Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Artemis Encounters, Part III

Quests of Artemis
There are many ways to honor Artemis, some merciful, some done out of vengeance.  Each can be incorporated into general campaigns for all characters, or even as alternate divine tests for her cleric-types. The number that need be affected, their relative power, and the trials to reach the quest's destination can all be taken into account in order to gauge its difficulty. Roll 1d10.

1. Care for animals (Potnia Theron): Save a Calydonian boar from mistreatment, even if it is itself hazardous. See Volume I for its stats.

Assist expectant mothers (Eileithyia): Rescue a mother and child from a fell gang of bandits.

Protect children, innocence (Brauronia): A dangerous cult has come to power, wishing to rob youth of their innocence with their perversity.

 Protect wild places - honor barriers (Britomartis): A nearby wildland is in dire need of patrol, not only to keep the local denizens safe, but also to keep any interlopers out, including men who would wish to help.

Enjoy the hunt (Agrotera): Giving into primal ways, but yet resisting any other primal urges, a wild hunt is called for!

 Savor the liberating light of the moon, transformation (Selene): An individual has gone missing, last seen on a night of the full moon. There's a good 25% chance that he hasn't been changed into something unnatural.

7. Protect virginity (Parthenos): Erotic excitement abounds, but only those married may indulge with others without consequence. The unmarried who do so have a base 25% chance of experiencing a divine test.

 Honor bears (Kallisto): A great she-bear lumbers into the area, hungry for the party's provisions. They could likely drive it off, though they also know it's sacred to Artemis.

Bring harsh judgment upon those who transgress upon innocence (Keladeinē): A random transgressor becomes known to a party member, one that Artemis would very much like to see punished. If not done so within 1d4 hours, then an earthquake will strike and demolish all within 1 mile. There's even a 25% chance of the transgressor not being another party member.

10. Split focus
: (reroll twice, combining the quest requirements.)

Actaeon Abduction
an Artemis Encounter

Background: Strange, stag-horned men are rumored to have abducted a number of young women who were to be initiated at a temple of Artemis.

Terrain: The broken woodlands are light and clear. Hills rise and fall in all direction, while lone trees and stone stand quiet sentinel in the many clearings

Arrival: Tracking the stagmen (if that's what they are) will likely prove a problem unless the party has some trackers of their own. Then, with enough skill and luck, they will come upon the clearing in which the women are held. Along the way, they can experience a number of Forest Encounters as described in Volume I.

Map © John Godsland - licensed under CC BY 4.0

Location 1
A clearing looms ahead. Though natural, there's a distinct sense of desire and fear in the air. A number of figures can be partially spotted beyond some bushes, roughly 100' away. (Each square = 5')

Location 2
Leaping out, hidden from the tress and brush to the west, 4 stag-horned men come, weapons raised. Followers of Artemis can make Wisdom checks (DC 15) to detect them beforehand, avoiding surprise.

Stag-Horned Men  Align: N, MV: 40’, AC: 6, HD: 1+1, Atk: 1, Dmg: 1d6 gore, +2 on a charge, or 1d6 spear, SP: Gain a +2d4 bonus to hiding and surprise checks, SV: F1, Mor: 8.

Location 3
A large pool of water is here. A beautiful woman swims nude within, strangely unafraid of the mood of the clearing. Named Astramante, she is a former nature priestess of Artemis, who has now thrown in her lot with the stagmen, and has essentially become a druidess of Cernunnos. Artemis has no particular issue with that Celtic god, though she will still seek to punish her former nature priestess (likely via the arrival of the party).

Astramante, Lvl 1 Greek druidess of Cernunnos, Align: N, MV: 40’, AC: 9, HD: 1, Atk: (druid abilities & spells only- she has a bow and arrows hidden in the bushes to the west), Dmg: none (1d6), SP: druid abilities (see Volume II), spells prepared (1st: Remove Fear (reverse), Sanctuary (if in a wilderness area), Entangle (D). SV: C1, Mor: 6, Items: holy symbol (tattooed on neck), (hidden in bushes to the west: bow, 6 arrows). Main Emphasis: Become one with the wild, with nature. Appearance: tanned complexion, blonde hair, nude.

Location 4
Here are 4 captive young women: modest, yet wearing short skirts as is the way of Artemis' faithful. Watching over them are 3 stagmen, all with full stag heads, 1 towering over all the rest- a female.

Stag-Headed Men  Align: N, MV: 40’, AC: 6, HD: 2+1, Atk: 1, Dmg: 1d8 gore, +2 on a charge, or 1d6 spear, SP: Gain a +2d4 bonus to hiding and surprise checks, SV: F2, Mor: 9.

Stagman Woman Leader  Align: N, MV: 50’, AC: 6, HD: 4, Atk: 2, Dmg: 1d8+2 gore, +2 on a charge, and 1d6+2 spear, SP: Gain a +2d4 bonus to hiding and surprise checks, SV: F4, Mor: 10.

If rescued, the women will be thankful, though possibly deflowered, a base 5% chance per point of their Charisma (12 +1d6 each). If so, they will then need to atone in order to rejoin the faith of Artemis. Any offspring must go to live with the stagmen.

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