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While staying in a small town tavern, you are approached by a young woman dressed in the attire of an alchemist. She introduces herself as Alma and explains that she plans to enter a competition held every ten years by the lord of this region. The winners of this competition earn the lord’s favor, which can significantly change their lives.
If you ask why she chose you, Alma explains that you’re not from the town, and she can’t trust anyone else who might also be trying to enter the competition. If you’re interested, she says she can provide more details at her store later and leaves you to think about it.
When you arrive at Alma’s store, you find it tucked away in a small alley off the main street. The house itself is cramped, but Alma greets you excitedly, thanking you for coming before explaining the competition in more detail.
The lord of the region is a vampire who has ruled for hundreds of years. It may sound terrifying, but it’s more complicated than that, you see he was once the beloved mayor of the town. When he grew old, the people didn’t want to lose him, so, despite his initial protests, he agreed to become a vampire to care for the people forever.
Now, every ten years, he organizes a competition in which villagers bring him the most exotic blood for him to taste. No one has ever been killed in this competition, but usually, a small amount of blood is drawn, which is then offered to him. In previous decades, winners have given him blood spiced with rum from the southern islands, blood garnished with herbs from the elven kingdoms, and blood infused with desert spices.
However, Alma claims to have something he’s never tasted before. She presents a bowl containing a slurry of green and brown liquid, a mixture of the deadliest mushrooms and herbs known to mankind.
This is where you come in. Alma needs you to drink the liquid and then make your way to the lord’s manor with her, which is located in the Forest Spires, a group of stone pillars 600-800 feet high. A small hamlet has been built at the top to see to the lord’s needs who also resides within the spires.
The poison won’t affect the lord, but the taste of your blood will be incredibly unique. Alma assures you that she will provide the antidote before you leave so you can take it after the lord has sampled your blood.
If you ask why you can’t drink it here and take out some of your blood now, Alma explains that the mixture should take around 6 hours to infuse your blood with its flavor. To keep it fresh and potent, it’s best to wait until you and she are in the lord’s chamber before drawing the blood.
If you question Alma’s ability to provide an antidote, she stomps her foot and asserts her proficiency as an alchemist. To prove it, she offers you a potion of levitation, which you find to work as described.
Now, she mentions the one downside of the poison. It will make you feel progressively sicker over time, but it shouldn’t be lethal until after around 10 hours. This gives you and Alma a solid 4-hour window to get the blood to the lord.
If you ask what you get out of this, Alma explains that if she wins the lord’s favor, she will request a larger alchemy store and more supplies, enabling her to produce dozens of more potions per month. She’s willing to either supply you with some each month or have them shipped to a destination of your choosing for your convenience.
If you agree, she hands you the bowl of liquid and suggests leaving in around 5 hours since the spires are only a half-hour walk from here, providing ample time for your blood to both season and for you to still get there in time.
When you arrive at the spires, you’ve been feeling the effects of the poison for some time, and it feels like it’s close to peaking. You need to climb over a thousand steps to reach the top of the spires and as you approach the top, you start hearing screams.
Upon arriving at the small hamlet Alma mentioned, you find it overrun with men carrying torches and axes who are threatening the townsfolk. One townsman tries to stand up to them, but one of the attacking men kicks him, sending him falling off one of the wooden bridges connecting the spires. After this the other attacking me begin heading for the lord’s chamber.
At this point, the poison coursing through your veins is almost debilitating, but if you ask for the antidote, Alma says she’ll never win the lord’s favor if you take it! but in the end leaves the choice up to you.
Navigating through the hamlet, you’re assaulted by the men with axes if you refuse to stand down and return to your home. Finally, when you arrive at the lord’s chamber, you find the lord, a portly balding man, seated on a lavish throne, surrounded by five men with axes.
The men insist that the vampire lord must die, as is the fate of all vampires, while the lord stutters and pleads that he’s never harmed anyone during his long existence and begs for your help.
Once the attacking men are dealt with, the lord sighs visibly, thanking you profusely and inquiring if anyone else was harmed.
Once everything has calmed down, if you didn’t take the antidote, Alma asks you to remain still while she takes a sample of your blood and presents it to the lord. The lord acknowledges that it is indeed the most exotic flavor he has ever experienced, and that Alma has won the competition. He chuckles to himself, stating that he would have also granted her his favor for your assistance with the men with axes so instead in addition, he offers a weapon from his treasury as a token of gratitude for your bravery.
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LUKE: The founder of Seafoot Games, Luke's been making maps and RPG games since he was a child, and spent over a decade creating his own game systems from scratch to play with his brothers. That was before he discovered other TTRPGs existed. Now, he paints the realistic grimdark fantasy battlemaps we're known for, helps write adventures as needed, and spends his free time printing and painting 3D minis, as well as working on his forever in-development TTRPG system.
BEB: Luke's wife, Beb's been writing, painting, and graphically designing things her whole life. She published her first book when she was 20, alongside a handful of sci-fi short stories, and was responsible for writing almost all of our adventures until mid 2022 when Steve joined the team. Now she mostly creates the outlines for the adventurer's guides with Luke, graphically designs documents, handles the bookkeeping (or as she likes to call it, bureaucrat wrangling), and manages the website—but she is slowly delegating these responsibilities, so she can focus on raising her and Luke's beautiful son.