Random Encounters
Pets of Any Stripe
By Robert Wiese

Adventures with Skye's

Skye's Animal Companions can provide the impetus for all kinds of adventures. Take a look at some of the ideas below!

1. You can use Skye's to send the player characters off to some other part of your campaign world for some exotic adventures, provided they are supposed to return. For example, suppose you want to move your campaign to a setting similar to the one presented in Oriental Adventures. You could just whisk them off magically, but it might be more fun for the players if they went there by their own choice. Somehow the characters come to the attention of the owners of Skye's, who have need of real field agents for the first time in years. A little later, Celeste hires them to go to this land and capture a rare animal for her -- one that she has never even heard of (she has moxie, that Celeste does). If you want a fast trip, she can arrange teleport spells for them, or she can send them by mundane means.

Along the way, a lot of different adventures could befall the characters while they are looking for whatever it was that Celeste sent them to find. And once they have it, the possibilities open up considerably. It could be stolen, or it could be protected and thus get them arrested for capturing it. It could turn out to be the sacred symbol of some isolated tribe of natives, in which case the tribe would either be very upset with the PCs for having captured it or very grateful to the PCs for having brought them one, since the last one ran away just two days ago. And so on . . .

2. A certain pasha (or king, or chieftain, or whatever) owns some prize dogs. One of the pasha's enemies kidnaps one of the dogs and plans to hold it for ransom. The villain takes the dog to a small village, where it escapes confinement and makes its way to the city that Skye's store happens to be in. The dog is picked up as a stray by some poor person and sold to Celeste.

The PCs, meanwhile, have been hired by the dog's owner to find the precious pooch, thus saving the pasha the ransom cost (not to mention bringing dishonor to the villain) since the ransom is more exorbitant than paying adventurers. The PCs track the dog's location and have some run-ins with the villain's minions along the way to the village. At the village, they are approached by the villain in disguise (suspicious PCs often make for a fun encounter), who claims that his grandson's dog ran away a few days ago. Would the characters please help him find it? The characters discover that neither of the dogs they are now after are in the village, and they get some clue that leads them to the city. Eventually they track the dog to Celeste's shop.

Celeste, however, does not have the dog anymore. The day before the characters arrived, the dog was transformed into some other animal and sold to a wealthy zoo owner or merchant or some such person (perhaps the characters' next patron). It is up to the PCs to figure out what happened to the dog and confront Celeste, who would do her best to help the characters without actually admitting to the secret behind her business. The adventurers might do this by infiltrating the ranch as employees and snooping around, or by keeping the place under surveillance, or whatever. Once they have the replacement, they would have to make a switch without arousing any suspicions.

The villain, who has been following the adventurers, prepares to strike as soon as they have the animal back. Once the villain has been taken care of, the characters can return the villain and the pet to the pasha and collect their reward.

3. Skye's could become the hub of a smuggling ring. A crime boss recognizes Celeste/Alisha and blackmails her to keep her secret. He also discovers the secret of the shop. Immediately perceiving the usefulness of such a set-up, he forces Celeste into fronting for his smuggling organization. He has stray dogs and even his own hirelings loaded up with stolen goods and then transformed into pets. Celeste ships the pets to various places he designates, where they are returned to their own forms and the loot recovered. The crime boss pays Celeste to be sure that she is implicated. The PCs are hired to investigate the smuggling racket -- maybe even by Celeste, who hires them without telling them she is involved as deeply as she is.

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