armor, 1d12 silver pieces

Location 4
A single titan follower dwells at what seems to be a dormitory. Small amounts of valuables and extra short swords can be found here too. A portrait of  a sea god (Poseidon) being crushed by a gigant (Polybotes). Those who defeat this foe and destroy the portrait will enjoy Poseidon's favor.

Sea Titan Guards
MV: 40’, AC 7, HD 1+1, Atk: 1, Dmg: 1d8 (long spear), SP: +2 to all rolls made against followers of Poseidon while within the building, -4 when not, SV: F1, Mor: 8, AL: C, Items: long spear, studded leather armor, 14 silver pieces

Location 5
This larger structure has 2 elite titan guards outside. Within are a number of temple rooms, 4 more elite guards, and Meurius, wizard of Cronos (link 1, link 2, link 3). 

Elite Titan Guards
MV: 35’, AC 5, HD 2, Atk: 1, Dmg: 1d6+1 (short sword), SP: +1 to all rolls made against followers of the Gods while within the building, -3 when not, SV: F2, Mor: 9, AL: C, Items: short swords, light Grecian armor, shield, 1d3 silver pieces

Lvl 5 Greek wizard of Cronos, Align: C, MV: 40’, AC: 9, HD: 5, HP: 13, Atk: 1, Dmg: 1d5 (harpe: lops off smaller, hanging body parts on an attack roll of natural 20), SP: Cronos wizard abilities Spells prepared:
   1st Level (x4): Resist Cold (if recipient is unclad in a Golden Age manner), Shield* (deflects via Time displacement), Time Missile x2 (as Magic Missile*, but rather than causing actual damage, targets must save vs. spell or every 3 damage it would have done gives them a cumulative -1 penalty to all rolls for the next hour due to unnatural aging)
   2nd Level (x2): Mirror Image* (showing an image of oneself from the past and/or future), Ray of Enfeeblement* (by causing rapid aging)
   3rd Level (x1): Time Bomb (as Fireball*, but causes an aging effect like Time Missile, above, to those caught in the radius instead)
SV: M5, Mor: 8, Items: titan symbol, starry garments, harpe, 25 gold pieces, 1d4 additional items per Referee. 
Main Emphasis: Seek a return to the Golden Age (where the titans ruled). 
Appearance: gray hair, slender build, medium complexion.

Next week: we begin our series on harnessing the power of various types of angelic, fey, demonic, & devilish lords!