Dungeons and Dragons – Mystara
Adventures AC 1002 – Mystery of Davinos
Davinos’ Complaint (*)
Source: The Grand Duchy of Karameikos (gaz1)
This adventure was originally part of the Basic Adventures section of Gazetteer 1 – The Grand Duchy of Karameikos which I modified and one of the changes to be investigated as part of the Wrath of the Immortals storyline.
This features in the following sections:
- Gazetteer – Karameikos
- AC 1002 – Mystery of Davinos. A traladaran noble seeks to improve those wronged when the Duke took control of the city.
The Original Concept
* Adventure of Great Importance to the Royal Family.
Here’s an example of how politics in Karameikos can spark a story – one with a beginning, middle, and end for both the court of Duke Stefan and for player characters.
This is how dry Karameikian politics becomes exciting Karameikian adventures. Remember: The only purpose of politics in this game is to set up interesting encounters and activities in which the PCs can participate.
Davinos, a young Traladaran man of Kelvin, has for many weeks been working to get an audience with the Duke. Finally, the audience is permitted.
Davinos presents this case to the court: Thirty years ago, numerous Traladaran homesteaders and businessmen saw their lands seized and businesses ruined by Thyatian intruders. (Davinos expresses understanding that these were a minority among the Thyatian arrivals, but says their actions are still criminal.)
Davinos proposes that Traladaran homesteaders and businessmen who were economically injured by these invaders now be allowed to pay much reduced taxes for a period of several years, in order that they might return to a level of wealth they held before the Thyatians came.
Duke Stefan promises to consider the proposal, and finds out where Davinos is staying so that he can summon him when he has a decision or reply to make. That ends Davinos’ audience.
The DM contrive to have one or more player-characters present at the audience. Alternatively, the characters can hear news of the event the next day. Also the next day, a gang of Thyatian toughs will set upon Davinos while he’s walking in the streets, beating him and telling him that he’s an ungrateful Traladaran dog and that he should be content with whatever bones he’s thrown. Of course, the PCs stumble across this scene before Davinos has taken too much hurt, and can have a street fight with the toughs. They’re just a bunch of drunken louts who what to keep Traladarans in their place.
Anton Radu, head of the Merchants Guild (and, secretly, head of the criminal organisation known as The Veiled Society), sees in Davinos an ideal opportunity to increase his own power.
He has all his Veiled Society minions spread the story of Davinos on the street – only they’re supposed to change it a bit. In this story, Davinos appeared before the Duke with a proposal: That all Traladaran merchant families pay lowered taxes to repay them for the hurt done them 30 years ago (AC 970). In this story, Duke Stefan is uproariously amused and has the poor Davinos thrown out of the palace.
This story has the desired effect of stirring up some anti- Thyatian resentment among the Traladaran population of Specularum. But then Anton Radu begins his master plan.
He has a Thyatian subordinate in the Veiled Society hire a number of Thyatian robbers and thumb-breakers to go kill Davinos. he specifies the time and place – a street between Davinos’ inn and the Duke’s Stronghold.
He had this same subordinate dress in rich clothing, go to Davinos’ inn, and tell the fellow that the Duke wishes to speak with him immediately. This subordinate leads Davinos toward the street where the assassins lay in wait.
Just after that, he has a second subordinate, a respectable businessman, find a group of adventurers – preferably mixed Thyatian and Traladaran, and definitely the PCs – to tell them that Davinos was just led away by a man masquerading as a messenger from the Duke. This businessman recognizes the imposter as a notorious thief.
The net effect is this: The PCs arrive on the scene of the crime just in time to see Davinos die beneath the blades of the assassins. It’s very likely that they’ll attack the killers. (The imposter is already gone.) The killers will die or surrender. Davinos is dead. Too bad.
