"Death is a certainty ... as is the destruction I bring."
"To break an oath is to earn retribution ... at my hands!"
Baran was a one of the greatest paladins in the service of the god Pelor. Throughout his illustrious career, he was a paragon of his faith; the epitome of knightly valor. That all changed when a mysterious plague struck him and his lands. No matter how long the knight beseeched his god, no relief came from the deadly illness.
As he lay dying, Baran renounced his oaths of knighthood and cursed Pelor, who seemed to care nothing for him and his plight. Fearing what awaited him in the hereafter, he asked Nerull, god of death, to spare his life. Baran's prayer to Nerull was answered. Now Baran the Death Knight, a lifeless mockery of his former self, serves his dark master from the ruins of his once proud castle.
Meanwhile, on the Clockwork Nirvana of Mechanus, two Inevitables, guardians of universal Law, are created for a special mission. Indra, a Marut, and Fidelis the Kolyarut are sent to the Material Plane to punish the undead oathbreaker.
After making inquiries of the people living in a nearby village, both Inevitables arrive at Baran's castle. They find it acrawl with undead, monsters, and a warren of wererats that have taken up residence in the ruined estate.
Death Knight's Due is a two-part scenario for two or three players. It can also be played solo. The two parts are played on different maps.
Part 1 is played on Dungeon of Blood, and Part 2 is played on Tomb of Queen Peregrine.
Players can either agree on which sides to play or roll for initiative. If there are three players, then all three roll for initiative. The high roller chooses his side first, then the second-high roller. In the standard game, two players oppose each other, with the Death Knight/Grim Necromancer player also controlling all encountered (not recruited) creatures. As an alternative, players may choose to play Fidelis and Indra and work together to defeat Baran, mutually controlling their opponents to the best of their ability. In a three-player game, the sides are Fidelis, Indra, and Baran/Grim Necromancer.
Game play and combat follow the standard rules with the following exceptions.
Players roll for initiative normally.
Part 1: Dungeon of Blood
In the dungeon below the keep, a young necromancer lies in wait with his minions. A clan of wererats and their rodent brethren also infest the area, along with a wandering Chimera that is kept as Baran's pet.
Setup: Place a Marut and Kolyarut on the side B Exit area. Place a Grim Necromancer and two Direguards on the Victory Area in front of the side A Start area.
Lost among the evil denizens of the dungeon are the bodies and spirits of valiant warriors who tried and failed to end the Death Knight's tyranny. You come across these souls and find you have a common goal. These are one-time events. If the recruiting attempt fails, the spirits disappear and do not return; they don't attack. If recruited, these creatures come under the control of the player who recruited them. The outcome of the recruiting attempt depends on which character triggered the encounter.
Fidelis: Being the more talkative of the two Inevitables, Fidelis recruits successfully on a roll of 8-20.
In the dungeon, the heroes face a Grim Necromancer and his three Direguard minions. At his first opportunity, the Necromancer casts summon undead III and sends these creatures into battle. (If no player is controlling the Necromancer, he summons a pair of Dread Warriors.) Once the Necromancer is defeated, the heroes can search his body for treasure.
Total Victory: Both Inevitables survive at least four encounters and the Necromancer is defeated.
Part 2: Tomb of Queen Peregrine
In the crypts beneath the castle, Baran and a Cleric of Nerull conduct a dark rite to their deity. In this dank place are the desiccated bodies of the Death Knight's servants. This is where the greatest concentration of evil resides.
Setup Place a Marut and Kolyarut on the side B Exit area. Place a Death Knight (Baran) and a Cleric of Nerull between the sacred circles at the end of the map.
Baran the Death Knight: Protected by his three Dread Warriors, Baran and the Cleric wade into battle against you.
Total Victory: Both Inevitables survive at least four encounters and defeat Baran's party.
To make this scenario more challenging, eliminate the possibility of recruiting the Sacred Watchers and Undying Soldiers (count those as No Encounter). For even more trouble, use the Part 2 Encounters table for both levels. Or have the Inevitables battle without the Regeneration ability.
About the Author
Aldric Baker is a recent addition to the DDM community from Central Pennsylvania. He opened his first booster two years ago, and he's been hooked on the game ever since. When he isn't busy chasing after his son (AKA the world's fastest grade schooler) or off in his own little world, he throws together a few warbands and hopes his dice luck is good ...
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