MDMC #41 : Create a Traitor
Shanailye was a powerful wizard. Adventurers often sought her expertise in arcane matters. To lay the foundation for the betrayal it is best to have the player characters meet with Shanailye and her apprentice Icarryn before running this encounter. She could either be needed for some information or perhaps she has need for the adventurers to complete some task. Some time later the player characters should return to see her on another matter which is where this encounter begins.
Characters arrive at Shanailye's home. Shortly after knocking, Icarryn opens the door and greets the party. He escorts them into the sitting room. (Sense Motive vs Icarryn's Bluff will determine that he is upset about something but trying to hide it.) He informs them that Shanailye has taken ill and probably not up to visitors. He leaves to see if she feels up to it. If cleric or someone offers to help, he will claim she has already been tended to by a priest and was simply told to rest.
When Icarryn returns he is carrying a box and a book. The box is about half a foot tall and one and half feet long and wide. It is made of wood and has some carvings on the outside but nothing too ornate. The book has a symbol on the front of a serpent with another head instead of a tail. (Knowledge (Arcana) vs DC 25 determines that is the symbol of Lacervall, a mage known for his study of the snake-men.) The tome is obviously old with yellowed pages.
Icarryn apologises but Shanailye is unable to accept visitors. "She was planning on sending me to deliver this box to Gornith in the city Southport. Unfortunately I'm needed here to tend to my master. She was wondering if you might be able to complete the task for her. In return, she offers Lacervall's Copperhead Tome." (Knowledge (Arcana) vs DC 20 to recognize Lacervall's name.)
(Adaptability Note: If the players do not have a wizard, substitute a magical item they would want for the reward.)
Assuming the characters do not leave town right away, they will encounter a group of guards with Icarryn in the back. The captain will announce that they are under arrest for the murder of Shanailye and demand they surrender. The exact class and level makeup of the guards are left to the DM.
Behind the Scenes
Icarryn has been an apprentice to Shanailye for five years. He was very overconfident at the start. Two years after starting his apprenticeship he noticed Elizabeth Torvess crying while he was running an errand. Having always had a crush on her, he stopped to see what was wrong. He couldn't get her to explain what was wrong so he set about trying to entertain her. She smiled at his attempts to amuse her. Unfortunately an incantation was off and she was killed. Horrified Icarryn ran back to Shanailye's home. She hid the body and told him not to tell anyone.
Since then Icarryn has been constantly worried about the truth being discovered. The village blamed Elizabeth's boyfriend at the time who was the last seen with her. Eventually he left to avoid the constant accusations. Icarryn continued his mystical studies but with more caution. Shanailye's age was catching up with her. Just before the characters arrive, he was preparing items for Shanailye when the wizard suddenly fell down. Her body just couldn't keep going even with her magical aids. She might have survived bed ridden for several more days but her time was just about up. Icarryn tried to catch her but forgot about the knife in his hand. The young apprentice stumbled back in shock. Watching the blood flow from the knife wound in the chest.
He doesn't know how long he just watched in horror. The knocking at the front door jarred him back to reality. He quickly cast Prestidigitation to clean the blood off him and locked the lab area. After greeting the adventures, he goes back to the lab to consider the situation. He decided to send the characters away and blame them for the murder. The box contains the bloody knife wrapped in cloth. The tome gives them some payment for there trouble and reason for the murder should they be caught. The name Gornith is made up. He planned to wait until they left town but after waiting an hour he couldn't take it anymore and alerted the guards. If the party is captured, he will try to arrange an escape if they agree to run off.
Human Wizard 3
HD: 3d4+3 (14hp)
Speed: 30 ft.
AC: 13 (+3 armor) Touch 10, Flat footed 13
Attack: rod of python +3 melee 1d6+2 or dagger +2 melee 1d4+1
Full Attack: rod of python +3 melee 1d6+2 or dagger +2 melee 1d4+1
Face/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Spells
Special Qualities: None
Saves:Fort +2, Ref +1, Will +0
Abilities: Str 13, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 18, Wis 5, Cha 16
Skills: Bluff +6, Concentration +7, Decipher Script +10, Knowledge (Arcana) +10, Knowledge (History) +10, Knowledge (The planes) +10, Spellcraft +10 Feats: Brew Potion, Scribe Scroll, Spell Focus (Enchantment), Spell Focus (Illusion)
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Languages: Celestial, Common, Draconic, Infernal
Typical Spells Prepared (4/3/2; save DC 14 + spell level)
0 - Detect Magic, Light, Mage Hand, Prestidigitation; 1st - Protection from Evil, Reduce Person, Sleep; 2nd - Minor Image, Summon Monster II
Equipment: Dagger, Wand of Magic Missile (1st) (50 charges), Bracers of Armor +3, Rod of Python. (Icarryn has access to the vast array of items left by Shanailye.)
Combat: Icarryn doesn't want to fight. He will use sleep to try to put opponents to sleep. Otherwise he will use summon monster and minor image to delay the combatants before running away.
Lacervall's Copperhead Tome: The exact details of this spell book is left to the DM. Detect poison and Sepia Snake Sigil are likely found within along with some custom snake spells. Instructions for grafting snake body parts could be included.
4. The betrayal creates a moral dilemma for the characters. (Do you kill the guards becoming outlaws or hope the courts clear your name.)
6. The traitor does not plan to engage the PCs in combat. (He hopes the guards handle the characters.)
7. The traitor does not want to betray the party but knowingly does so anyway. (He believes he murdered his master and cannot think of another way to avoid being put to death.)