Sword Noir One-Pager: Kiss MacGuffin Deadly

This one-pager probably works best if your PCs are Urban Cohorts in Everthorn–or otherwise representatives of some level of law enforcement or other organization that imposes order in some fashion, like the Knights Templar and Hospitaller in the Holy Lands during the crusades. If not actual “police,” the PCs could be something akin to private detectives–if the setting has them–or some other freelance troubleshooters (or gunslinger/dirty-knight errant like Caspan Trey in my story “For Simple Coin”). Given that the PCs are expected to assist an innocent, criminals might not be the best choice.

This one-pager is also short on locations as it is long on everything else. You can always re-cycle a cool location from one of the earlier one-pagers if necessary.


Kiss MacGuffin Deadly

An innocent—to whom the PCs are likely to react positively but whom they don’t know—secretly connected somehow to a powerful mage of ill repute from afar requests the PCs’ help. This innocent needs to deliver a package to an individual in Everthorn. This is a matter of life or death. In an ambush, the innocent is killed or abducted. Various factions vie for the package, which is actually an uncontrollable item of power that destroys all around it when released from its confines.

Plot Points
1. The innocent does not have the package, but is receiving it from a trusted ship’s captain who travelled from afar. The innocent has a note to the captain to release the package to the bearer of the note. The innocent provides the note to the PCs once she secures their assistance. The innocent has a sense of impending doom.

2. The Evil Mastermind sends four mercenaries (possibly named Sucre, Xavier, Tang and Celeris) to get the innocent and the package. If the capture is unsuccessful, the crew are tasked with killing the innocent. The recovery of the package is a top priority.

3. When the PCs secure the package, there is a note included with it that it must be delivered to Al-Ansar or the Invisible Judge for safekeeping.

4. Just before the PCs make the delivery, the Evil Mastermind along with any surviving mercenaries and a total of eight toughs attack in an attempt to grab the package. The powerful mage of ill-repute, Skeleros, appears and joins in the struggle, attacking the strongest party first.

1. Star’s Reach: The galleon of the Ship’s Captain. This is a large, fast vessel, able to cross oceans and perhaps introduce the PCs to entirely new settings.

Narrative Characters
1. The Innocent, plot initiator
Concept: Naïf (+2) Faculty: Engender trust (Cha, +2)
Phy 7; Agl 7; Wit 9; Cha 12; Wil 9

2. Mercenaries
Concept: Tough Guy (+4) Background: Street Hunter (+2)
Faculty: Rough housing (Phy, +4) Flaw: Unimaginative (-2)
Phy 15; Agl 9; Wit 7; Cha 9; Wil 7
Cracking Heads (Phy, +4); Powerhouse (Phy, +2)

3. The Ship’s Captain
Concept: Merchant Adventurer (+2) Faculty: Cold Read (Cha, +2)
Phy 7; Agl 9; Wit 9; Cha 12; Wil 7

4. Evil Mastermind
Concept: Underworld Spider (+2) Background: Arcanist (+2)
Faculty: Intimidation (Cha, +2) Flaw: Impatient (-2)
Phy 12; Agl 9; Wit 12; Cha 12; Wil 9
Fight Dirty (Phy, +4), Aggressive Negotiations (Cha, +2)

4. Skeleros, powerful mage of ill-repute from afar
Concept: Necromancer (+2) Background: Spurned Scholar (Wit, +2)
Faculty: the Arcane (Cha, +2) Flaw: Imperious (-2)
Phy 7; Agl 9; Wit 12; Cha 15; Wil 9
Arcane Quality – Water, Charm of the Grave (+4), Rain of Fear (+4)

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