The Adventure of The Encounter at Farside
rating: 0+x

By HoratioAtTheBridge

The Encounter at Farside

The Circle are a group of Realm soldiers from Greyfalls and notable local townspeople. Fae have been reported in the nearby wilderness, so a scale of Realm troops under the command of the Wood-Aspect Dragonblooded Nellens Herren have been dispatched from Nasaru Redoubt to sweep the region. Nellens Herren has led a few dispirited patrols of the woods, but mostly spends his time eating and drinking in the Farside Inn. The adventure begins as Ever-Blooming Lotus brings a conflict between two pig farmers to Nellens Herren's attention, hoping he can resolve their dispute.

Intended for: Circle of 5 Heroic Mortals at Essence 1 who Exalt as Solars at the conclusion of the adventure

Pregenerated Circle: Iron Shirt, Cathak Kyushin Garel, Bloody-Handed Shen, Eagle Talon, Ever-Blooming Lotus

Duration: 1 to 2 sessions of 4 hours each.

Interview at the Inn

The adventure begins when Ever-Blooming Lotus brings Sweet Soybean Pod to the Farside Inn to resolve a dispute with a neighboring pig farmer, Half-Ear. Sweet's prize truffle-hunting pig, King Truffle Snuffle, has been attacked and the rest of his herd has been taken. Half-Ear is also missing, and Sweet is convinced that Half-Ear is the thief. Ever-Blooming Lotus sees that Sweet is intent on violence, so hopes that the soldiers can act as an impartial force to track down the missing animals without anyone getting hurt. The characters get a chance to learn more about the event from Sweet Soybean Pod and to attempt to convince Nellens Herren to lend official support to the investigation.

Into the Woods

The players have an opportunity to investigate both Sweet Soybean Pod's and Half-Ear's farms to learn a little more about what happened. They then follow the pig tracks into the woods, where they discover that a squad of Hobgoblins has stolen the pigs and kidnapped Half-Ear! The hobgoblins should be quickly overcome and may be interrogated to learn more about the Fae incursion. Even if they're all slain, this is still sufficient evidence to prod Nellens Herren into action.

Further Into the Woods
Around Town

These two optional sequences detail what happens if the players elect to investigate the Fae further or explore the town of Farside.

Heroes Arise

The Fae attack Farside and quickly overcome Nellens Herren. The players must then step forward to save the town. In so doing they are Exalted by the Unconquered Sun!

Variations

The opposition in this adventure is selected in order to be a fair challenge to a range of characters. The Fae are a tough fight for heroic mortals, but if they rally the town they have their own Magnitude 3 military unit. Commands from Kyushin or Iron Shirt can turn that into a very formidable weapon, and the Fae could quickly be driven off. In this case have Paiman be a load bearing boss. Dropping him causes the hobgoblins to dissipate back into gossamer and Rock Crusher to flee back to the Wyld. Give the players an Occult check to know this. Alternatively, Paiman might retreat on his own when losses start to mount (he or Rock Crusher takes half their health track in damage, the hobgoblin battlegroup is broken).

This could also be the start of a Sidereals game if the players are all secretly a Sidereal fixer squad sent to determine what's going on with the Fae. They've been hiding behind false destinies until the final fight, and now that the Fae is in the open they discard their old identities to engage this violation of Fate directly. Alternatively, this could be a good mixed game: Kyushin could Exalt as a Dragonblooded while Lotus receives an Exigency from Blind Cao. Shen could have secretly been a Sidereal or Solar or anything else, really (Abyssal doctor would be quite interesting). Eagle Talon may Exalt as a Lunar while Iron Shirt might remain a heroic mortal to provide color commentary.

A pure Lunars game would be tougher to pull off, but the setting could be changed to a barbarian or beastman tribe with the players rising as tribal champions.

Aftermath

The adventure is designed as a quick example of Exalted play lasting 1 to 2 sessions, but it could also be used as the start to a longer campaign. Two outstanding issues can serve as hooks for further play:

1a) Queen Aditi might be planning a larger invasion of the Greyfalls region. In this case it might be advisable to change Paiman from a knight-errant seeking glory to a reconnaissance in force. The documents in his tent should be changed to reflect this alternative mission statement, and something should be found on his corpse to indicate the larger problem. This gives the players a huge problem to deal with and leads to a campaign where the various powers of the River Province would have to unite to fend off a great regional threat.

1b) Alternatively, Paiman might be a knight-errant but was a beloved knight-errant. Queen Aditi might launch an invasion to get revenge on her lover's killers (or, if Paiman survived, he might excitedly report on the resurgence of the Solars, resulting in a full scale invasion to fight them). This is a smaller scale story where the players are pursued by a powerful enemy, but the River Province serves more as a back drop for this personal story rather than serving as a key part of the conflict. This is somewhat similar to option 2, but with different antagonists chasing the PCs.

2) The players are now Anathema, and a bunch of Realm troops saw it happen. Kyushin is likely personally devastated by this turn of events. Nellens Herren will eventually return with a small army from Nasaru Redoubt, and Farside will be leveled if they harbor Anathema. The players have to leave. The Wyld Hunt won't be too far behind them. Where do they go? Where might they find refuge? The Gods of Great Forks might have some answer to why this happened to them (and some way to undo it?). Or the party might try to get lost among the crowds in Nexus. The world is wide and full of adventure!

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