ADVENTURE: THE WHEEL TURNS
DM BRIEFING: The Party is spending the Night in the Guild Town of Leia. The Local Guild Lodge also serves as the Inn and Tavern for the 200 population town.
PART 1: A NIGHT ON THE TOWN
FOR THE PCS
As you enjoy a quiet evening after a hard trek to get to this sleepy little hole in the wall, a bunch of local boys who have been swilling beers all night decide to include you in their argument over Turnip pricing in the regional market place.
Dexterity check on random PC to find which is hit by the beer mug (1hp). Try for non lethal violence.
Let the Players duke it out with drunken Laborers. Anyone attempting to leave will be attacked by drunken laborers near the entrance.
FOR THE PCS
Within minutes of the beginning of this brawl, the local guardsmen burst into the tavern arresting everyone conscious or unconscious. Identified as ringleaders of this brawl – rightly or wrongly, you are escorted down the street, past the church to the Guard Cells by the Gate.
“Father Therou adjudicates criminal cases in the Morning and I’m not waking him just for you idiots.”
The Duty Guardsman locks you in for the night.
“You can contemplate your chances under a new fangled concept as trial by Magistrate…” He relaxes down outside your cage in a wooden chair – the rest of the guards departing for the evening.
This can be a serious situation if the PCs killed anyone or resist arrest– otherwise they are detained for damages in the Guard house cells near the Church gates - For what ever reason they will be spending the night separated from their equipment.
PART 2: CRUSHED BENEATH THE WHEEL
FOR THE PCS
As you contemplate your future in the quiet of the prison you are compelled to sleep.
Ask the PCs what their actions are. Those who choose to sleep will enjoy what little sleep they can get. Those who decide to stay awake will need to make a fatigue check against their constitution.
It begins as a distant vibration that increases with intensity and within a few moments a huge explosion as though a mountain had exploded with terrible force. Your keeper is awake and is screaming at you with his weapon in his hand. As the sound settles down there are distant screams. Your guardsman opens the outer door and steps outside.
“What the hell is that thing?” He seems terrified of some thing overhead as he vanishes from view. As you now have a view of the street you can see people running about in all directions in a terrible panic – all looking up.
Those asleep and awake are disturbed by a terrible thunder so deafening that they are literally deaf for the next few hours (they must each conduct a listen check to see if they hear what happens around them). In the middle of the night the Doomwheel – a huge Steam-driven construct crushes half the town. The sound of it crushing half the town will wake the PCs. Out in the Street is a sudden anarchy as survivors emerge to be confronted by a great looming shadow a mile high.
If the PCs escape their cage and leave the building read this:
You see a terrible looming shadow: A mountain a mile high that blots out the Starlight. What torchlight there is seems to illuminate a wall of Stone that seems to have crushed half the village…then a great spray of steam strikes the village from above and everything vanishes in a cloud.
The Steam kills everyone in the spray zone and levels all the structures. The PCs should be careful where they are located. Just outside their cell block, they suffer steam burns (4d6).
A great sound of gas or steam – matched by the warm cloud that billows through the building you are confined in comes from somewhere overhead. A terrible noise of things being destroyed issues forth before falling quiet.
A Steam exhaust blows away part of the surviving town – if the PCs as still trapped in their prison cell they will only hear further destruction and screams.
The momentary silence is short lived. The great engine of the gods moves away as the earth trembles with its fury and for a time you are alone.
This is the most likely time the PCs will be able to free themselves. They have about half an hour before the Carrion feeders arrive.
JUST WHEN YOU ARE VULNERABLE
As the Doomwheel moves off – a tide of Undead pour into the Town devouring the remains of the Dead and attacking the Survivors.
If the PCs are still hold up in the Guard house at Church Gate – they are soon confronted by undead (Ghouls) who want in to feed on them.
Your guardsman finally returns in a panic twisted by pure terror. As he reaches the door, he is immediately grabbed from behind and devoured by Clawing undead hands that drag him screaming into the darkness, before even more ghouls enter the building and are clawing and snarling as they reach through the cage trying to get you.
If the PCs are outside when the undead attack:
At first there are distant screams and then the horror comes out of the darkness. It seems to be a hundred ghouls, all of them drooling for your organs. You notice your wayward Guardsman from earlier in the night fleeing toward the prison block – only to be grabbed as he reaches the door.
Either way the PCs should be encouraged to believe the Cage is the only save place to be for the evening.
PICKING THROUGH THE RUINS
As daylight arrives the Ghouls slathering for your innards vanish into the last remnant darkness and you can settle down to deal with the Carnage of a long night.
By morning the undead horde have moved on. A few are hold up in the ruined buildings. The PCs will find the few remains of their equipment buried in the debris field scattered across the landscape. It is a scene of utter devastation. Likely if they enter any of the ruined buildings they will be attacked by Undead. They are the only Survivors.
A damaged bell tower, a couple of Gates, and a cluster of buildings. There are corpses here and there that have been fed on and a huge trench where whatever it was rolled through town.
THE WHEEL OF DOOM
It is unlikely they will be able to pursue the Doomwheel as horses were crushed in the Guild Stables. The adventure ends here. They are the Sole Survivors of some terrible Engine of Death and will be lucky to survive on what they can scrounge from the ruins.
FOLLOWING THE PATH
The Trail will likely crush the next town and the next in what appears to be a pretty much 100’ deep, 2000’ wide furrow which begins at the Quarry Mountain where it was crafted a thousand miles away and ends in the Ocean if the PCs don’t warn future victims in its path. Basically the DM is urged to line this up with as many communities as possible.
Eventually the Trench will become a river from the Mountains linking all these Ruined Communities by ‘Canal’. The experience Points on offer should be allocated toward any NPCs they saved from being eaten and Undead killed.
If the PCs are lucky they will find most of what they lost after several day of scrounging through the rubble. There will likely be a few coins that once belonged to the community in the rubble as well.