Adventure Question: The Ghoul of St. Lazare

This adventure is part of the book "Festival of the damned" although i got the ooooold version with the 4 short adventures.

I just got back into GMing and ran this little adventure as my first one.

So its the first night, the group investigates the grave and we get to the part where they chase the assistant and he slips and cracks his skull.

An accident.

Nevertheless they dump his body in the river and make pretty sure it wont be discovered. Just great.

Anyone has an idea, how to continue the story now? They told the preacher that they saw a figure at the grave when one of em had to leave the hut for a moment but they have no clue where the assistant might be.

I am very reluctant to SOMEHOW have the corpse turn up. But since the corpse is supposed to become the monster, im kinda stuck.

Any help would be appreciated......

One idea is the chance the monster a bit, letting it crawl out of the river as a gast, all wet and bloathy, whit water based weed handing fom his tatters clothing, he might even find the way to his grave from there.

Otherwise you must simply change the story. Things like this happens. I remember playing CoC at a congress once and we ended up shoothing the occultist that was summoning Mother Hydra andthe GM was all at a loss for what to do. Try thinking up an alternative story.

Another option is to ahve somone else become the monster, but that dont work so well I asume.

Most chucklesome. Battle plans never survive first contact with the enemy and its true of story plans for RPGs too.

I've been a player in this chronicle too. I'd personally follow the advice of Hagazussa and have the beastie crawl from the river all minging and horrid. Maybe up for a little revenge.

Meh, this adventure seems to breed naught but troubles... I am (and was at the time) the Beta in Ferretz' campaign, and was going to run this lil' adventure for the group (it should be mentioned that of said group only me an' Ferretz remain). Anyway, they get the floating chick thing, find the priest dude, kill the poor lil' sucker, get him buried all right. Then after the first night of Raging Ghoul Rampage all the villagers are taking shelter in the church, and priesty is chucking "holy water" this and that way... Well, after a short (VERY short) attempt at convincing him 'twould be a Bad Idea (tm), they wack him onna head. In fron tof the villagers. They wack the priest. Onna 'ead. In front of the villagers... cough, cough Right. How'd the bleeep d'I get outta that lil' hole? Hmmm? :laughing:

If somone killed me and dumped me in a river I would be up for a little revenge, there might be eating involved to. Yum, yum mage meat!

I ran this a few weeks ago, the intellego specilized criamon (who has reached the third station on the path of seeming) cast "peering into the mortal mind" on the village preist. It was a pretty short adventure.

God, it's been a decade or more since i played that adventure???? I think the same thing happened to us actually. I vaugely recall the corpse begining to poison the water. No one could drink from the river and the characters had to travel to the source of the corruption.

This need not have any magic to it. If an animal dies in a river and rots. All the water down stream is basically undrinkable.

This allows some time to pass and perhaps people thing the situation is resolved. Given that it's Ars, maybe it's not so simple as taking the body out of the water. Perhaps the corrupt spirit has bound it self to that spot. Perhaps it has some water powers or control over the fish. That would be interesting, 'demon fish'. Ok, I need another soda.

Demonic fish, now that be somthing for the aquarium.

Could one not just use an aura to stop the magi from reading the mind of the priest, or some other such preventative messures to mae the story run more smothly?

Well the character's best arts were intellego followed by mentem. It was a short session that we played because he really wanted to take his character out for a spin before the main story got underway, I pulled out the Ghoul because I knew that his character would run through it like a hot knife through butter.

But even if I hadn't set up a scenario that specifically played to the character's strengths so that it could be dispenced with quickly I don't think that I would have twisted the set up to prevent his spell from working. Duncan took that spell because he wanted to use it. It doesn't make for good feelings to give the players charcaters that apparently have lots of cool abilities and then stifle an attempt to use them.

Several years ago in a different game most of the magi were off on a boat trip to crete I sprung a murder mystery on the Perdo specialist Flambeau who was left back at home woth none of the mystery-solvey types (magi or companions) to help him.

The character immediately went to the corpse and cast whispers through the black gate on it. The murder victim gave her account of what happened and there was no more mystery. I had no idea whatsoever that the character knew that spell.

Thinking quickly I morphed the story into one about the relationships between parents and children that ended up with a very satisfying chase scene through forrest.

I had a really good game. I didn't change any of my NPC's and it worked great. I'll always try to give improvisation a swing in favor of nerfing the character's abilities (providing that the player isn't being an ass). It might not always work out for the best but I was stymied when I was younger by too many control freak game masters who didn't respect the rules to be comfortable doing it to someone else.

Also the character had an intellego mentem score in the high thirties, a five penetration, spell mastery, and an arcane connection to boost penetration. If I came up for a reason for "peering" to fail I would have to find a justification for posing the silent question to fail as well.

I suppose the limit of the infernal could have been invoked but for my purposes what I did worked better.

The monster of the lagoon sounds nice, but it doesnt reallly make sense storywise. The heretic priest is turning the corpse into a monster, without his ritual, why is there a monster? There would be a fight, but no solved mystery.

Letting someone else become the monster wouldnt be a problem, but how to find a new corpse? The girls with the pox are getting better, maybe an accident in the woods?

Thanks for your help guys, but im still a bit lost....

Arcane connection. He doesn't need the body 'there' to work magic on it. Where ever it ended up is fine. So the priest is working his ritual and 'someplace' (the river) the corpse is turning into a monster.

