Target Player Level: 5-7
Playtime: > 3 hours
The sprawling city of Alcath thrives with activity, its labyrinthine streets a testament to intrigue and avarice. The criminal underbelly of this city is ruled by the Gilded Claw, a notorious gang whose influence taints the fabric of Alcath. The party arrives in the city amidst alarming whispers of a kidnapped nobleman's son. The Gilded Claw, it is said, has snatched the heir, a pawn in their insidious game. The city watches with bated breath, and only a courageous group of strangers can infiltrate the Claw's grip and rescue them.
In a crowded inn, the party eavesdrops on a conversation between a distressed noble, Lord Baelin, and an enigmatic, threatening figure. Lord Baelin's son, Jareth, has been taken by the Gilded Claw. Spotting the adventurers, Lord Baelin beseeches their aid, offering handsome rewards for Jareth's safe return. Their only clue: a Gilded Claw emblem found in the wreckage of Jareth's room.
1. City Streets - Investigation
DM Description: "The bustling streets of Alcath seem to whisper secrets as you wander, eyes and ears open. Alleys and taverns, markets and squares, the city's maze unravels a trail to the Gilded Claw. Will you unravel the mystery, or will it ensnare you?"
The party begins by unraveling the mystery of the Gilded Claw, questioning informants and gathering intel around the city. This encounter stresses the importance of social skills and deduction.
2. The Docks - Ambush
DM Description: "As the moon casts a silver sheen over the quiet docks, tension hangs in the air. You've followed the clues to your clandestine meeting, but something's not right. Shadows shift, and the glint of steel betrays the ambush lying in wait. Will you survive the trap set by the Gilded Claw?"
Searching the Assassin yields a small plain metal magical item with a button in the middle that when held in the hand it open's a portal to the Claw's Hideout.
3. Trap: Gilded Claw's Ward
DM Description: "Before you stands the portal to the Gilded Claw's area of the city's ghetto. There's a palpable force in the air, a warning, a ward. Can you unlock the path without triggering the deadly defenses?"
- Trap Location: the portal to the Gilded Claw's hideout.
- Trap Trigger: Unapproved entry without the appropriate sign of the Claw.
- Trap Effect: A magic glyph activates, emanating a potent blast of force.
- Trap Disarm: Can be disarmed with a successful Dispel Magic or by using the correct sign of entry.
4. Hideout - Stealth/Combat
DM Description: "The hideout looms, a seemingly ordinary warehouse hiding its vile secrets. Guards patrol with cold eyes, traps and alarms await the unwise. The darkness within promises both danger and opportunity. Will you breach the Claw's sanctuary?"
The hideout, a vast warehouse hidden within the city's shadowy underbelly, bristles with Bandits and a Bandit Captain. The party must tactfully incapacitate the guards and navigate the warehouse, culminating in a battle with the Claw's lieutenant.
5. Rescue Jareth
DM Description: "Deep within the lair, you find the chamber where young Jareth is held, his eyes wide with terror. A menacing Medusa, adorned with claw-like jewels, guards the young man, her gaze promising a fate worse than death. Can you defeat her and save the heir without succumbing to her powers?"
DM Description: "The hideout quakes with alarm, the Gilded Claw's wrath awakened. The labyrinthine streets of Alcath beckon as you race against time, pursued by relentless foes. Can you escape with your lives, or will the city's shadows claim you?"
Following the rescue, the hideout goes on high alert. The party must evade a swarm of incoming Bandits. A thrilling chase through the streets of Alcath might follow.
Jareth is safe, and the party narrowly escapes the hideout. They return Jareth to a grateful Lord Baelin and their heroic deeds ripple through the city. However, the Gilded Claw still lurks in the shadows, nursing its wounds and biding time for retribution. This sets the stage for further adventures or an extended campaign in the city of Alcath.