In Brief- This is a short adventure, suitable for level 1 characters and beginning players. The adventure starts with a mystery: an entire monastery slaughtered by a supernatural force. PCs must track an escaped cursed phurba to a nomad rebel camp, where it waits on a CIA plane to be flown to America. If it reaches America, where divination and exorcism is unknown, it will wreak incredible havoc.
Character Introductions- The PCs are traveling West towards Lhasa. If PCs donít yet know each other, have them meet on the road. They find a dead monk buried under a light coating of snow. The monk has been stabbed in the back. The monk was running East when he died. The monk is only partially frozen, suggesting that he was killed not too long ago. If a PC can make an easy (10) Death skill roll or can make a hard (30) Emergency Medicine roll, the PC can recognize that the monk was killed instantly by a very strong and very accurate strike with a phurba. As the PCs walk down the road they find more dead monks. A moderate Tibetan Geography will tell PCs that the only large settlement within hundreds of miles is a medium sized monastery. The rest of the area is nomadic grazing lands.
The Monastery- Down the road a few miles is Likpo, a Kagyupa menís monastery of 300 monks. The monastery emanates -5 KMA because of all the death and suffering that happened there recently. There are dead monks scattered everywhere. Yet any monk will know that with a monastery this size there should be many more monks. There are dead yaks and sheep in a small garden and dead horses in the stables.
If the PCs search the head dobdobís quarters they will find the following diary page:
|I must confess to having other than complete confidence in my Lamaís wisdom.
A messenger came today from the rebel camp to the North. He said that the campís leader, who I think may be related to venerable lama Palden, needed an exorcist. He spoke in worried tones about poor omens. The messenger insisted that the rebels were in the midst of a project of incredible importance, and that nothing could be allowed to go wrong during this time. Lama Palden agreed to go to the camp to try to diagnose the problem. I reminded him, respectfully, that we had fewer monks than ever to maintain the prayers in the gongkhang, and that his good karma may be the only thing keeping the prisoners there subdued. I suggested that he send one of his apprentices, who he has been training in divination, in his place. The venerable lama told me that he believed he was needed personally, and he left in a great hurry with the rebel messenger.
I have ordered the monks to work extra shifts chanting in the gongkhang. I have told them they should miss meals, or miss a nightís sleep should they have to. Perhaps fear is clouding my perception, but I think I feel something awakening in the gongkhang.
In the library the PCs can find a Kenjur, Tenjur and all of the skill books listed on p.115 except the sorcery skills. There is also a history of the monastery that describes, among other things, all the dangerous entities that the monastery has taken charge of.
In the abbotís quarters is this letter:
|To my honored abbot Gyatso Pelden, from your dear friend and devoted student Tenzin Namgyal,
I need your wisdom. I have been seeing and hearing the most terrible omens. They speak of death on a monumental scale. Please send someone to help divine the nature of the threat. We are in the middle of a very important operation. The rebel cause is about to gain aid from a very powerful source, but I want to know what danger the omens speak of before I continue with the operation. Any help you can send will be appreciated.
The abbot also has a diary. These are the two latest entries:
If the PCís search the temples, monksí quarters and storage rooms they will find craft tools, holy objects (prayer wheels, written prayers, prayer flags, prayer beads, rebel charms), magical components (divination cards, phurbas, mirrors, a 2 headed drum), medicine (all the herbs, medical charms), weapons (5 whips, 5 swords, 4 WWI rifles, 10 long bows, 10 matchlock rifles) and 2000 Srang worth of jewels, money and gold statues of buddhas. All food is spoiled.
Also on the monastery grounds, a pack of wolves chew on the unfrozen parts of corpses. The wolves wonít normally be a danger, unless a PC is sick, wounded or intoxicated. If a PC has very bad karma, a minor spirit might wander by and cause the wolves to fly in to a rage.
The Gongkhang- In the gongkhang is a large cluster of dead monks, including dobdobs who died holding rifles. There are a dozen small, locked wooden boxes with protective symbols on them. There are bullets everywhere, including one that broke the latch of a box. The box is open, on the outside are protective symbols, on the inside are scratch marks. A Protective Mantras skill roll will tell the PCs that the symbols carved on this box were designed specifically to keep a cursed phurba subdued. Some of the monks have gunshot wounds on them, although the bullet holes are in random places (thigh, shoulder, etc.), not vital strikes like the phurba wounds.
If PCs have the ability to see in to the past (e.g. Pure Vision, Mirror Gazing), they will see what happened: monks chanting in the gongkhang, dobdobs watching over them. Suddenly a bear (an illusion caused by the phurba) bursts in. The dobdobs grab rifles and try to shoot the bear. The bullets go through the bear, hitting the walls (and a few monks). The bear stands directly in front of the box containing the phurba. A bullet hits the latch and the box springs open. The bear illusion disappears and the phurba flies out, killing everyone quickly.
The gongkhang still holds several malevolent spirits prisoner in boxes. One box is rattling. If the PCs have +2 or better KMA emanation the box will stop rattling when the PCs come near. If the PCs donít do something to raise the KMA of the gongkhang by 2 or more, the thing in the rattling box will escape within 8 hours, will hunt down and attack the PCs. The entity in the box is:
After the Monastery- If the PCs have any omen or divination skills, let them know that they must track down whatever killed these monks and stop it, otherwise it will kill exponentially more people.
The PCs must find their way to the rebel camp. The PCs can do this using divination skills or by making hard tracking rolls. Another way to find the rebel camp is to find some local nomads. The men in the nomad camps have all gone off to join the rebels, so the women and children are tending to the herds. The nomad women will tell the PCs where the rebel camp is if the PCs can convince them that they arenít Chinese spies.
Rebel Camp- The rebel camp is about 8 hours walk to the North. There are 100 rebels, including some ex-monks from Likpo. There is a rebel general, the abbot of Likpo, 2 CIA operatives and a Tibetan who acts as their translator. The camp is guarded 24 hours a day and the rebels guarding the camp are under strict orders not to let in strangers. All the food in the camp has spoiled. The nomads are hungry, the CIA wants to leave right away and the rebel leader wonít let them leave until he finds out what the bad omens are about.
The Plane- In the camp is a cargo plane parked on a makeshift landing strip. The cargo plane has no markings that would indicate what military it belongs to. The plane is guarded by 2 nomads 24 hours a day. It is also locked (although a window on the door can be broken). The phurba is hiding behind a strap at the back of the cargo bay of the plane.
Conclusions- In order to save Denver from a supernatural onslaught it is totally unprepared for, the PCís must:
The CIA operatives will be very resistant to letting anyone aboard the plane, and it is well guarded. However, the CIA operatives spend most of their time in their tent, and the rebels who guard the plane are loyal to General Namgyal.
Even if the PCs can get past the CIA and guards, the phurba is very deadly. Out of 300 monks it was able to kill every single one. PCs should have fair warning by now that they must be very skilled or very clever to catch it without being killed. Note that the CIA operatives have flak jackets. If PCs can grab it without being hurt, they will have to make several opposed STH rolls as the phurba tries to wrestle itself from their grasp. If PCs bring the broken box with them it can be repaired, or Lama Palden can make a new one quickly.
For containing the Phurba threat, PCs should earn 10 KMA and 20-40 XP depending on how efficiently they dealt with the threat.
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