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Cliffhangers Adventures

The Village of Camiram
Episode Six: Escape from Camiram
by Stephen Kenson

The Village of Camiram

9/11 Episode 1 (P)
9/18 Episode 2 (P)
9/25 Episode 3 (P)
10/2 Episode 4 (P)
10/9 Episode 5 (P)
10/16 Episode 6 (P)
10/23 Episode 7 (P)
10/30 Episode 8 (P)

(P) Printer Fiendly Version

Map - (B&W JPG)


Unearthing the Past

The village of Camiram (kam-EE-ram) can serve as a safe haven for a group of low-level D&D adventurers as they set out into the world for the first time, seeking fame and fortune. It also can serve as a location for adventurers to encounter in their travels, but it's primarily intended as a base of operations and an example of how to build similar villages. You can place it in the World of Greyhawk, another D&D campaign setting, or a world of your own creation.

Background

In Episode One of The Village of Camiram, we presented a rundown of the area’s geography and history. Episode Two offered a closer look around the village, while Episode Three introduced us to the locals. The fourth installment brought us face to face with some of Camiram’s neighbors, and the fifth saw the PCs framed for a barbarian seer’s death. In this episode, the PCs seek to escape from Camiram and prove their innocence.

The village of Camiram is located along the frontier of wild and untamed lands where the rule of law is no more than a distant idea. The village has faced a number of threats in the form of barbarian raiders and local orc tribes, but now it faces a greater threat -- a danger from within that may turn the borderland tensions into a war that no one will win.

Accused! -- EL 5

After seeing someone poisoning the well in the village of Camiram (in Episode Five), the characters followed the doppelganger Seligg into a ruined building. There they discovered the real Vosta's body just in time for Ekam Relles, the Sheriff of Camiram, to put in an appearance with some of his guards. To make matters worse, the murder weapon belongs to one of the characters (stolen from them earlier by Seligg).

Confronted by the law, the characters have three options: They can fight, try to run, or surrender.

Ekam Relles, Sheriff of Camiram, male half-elf, War5: SZ M (humanoid); HD 5d8; hp 4; Init +0; Spd 20; AC 17 (+4 scale mail, +2 large shield, +1 dexterity); Atk: longsword +6 (1d8+1) or crossbow +6 (1d8); Face 5 ft. x 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.; SV Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +1; Str 12, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 11, Wis 10, Cha 11; AL NG. Skills: Climb +4, Handle Animal +4, Jump +4, Listen +2, Ride +4, Spot +3, Search +3. Feats: Weapon Focus (longsword), Point-Blank Shot.

Guards (4): SZ M (humanoid); HD 1d8; hp 4; Init +0; Spd 20; AC 16 (+4 scale mail, +2 large shield); Atk: longsword +1 (1d8) or crossbow +1 (1d8); Face 5 ft. x 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.; SV Fort +3, Ref +0, Will +0; Str 11, Dex 10, Con 11, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 10; AL NG. Skills: Listen +1, Spot +1, Search +1. Feats: Weapon Focus (longsword), Point-Blank Shot.

Fight! Attacking the guards confirms the PCs’ guilt in Ekam's mind. Even if they're not guilty of killing Vosta, they'll be held accountable for the deaths of any guards slain in the fight. The sheriff wants to capture the characters, if possible, but he and the guards will use deadly force in defense, if necessary. Only if they are clearly outmatched will the guards retreat -- but only to gather reinforcements to come after the characters again.

Run! If the characters run, the guards pursue them on foot. There is nowhere in the village for the PCs to hide, and the surrounding area offers them little cover, although the darkness of the night can aid them somewhat. The players should make Hide checks opposed by the guards’ Spot checks to avoid notice. If they can evade the guards, the characters can consider their next action.

Surrender! If the party surrenders to the guards, the characters find themselves treated well enough. Stripped of their weapons, they are placed under guard in a locked room of the sheriff's office (location 5 on the map). The lock is a fairly typical one, but a character has to reach through a small, barred window to try and pick it, increasing the DC to 20. There is a small barred window in the room as well.

Flight to Freedom

Seligg the doppelganger has framed the characters well. More importantly, the creature has sparked conflict between the barbarians of the Crescent Moon and the people of Camiram. The villagers, angry about the poisoning of their well, accuse the barbarians of sabotage, while the tribe’s Sollek Silver-Axe is furious over the death of Vosta and wants the characters punished, hotly denying any wrongdoing on Vosta's part -- or that of any other member of his tribe. Negotiations are breaking down rapidly, and the only way for the mayor to maintain peace is to hand the PCs over to Sollek for execution.

Even if they tell the truth, their story is in doubt, and no one in the village can verify it magically. Although Jinna Yost can cast detect evil to determine that the characters in the party are not evil, that doesn't necessarily make them incapable of murder. Unless the group can escape the village (either during the initial encounter with Ekam Relles above, or afterward) they are doomed.

Let the players come up with their own plan for getting out of the village and clearing their names. They can use their various class abilities -- including spells -- to find a way to slip out of the village before anyone knows they've escaped. Skills like Bluff, Hide, Move Silently, and Open Locks are quite useful here, as are enchantment and illusion spells. The Dungeon Master should assign DC as dictated by the situation.

If the players have a particularly difficult time coming up with a feasible plan, you can offer them a little help in the form of one of the villagers. It could be someone the characters befriended earlier, or someone who believes in their innocence -- or at least maintains that something larger is afoot. Having the characters free may be the only means of finding out what's really going on. The wizard Evet Skarm is a good choice, as is Jenna Yost, the local priestess. You should only play this card if the players are really having trouble on their own, since they're not always going to have someone to lend them a helping hand.

The Cliffhanger: The Hunt Begins

Once the party escapes the confines of the village proper, the PCs’ troubles are far from over. The authorities discover their escape fairly quickly, and soon Ekam Relles and Camiram’s militia begin searching for the missing criminals. As the characters near the outskirts of the village, hunting horns blare in the distance, and they can hear the sounds of thundering hooves headed their way….

Next week: The Village of Camiram continues with Episode Seven: Into the Wild Lands!

About the Author

Steve Kenson has been a freelance writer in the RPG industry for five years and a gamer for far longer than he'd care to admit. He's written for a number of games including Shadowrun, Marvel Super Heroes, and Dragonlance: Fifth Age. His work appears regularly in Dragon magazine. Steve maintains a website with his gaming articles and information about his current projects. You can email him at talonmail@aol.com.

©2003 Wizards of the Coast, Inc. All rights reserved.
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