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Cliffhangers Adventures

The Village of Camiram
Episode Seven: Into the Wild Lands
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 the previous episode, the PCs escaped from Camiram and now travel into the Wild Lands seeking the truth.

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.

The Hunt

After their escape from Camiram, the party must escape the sheriff and the village guards. The authorities pursue the characters on horseback, which may pose some difficulties if the PCs didn't think to acquire horses while making their escape. They'll have to roll Hide checks opposed by Spot checks from the guards to evade notice and make a clean getaway from the village. The chase should be tense, but it shouldn't be too difficult for the characters to escape, especially if they leave Camiram under the cover of darkness. The skills of a druid, ranger, or rogue, or the judicious use of spells, will aid in their escape.

Unfortunately for the party, they are now wanted by both the authorities in Camiram and the people of the Crescent Moon tribe in the Wild Lands. The next move is up to them. Non-good aligned characters might simply want to put as much distance between them and Camiram as possible, in which case the adventure probably ends here, although the characters remain wanted in the area (for as long as humans inhabit the area). Those who choose to flee may later hear how Camiram was wiped out by invading orcs.

Remind good-aligned characters who want to cut their losses and run that they know there is a real threat to Camiram, and that someone has tarnished their good name as part of a plot. This is even more important to characters actually from Camiram: Their home is in danger! They should want to prove their innocence and uncover the real threat to the village. To do that, they're going to need information.

The Wild Lands

The Wild Lands around Camiram offer the opportunity for a number of different encounters to take place, depending on how long you want to play out the party's time in the wilderness. In addition to the possibility of barbarian hunting parties or a small band of orcs from the Skull-Smashers, you can include creatures from the Monster Manual suitable to the relatively open terrain or the nearby forests and the party's level. This gives the characters the opportunity to test their mettle against a creature or two and earn some experience, as well as learning more about the dangers that lie beyond the bounds of the village.

A Plan of Action

The next move is up to the players. In order to prove their innocence, they have to find out what is really going on in Camiram. They can go about it in several ways. Players may come up with other avenues of investigation as well as those described here. If they do, give them a reasonable chance of success based on their plan, and use their skills and class abilities to determine whether they succeed.

Keeping Watch: The characters can spy village goings-on, either in disguise or at a discreet distance, looking for signs of anything suspicious that might give them clues about their real enemy. Seligg slips away from Camiram shortly after the characters are accused, so they won't see the doppelganger there.

Tracking Seligg: A Wilderness Lore check (DC 15) can pick up Seligg's trail leading away from the village. A character who succeeds at a DC 20 check notices that the tracks shift slightly once out of sight of the village, taking on a rather different shape. The tracks lead to Seligg's lair in the Wild Lands but, before the characters follow them there, they meet up with someone (see below).

Finding Allies: The characters might try covertly contacting people in Camiram whom they think they can trust for help in uncovering the real villain behind the plot. If someone aided their escape in Episode Six, that individual may do so again now. Of course, the PCs have to be careful whom they trust, since many villagers consider them criminals and might turn them over to the authorities.

The Cliffhanger: Unexpected Aid

Once the characters have gathered some clues, or found Seligg's trail, they are approached by a figure clad in a dark cloak and hood. This encounter takes place out of sight of the villagers (if the party still remains within the village) or out in the surrounding wilderness. The figure approaches, hands open in a gesture of goodwill and clearly not wielding any weapons. If allowed to approach, she pulls back her hood to reveal Vosta the Veiled, the woman the characters are accused of killing…

Next week: The Village of Camiram concludes with Episode Eight: The Power of Truth

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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