Monday, September 19, 2011

Adventure 13 - I was a Teenage Demon


Continuing the September series of short (horror themed) adventures...


Megan Fox:  coming to a D&D table near you
 PLACEMENT
Any hamlet or settlement small enough to call a town meeting - a less dangerous civilized backwater is preferred.  Ideal for when the PCs are just passing through.

SETTING THE SCENE
A teenaged boy has been found dead in the copse of trees near the old mill house, and torches and pitchforks are out!  The dried out nature of the corpse (life energy drained) has everyone thinking a foul spirit, ghost, undead or similar monster is lurking nearby.  The reeve or constable is organizing patrols.

Player characters might be staying at the crossroads inn or tavern, and will certainly overhear the ruckus as townsfolk gather in the market square.  In a manorial system, the local reeve is likely in charge, while word has been sent to the lord and sheriff for extra help.  The characters might have the chance to see the distraught parents ("He was just sneaking out to see some girl he was sweet on…").  They might also pitch in and help with the patrols, etc.

Old Man White, the creepy guy with the run down farm out near Raven's Bluff, even shows up with his gorgeous teenage daughter, "Megan".  Perceptive characters will notice how many of the village boys try and get Megan's attention, who blushes demurely, while the father ushers her around protectively.  Old Man White gives some sensible advice about searching the graveyard, points out that he's too old to help with the search himself, and reminds everyone that he needs to get his daughter out of the night air.  "She has a delicate condition, and she needs special herbs and teas each evening so she doesn't develop the same condition that killed her mother, bless her departed soul…"

WHAT'S GOING ON
In folklore, the offspring of a devil and a human is a Cambion.  The succubus story from last post got me thinking how much fun it would be to have an adventure that featured such a creature.  In AD&D, there's a creature called an Alu-Demon that's the offspring of a Succubus (demon) and a human; and that works well enough here.

Old Man White is a chaotic Magic User that has "retired" to this little backwater village to raise his daughter and hide; Megan is the unknowing offspring of a Succubus.  For a campaign twist, assume there is a cult out there that works on arranging these human-demon pairings with Succubi and Incubi and caring for the issue, and Old Man White stole away his own offspring, fleeing the cult and seeking anonymity.  This works a little bit of the Rosemary's Baby theme into the story; even now the cult hunts him (though that may not matter in this particular situation).

Megan has been kept ignorant of her Abyssal heritage; she's been brought up since childhood with the belief that her delicate constitution will make her sick in the night air, and she drinks a daily infusion of herbs and teas (actually a potion similar to demon control) that keeps the demonic side of her soul suppressed.  She's a sweet teenager with unearthly charisma and beauty owing to her Succubus mother.

Unfortunately, as she matures into a woman, the potions are losing effectiveness, and demonic transformations are beginning to happen at night - she sprouts bat wings, claws, fangs, and flies off in search of life energy to suck.  Amorous trysts arranged by gorgeous teenage "Megan" often end up with the victim dead at the hands of her demonic alter ego.  At best, Megan remembers it in snatches of nightmare, which her worried father does his best to dispel the next morning.

I love this set up for a number of reasons - one, it travels the well-worn ground of hormonal teenagers getting smoked in the woods by a monster.  I loved the horror movie Jennifer's Body and it cracks me up to put Megan Fox in a D&D game.  On a darker note, the situation presents moral questions for a party of adventurers that could require them to step back and consider options; the teenager Megan appears to be completely innocent.  Her father, while once part of a dark cult, seems to be trying to turn a new leaf.  If they're confronted, I'd work to make Megan and Old Man White come across as innocent as possible to muddy the waters.  And yet there is a monster in the village.  Have fun!

RESOLUTIONS
The situation is meant to be somewhat fluid and free-form, so the adventure could evolve different ways based on player action.  The pitchfork and torches patrols won't find anything (though it would be a great red herring to root out a ghoul or some minor undead lurking in the graveyard, to throw off the hunt).

But boys will continue to court Megan, who just keeps looking better and better, and teenage corpses will be found shriveled and sucked of life.

Assuming players move on or don't intervene, Megan will soon piece together that the dying boys are the same ones she's meeting; her foggy dreams and nightmare snatches are her own fragmented memories, and she'll confront her father to learn the truth - the classic, "Father, am I a monster?" scene.  Where does it go from there? My default position would be that the release of suppressed memories, when she learns the truth, merges her two personalities, and the Alu-demon form becomes the dominant persona going forward.  After slaying her weak father, she goes off in search of Mom's side of the family.  Of course, other DM's might take a more sympathetic approach.

SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED
Locale:  a small hamlet
NPCs:  the Reeve, distraught peasants, Old Man White, beautiful Megan
Monsters:  Megan, the Alu-Demon
Artifacts: Old Man White's demon control infusion


Other Blogs Posting September Short Adventures:
Here's a handy link to all the OSR blogs taking part in the challenge - 25 adventures in September: