This adventure seed was generated using the adventure generation tables within the Camelot Cosmos GM’s book.
The characters are hired by The Merchant’s Guild in order to Infiltrate a Group of Necromancers at Arthur’s Grave: Shingle Beach Isles, Shingle Graves but are opposed by Necromancers & Tech Zombies who are working for Necromancer.
Keltan Surwood, a Necromancer of some repute and no small amount of fear, approached the merchant’s guild with a proposition. He and his followers said they had a way to create workers that would not tire, would not need payment, or food or any other maintenance.
Robots from earlier ages are unreliable, expensive and hard to maintain. Regular workers are expensive and difficult to control, always wanting rights, money, refusing to work and all that sort of thing.
A halfway house between the two seemed like a good idea and Keltan produced an example for them but when they realised, truly, exactly what he was doing they blanched and have sought the assistance of knights errant or mercenaries to deal with Keltan and his followers.
The guards stand aside and you are ushered in to the Merchant’s Guild office. Profligate wealth screams from every corner, glittering and baroque. There is gold worked into patterns on every surface, semiprecious stones, mosaics, rich tapestries.
Guildsman Tharn welcomes you effusively with grand gestures and warming mugs of tea and then brings you in to back room to sit around a table in the light of a glow-lamp and to broach the matter at hand.
“We have had dealings with a Free Man, Keltan Surwood, who presented himself to us as a Mage of good standing. We have discovered, however, that this is not the case. It has emerged that he is a necromancer of no mean power and our dealings with him before you knew this face place us in a position of some delicacy. We should like to retain you to deal with this problem quietly, so as to maintain our honour and integrity and to deal with the threat he poses at the same time. His refuge is upon a small island in the Shingle Beach Isles. Whatever darkness he is working there must be destroyed and the necromancer expunged. We will, of course, pay handsomely for your assistance.”
Tharn doesn’t know a great deal but does know that Keltan has students and that he has a number of unnatural creations at his beck and call. He strongly suggests that infiltration would be the better bet, to remove Keltan’s source of power before tackling him or his creations. Tharn does know Keltan is based off a scrap of an island called Horst’s Spur, next to the fishing island of Tail.
If necessary the characters will need to travel to Arthur’s Grave, this can be accomplished in a Merchant Guild ship or via the gates. The ship would be more stealthy and draw less attention, while using the gates may tip their hand (though it is unlikely).
Travelling to the Shingle Isles will need to be by boat. Tail and Horst Spur are not much visited, though one ferryman will happily tell them he’s had plenty of business going too and fro with scholarly gentlemen and crates.
Tail, if investigated, has only a small, abandoned fishing village with some signs of battle (boarded up windows, blood stains) but no people to be found. There are only a few dogs and goats left, the first beginning to prey on the second, rangy and hungry and growing wild.
Horst Spur is a lump of bare rock with the worn-smooth remnants of an old building atop it and the shattered bones of a metal bridge that once stretched to Tail left, only on the Horst Spur side.
The main entrance to the Horst Spur catacomb is in the ruin, a perfectly square set of steps leading down into the dark. An alternative entrance is a pipe, beneath the sea water, that leads into an old chamber filled with seized old machinery.
Keltan, three of his Necromancer students and a score of tech-zombies are in the catacombs which are regularly laid out, a cross shape of corridors and eight rooms (two in each part of the cross with a corridor also around the outside – [+] – like so).
Perhaps five tech-zombies shamble around doing pre-set jobs and do not know to attack unless ordered. The Necromancers light their way with a thin halo of mist light, conjured from their hands. They are not much good in a fight but can use their talents to cause sickness, vomiting, temporary blindness and other debilitating effects at a distance. The same is true of Keltan though he is more powerful. What they can do is waken and order the tech-zombies which can then attack in large numbers.
In the one chamber that is locked are the shattered remnants of a medical droid, a whole bunch of broken stasis pods and one to which Keltan has attached his primitive equipment.
There are also dead bodies, taken from the village.
Keltan is penetrating the stasis pod and extracting nanomachines from the person held within, placed in stasis long ago to await a cure for their brain damage. The nanites keep the body preserved and enable it to accept basic instructions. This was originally so that they could be moved around hospitals or turned in their beds without using up valuable staff time.
Keltan is using them to animate the fresh dead as easily controlled ‘worker zombies’.
Keltan may try to buy his life with more info about the Merchant’s Guild involvement. They knew what they were getting into, they’ve just gotten cold feet. He’ll fight until it’s obvious that he’ll lose, then he’ll surrender and offer just about anything within his power to be left alive.