When your ire has been raised, when you have been wronged, when someone has crossed you too many times -- it's time to contact the Council of Wrath. This small but extremely efficient band specializes in vengeance. And woe to those who find them looking in their direction.
The Council of Wrath is an organization of mercenaries that fulfils a need: revenge. Mainly made up of assassins, the Council will do whatever it is hired to do to get revenge for a wronged party. This includes blackmail, public humiliation, destruction of property, and other illegal activities.
An Eye for an Eye, August's free online mini-module by Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil designer Monte Cook pits your 8th-level characters against these dangerous ruffians.
This scenario can take place in any campaign. You don't even need hooks to get the PCs into this adventure: It comes to them. What group of heroes, by the time they have reached 8th level, has not incurred the wrath of someone powerful or wealthy enough to hire the Council of Wrath to eliminate them? Whether it is the angry wizard whose tower the PCs broke into, or the orc king incensed after they sacked his fortress, somebody, somewhere wants the PCs dead.
The Council of Wrath is up to the task.
Encounter One: Gather Information
With the Council hired to take out the PCs, the first thing the members decide to do is learn all they can about their targets. At first, this means moving about whatever community they spend the most time in or, barring that, the community they are known to have most recently spent time in. While in disguise, Terquad, Varimer, and Smannet attempt to gather information about the PCs (Smannet does not have this skill, but its detect thoughts ability more than makes up for it). Garx usually keeps an eye on one or more of them from the Ethereal Plane. Dorath and Enchilios lie low. As subtly as possible, they attempt to learn general things like:
- Frequented hangouts
- Friends and enemies
- General capabilities (level)
- Overall outlook and behavior (alignment)
- Commonly used weapons, spells, etc.
The last two may be particularly hard to determine, but the Council members might pose as old friends, authorities, or prospective employers to get the information.
Eventually, they confront the PCs themselves. They almost always accomplish this contact innocuously in an urban area. Disguised as a merchant or a server at a tavern, Terquad and/or Varimer speak with the PCs, attempting to get an idea of their capabilities by asking about "past exploits." Smannet might just hang around the PCs in a crowded area, attempting to use its detect thoughts ability to learn whatever it can.
In this situation, Enchilios usually remains nearby, invisible. He watches and helps his comrades if trouble arises. Both Terquad and Varimer know that their evil natures are a liability if one of their targets is a paladin (who can detect evil). In this case, they utilize Smannet to make all direct contact with the PCs.
The assassins and the doppelganger never approach the characters without an escape plan. If somehow discovered by the PCs, they flee immediately. At this stage, they do not attack their targets, no matter how much Terquad would like to.