MPNP The Mermaid Princess
During a previous adventure by boat, the party rescued a young mermaid princess named Aubriel. She looks to be about 11 years old and is very homely, initially dressed in an ankle-length seaweed skirt and seashell bra (not holding anything up, so to speak). She is very immature and complains constantly, makes unrealistic demands, and alternates between ordering and begging the party to return her to her undersea kingdom.
The princess will disrupt combat by clinging to party members. On any checks she is allowed to make, she rolls a 1 or 0 successes. She cannot be trained to fight and will immediately injure herself and begin to cry if given a weapon.
While still at sea, the party can throw her over the side of their boat and be done with it. This requires either a Neutral, Ruthless, or Evil Intent. One party member with an appropriate alignment can carry this out without the other's knowledge, but good or lawful characters may not allow it.
If the party makes it to land with the princess still in tow, they cannot get rid of her without completing the quest. Any attempts to leave her someplace will alert the authorities, who will assume she is an unwanted child and force the party to provide for her properly or face legal repercussions.
One option is to enroll her in a boarding school. This will cost Party Level + 1d20 x 1000 gold, and every 6-8 months Aubriel will get kicked out of the school and the party will be forced to pay tuition elsewhere or come and claim her. While away she will constantly harass the party with letters and pleas to be returned to her kingdom.
In order to get Aubriel back to her home, the party will require several things. The first is a map to her homeland, which you can't easily find because it's basically in the middle of the ocean somewhere. From there, they will require the services of a powerful auramancer to create wards to protect them and let them breath underwater, and a magic-tech submarine for the journey down.
The party learns that a trader of some ill-repute holds the map. You have 3 options to obtain the map.
- Buy it from him: the trader will sell the map, but wants a highly ludicrous sum of money (50,000 gold) any attempts to negotiate with him will be met with hoarse laughter and frequent raises of the price. He will also heavily imply that he will accept sexual favors from any female party members, but indicate that this probably won't budge the price, much.
- Beat Him Up And Take It From Him: if the party starts a fight in the middle of the tavern they will need to kill about 15 drunken bystandards to get the map from the trader, and still fight him. He won't be happy about this and there will likely be criminal charges. They can face a much easier (and legal) fight if they follow him home and attack him, but he has two buff body cards and isn't so weak himself (he's a 'mechanic' or someone who uses enchanted items to do magic).
- Win it From Him: the trader is a gambler. If they can lure him in to a game of chance, they can cheat and then bankrupt him, forcing him to bet the map. However, the final roll/spin/whatever must be won honestly.
The only Auramancer in town is a somewhat ghastly woman, who refuses any offer of payment and will only agree to assist the party if they help her with "a small matter" she has been dealing with. Her son, it seems, was kidnapped by a giant, grotesque toad, and is "being held prisoner" in a tower outside of town.
The party must go and rescue her son, but the toad will not fight back, and begs the party to hear him out. He is quite ugly and slimy, but he explains that he didn't actually kidnap the boy, but rescued him from the auramancer's husband, the boy's stepfather. He was very abusive to the boy. Not physically abusive, verbally ("It's not what was said... it was what was left un-said.").
The party can choose not to kill the toad, but he won't let them take the boy without a fight, and the auramancer flatly refuses to help unless her son is returned. If questioned, the boy is much happier living with his new toad-father and will be distraught if the toad is killed.
The toad has 16 DV and 12 AV, he uses a tongue-attack which pulls targets towards him, as well as a body-slap that has 14 AV and deals 4d20 damage. He has 300 hit points.
If the toad is killed, the boy can be returned to his family where the party will be forced to witness an awkward reunion in which the mother berates the boy for being kidnapped and the stepfather calmly acknowledges his return and leaves the room.
A crazy inventor has what the party needs, or rather thinks he has. It hasn't been built yet, and he needs 10,000 gold to finance his research and build a prototype. The party can negotiate down to 8,000, but the sub they get WILL break during the voyage.
The submarine will be flown to the site listed on the map in a marvelous eldritch skyship: the sub. is in fact based on the same technology. If the party paid the full 10,000, the sub is powered and can take them right to the gates of the kingdom of mermaids. If they only paid 8,000, the sub. sinks like a stone and they will have to navigate some sea-bottom to reach the gates.
A small aquatic troll will meet the party and make them touch something gross. This happens regardless of all else.
Roll 1d10 for the number of Leagues the party is from the gate. For each league, they must fight 3d6 enemies that I will think up later: mostly water-demons, spiny-skinned fish, and sharks, eels, and oarfish (among others) enchanted by an evil sea-witch to kill intruders; this gives the party a chance to track the witch down and destroy her, later.
At the gates to the mermaid kingdom, the party is tasked with either answering the gatekeepers' riddle, or fighting a kraken.
There are 2 gates, and the gatekeepers announce to you: "One door leads to the kingdom, the other door leads to a horrible death! You may ask ONE question, BUT! One of Us ALWAYS LIES".
The catch is, both gate guards are actually liars, and the dude was lying about always lying. The correct gate is the gate on the left. The best method is to overpower the guards and throw one of them through the door; if it's the wrong door, he'll be immediately murdered by the kraken.
If the party proceeds through the wrong door, they must fight the Kraken.
The Kraken has 12 AV and 10 DV. He has no AC (because he's a Kraken) and 300 hit points. He gets 8 tentacle attacks per round as well as a beak attack if a party member is near his mouth. Tentacle attacks deal 4d6 damage, the beak attack is 4d12.
Party members can attack the Kraken directly or aim at his tentacles. On a critical hit to a tentacle, it is severed and the kraken looses 1 attack
The Mermaid King
Once past the gates, Aubriel will take you to her father's palace, and be genuinely kind for the first time since you've met her. She will even offer to sing for you, but you know by now that she has a voice like a tortured pig and you politely decline. Her father is incredibly grateful for her rescue and offers to turn you all into mermaids. Again, this is something you should refuse; whereupon, he offers you a reward.
Upon finally returning the princess to her father, he will offer you a choice of three rewards:
- 1. Riches: he offers you much of his great wealth. If the party takes this, they will return to the surface only to discover that the "great wealth" is just a bunch of sea shells and trash washed down from the surface.
- 2. Powers: he offers you a series of ancient clay tablets containing "untold power". These are actually several spells which can be learned. They are mostly elemental/water based, but a few are end-magic.
3. That... thing: (read aloud) "The king gestures towards a corner, where an eldritch device sits in disrepair. The bottom is shaped like the hull of a boat, while on top is a strange apparatus. The whole thing is painted a vibrant shade of hot pink, with blue aqua-flames are rendered on the sides. The handlebars are made from gleaming chrome. The seat is leopard-print."
This reward is an Eldritch Waverunner. The mage who built the submarine can repair it for you for 1,000 gold. This is the only way to obtain such a device in this universe; no smith can forge one like it.