The priest figured, that when the moster is formed he could call it home. What he doesn't know is that as it's changing into a monster, it's decaying monster body is polluting the river.

The race is on. Can the PC's find the corruption before the priest completes the ritual? Probably not.

They show up, the cadaver turns into a monster. They fight it probably win. But who made it and why?

Now they need to back track and figure out the mystery after the fact.

Meanwhile the Priest completed the ritual, but no monster. What happened? He does some nosing around and finds out a bunch of upstart wizards "killed it before it growed." They are probably trying to figure out who made it. The evidence will lead to him. So what does he do?

But the preist doesn't want a monster. he wants to set his old compainion's soul to rest. It's just his wacky corrupted religious practices that don't do what he wants them to.

Ummmm. Oh yeah.

Well how about the road to hell is paved with good intentions?

Everything I said stands, but now the priest is freaked out that the ritual turned his buddy into a monster. When the characters kill it, there still is an investigation after the fact. Now the priest wants to hide his involement with the monster. Perhaps his corrupt bible or ritual book or whatever it is has 'prayers of power'. To hide his involement in the monster event he starts useing these prayers.

These prayers may cloak his involement, but they are diabolic in origin. As the PC's figure this out, the priest is 'forced' to use the book more and more.

While his intentions are good, and he even considers himself a devote follower, his actions have led him to the dark side!

Just idears.

We played this scenario as well, but we didn't have the problem with the ritual/monster, which played out well. But when the story came to an ending the priest realising that he had been mislead - partly by text (which actually plays a major role) partly by himself - he leaves his congregation to travel the world. In our story the priest wasn't portrayed as truly evil, just misguided and in good intentions. The congregation actually fled from their old homes to settle on the lands of the covenant one of the peasants carrying the priests 3 books and a letter to be delivered to the magus that had been involved in the story. To extract the essense of the letter (handout) the priest doesn't believe that he would find either understanding nor forgiveness within the church of his misguided actions. He harbors a great doubt, having been able to be misled, and now he will travel in search. In search of something firm, something undoubtable, somewhere in the wide world.

Soo - now I've got an interesting character to make an reapperance in whatever form it might suit a later story. At the same token the books that misled him are now in the library of the covenant... waiting.... luring.... (Oh God, when will I recieve my Infernal book? :slight_smile: )

Funny sidestory - one of the most memorable part to this story was actually the prelude! Our covenants are existing in the guise of mundanes lord of a small fief (modelled on Triamore) and when the dead girl of the scenario is washed up on the local riverbank, they decides to do the most proper thing (and almost dodge the story!) by writing a polite formal letter to the fief-holder longer up the river (decided by magic where she came from) that this girl washed up and whether the lord needed any help? They then get a reply showing suprise - and no need of help. I can't recall whether this letter was sent by the priest himself, who couldn't fathom that this girl should be from his village (expecting the girl to have been properly burried in the woods). Now our protagonists really get curious - and wants to travel there to learn more - but they somehow feel that it would seem inapropriate and suspicious if they just turned up without futher reason. Thus to strenghten their excuse to go to the other fief to inquire they strangely start fabricating and spreading rumors that dead mutilated people or appearing all over their own fief... Now they have a reasonable answer if whatever lord or priest in other village might ask them why they've come - no ever really did question their motives, but now everybody at home has really begun talking of "the very strange lords on the manor, and hadn't they always seemed a world appart? And what of the dead people? I haven't seen them meself but I know for sure it's true, 'cause heard it from.... Uh-o, them lords be doing things to people....? No surprise - the Lord keep us from harm, and from the lords" lol

Very nice. I like the idea of turning the priest into a reoccuring character. That's a great way to embrace the Saga element of Ars. Even the smallest stories can leave lasting consequences.

Again it's been years since we played that adventure. I vaugely recall our troupe explaining to the priest the error of his way. Then not being the authority, they just let him go. Bascially he got away with low level diabolocism. The priest couldn't live with himself and took his own life. Later I do think he came back as a ghost. We had all the adventures that occured in "Dark Ages" occur in the same area and nearly back to back.

Not as clever as your 'walk the earth' bit, but it was a good adventure.

I've done that a lot - making sure to leave untied strings for later use. Some intentional, some in the spur of the moment. At times we've joked that the PC at times create more problem then they undo. E.g. the creation of rumors that were worse than what they actually tried to negate. In another story someone got wounded and two of the apprentices (all the characters being apprentices back then) were sent to get some spiderweb from a bottle in the masters laboratory. They were given strict orders not to let the spider out or forget to reseal the bottle - which they of course botched (we have a tradition of whole plotlines erupting from unforeseen botches). Som stories later we had one labeled: Errare Discipulum Est about the consequences - in the meantime having put together a story and a new mythical creature - the Virgo Basiorum, a mythical spider based on the story of Arachne and on Ovid's Metamorphosis. Which by the way is a splendid ressource for inspiration on mythical encounters.

A long the 2½ we've played I've kept leaving small strings and goodies to be taken up again later. Earlier I've been critizised for not foreshadowing enough - so with this saga I decided to do differently. And when you have long-running saga's, the characters starting at the age of app. 13 it even more important. Today some of their childhood antagonist might be ridiculusly easy to overcome but others might have grown as well...

As for the priest he could return in so many different guises - infernal ringleader, knowledgable mystic, reformed believer or just a weary traveller - which I think is the most lovely part of the thing.