October 10, 2011

Superhero Adventure: Return of the Spirit King

Return of the Spirit King

The Spirit King was a villain from long ago. His ability to communicate and control the spirits and ghosts of this world gave him tremendous power. He used this power over others. He was defeated several years ago fighting against other people with powers out to stop his wickedness. He was killed during the battle when the spirits he controlled broke free and tore him apart in revenge for all the evil he had made them do. The world was happier for his passing.

Perhaps reports of his demise were premature. People and families have been disappearing in the area where the Spirit King once operated. Spirits have been seen walking the streets. People fear the worst.

The Spirit King is still dead. Actually, the villain known as Sawbones is behind the current problems. Sawbones recently got out of jail and was looking for a new lair. Through some underground contacts he was able to learn the location of the Spirit King’s lair and took the place over. He then began his experiments into human genetics. For this he needed material so he had some locals captured. To keep things off of himself he decided to use the legend of the Spirit King to his advantage. While the authorities look for the Spirit King he should be free to do as he pleases.

The characters come into the adventure by being asked to investigate the disappearances.

Calling the Cops
If the characters contact the police there are a few things they can learn. From the reports 5 families (13 people) have been taken directly from their homes. There were signs of break-ins. There have also been 6 people reported missing since the first family was abducted; one of those people was taken off the street and this capture was witnessed by passersby.

If the characters pursue the witnessed abduction, they can learn the abductors wore hooded robes, like weird cultists.

Finding the Lair
The characters have a few options they can pursue here. It is not possible to cover everything the players might try, but here are a few ideas they might try. There are also a couple of encounters that may or may not lead to the lair.

-Patrol. The players might decide to patrol the area hoping to get lucky. It is best if this is not the method by which they succeed in finding the lair. However, if the players have actually tried other avenues and are running short, you can let the patrol method work. In this case, the characters will stumble upon an abduction in progress and can interrupt it. It is suggested that before this happens, or to keep the players invested, the characters on patrol will hear a commotion and get to an abduction site just after it happens. Witnesses will reveal some information, but the abductors will have escaped.
-Files. There is a fair amount of information to be found on the Spirit King. Proper investigative Skills may reveal the general location of the lair, though it is clear his actual lair was never found by the authorities.
-Underground. Those with criminal contacts will be able to do some extensive legwork (going from contact to contact and from lead to lead) and in the end will be led to Antique. It seems Antique knows the location of the Spirit King’s lair. Apparently he was trying to sell himself as a rare gem encrusted comb that was once owned by the former Tsar of Russia when he was stolen by the Spirit King. Antique is willing to give up the location, but will need some convincing. He is willing to take into consideration future aid (get out of jail free card), money, etc. It is hard to intimidate him, especially if the characters are known as good-guys; that and he knows the value of his information.

Charles Beauvoir has the ability to change his shape into inanimate objects. It's not the most exciting power, but he has managed to turn a buick or two with it. He does this through spying and the old scam wherein he spies on cheating husbands and then blackmails them. Antique skirts the line of legality but has not done time as of yet, mostly because his crimes are petty enough to be overlooked for his occasional aid.

The Ghouls
This is a biker gang that lives and works in the area of the Spirit King’s old lair. They are led by the Steel Bullet. They have been hired by Sawbones to keep anyone with powers out of the area. Despite Steel Bullet’s aversion to an evenly matched fight, he is scared of Sawbones and will make an honest attempt to drive off anyone with powers in the area, though he is not willing to die or get severely injured while doing so, so will surrender if the fight is going badly. Steel Bullet does not know the location of the Spirit King’s lair, though he knows it is close as this was the area he was told to watch. He does know Sawbones has taken over the Spirit King’s lair and is impersonating the Spirit King.

It is extremely likely the characters will run into the Ghouls as they get closer to the Spirit King’s lair.

If Sawbones feels the characters are getting close he will send out some of his abominations to deal with them. You can use any monster from 4E with the aberrant origin, though those closely tied to humans is best, as that is Sawbones stock material. Suggestions include:

Level 5 [Deathgaunt Lasher, Dolgaunt, Glork, Goblin Mass, Trash Hulk]
Level 15 [Aboleth Suffocator, Destrachan Far Voice, Ethereal Marauder, Far Eidolon, Foulspawn, Warped Slave]
Level 25 [Blarux the Ancient, Crownwing, Spawn of Ulban, Swordwing]

The Spirit King’s Lair
Unknown to the rest of the world the Spirit King was a mortician who ran a funeral parlor, White Funeral Home and Crematorium. His secret lair is accessed through one of the ovens. There isn’t much in there. There are some of the captured people, some still alive, some turned into Abominations. There are a variety of Abominations roaming around as well; look under the Abomination heading above for a list of possible monsters to use. There is also, of course, Sawbones.
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