However, trouble is just beginning to brew. With natural public sentiment helped along by Anton Radu’s careful manipulation, the PCs begin hearing an ugly opinion get louder and louder in the streets: “Davinos was just trying to help his people get by, and the Thyatians killed him for it.” It’s the topic of discussion at bars and inns. There’s some brawling in the streets between Thyatian and Traladarans. A couple of Thyatian businesses are burned out – perhaps the PCs can be nearby to rescue people from the burning building.
The characters are approached by Emilio the Great, who buys them a drink and huddles with them in conversation. Emilio says that a “certain highly-placed person” (actually the Duchess) suspects that this whole catastrophe has been engineered by a clever manipulator. This person wishes the PCs, who (even the Thyatians) are well-regarded by the Traladarans for trying to save Davinos, to investigate and see if this situation can be resolved. They should ask around, find whatever they can about all the people involved in the killing, etc.
During the character’s investigations, there’s a Traladaran riot in one of the marketplaces; it must be put down by the city guard (and the PCs too, if you wish). Public sentiment is getting uglier and uglier. There are increasing threats that is Davinos’ request is not signed into law, the city will explode with violence. The problem is, most people think that Davinos’ request was that all Traladaran merchants pay much-reduced taxes, which would cripple the Karameikos economy if it were allowed.
As pressure on the Duke mounts, the characters, in their investigations, will discover that the description of the importer who lead Davinos to his death is not consistent. The respectable businessmen who told the PCs about it describes him one way; someone else, not so sure of himself thinks the person looked a different way. Finally, they’ll meet someone who was in the inn when Davinos was led off, someone who thinks he can identify the imposter if he sees him again. Recommend Yolanda of Luln, Magdel, or Lord Dmitrios. This person will be glad to accompany the characters on their investigations.
The character and their ally can wander through the city as violence builds, having street encounters with dangerous persons, until finally their ally spots the person who led Davinos away. They could capture him where they spot him, and force the information of his misdeeds from him, or follow him back to his base, where he reports to his superior – a Traladaran man of the Veiled Society. Alternatively, the characters could force the truth from the businessman who lied about the imposter’s appearance. Either way, the trail leads to the veiled society Traladaran member, and after a climactic fight with Veiled Society thugs the characters can announce to the world that it was a Traladaran who had Davinos killed.
There’ll be disbelief at first, but quickly the Specularums will accept the fact and the violence will ebb.
The characters have solved the crime (even if the veiled society member cannot tell them who his superiors are – he doesn’t know). The characters have gained the notice of the Duchess and the Duke, not the mention Anton Radu – who won’t attempt revenge upon them, but will remember them in the future.
- Adventure Level: 1-5, Basic (converts to 1 to 5)
- Topic: Traladaran nobility and the Veiled Society
- Interesting Features: Court politics.
- Campaign Hook: A chance for gaining the favour of the old nobility of the region.
Not run as part of the campaign.
Can be run anywhere in the first five years of the campaign from Year One to Year Five, and can be adapted to run at other levels as an ongoing adventure option.
More to be written about the outcome.
(Tier 1 – Introduction 11/46)
(Tier 2 – Investigation 16/50)
AC 1005 (Year 6) – (12/19) – Rheddrian’s Investigation Bureau, Cult (of the Scarlet Moon, of the Valley of Death), Mystery (in Aegos, in Sundsvall, in Thyatis City, of the Alphatian Duellers, of the Dead Elf, of the Great Gnome Caravan, of the Magic Mirror, of the Missing Pilgrims), Relic Hunter (Dinosaurs)
1008 AC (Year 9) – (0/6)
1009 AC (Year 10) – (0/5)
Phase 3 (Tier 3 – War 28), Year 11 – 10, Year 12 – 5, Year 13 – 4, Year 14 – 4, Year 15 – 4
Phase 4 (Tier 4 – Conclusion 7) Year 16 – 3, Year 17 – 2, Year 18 – 1, Year 19 – 1, Year 20 –
Phase 5 (Tier 5 – tba)
Phase 6 (Tier 6 – tba)
Campaign References: Books,
Barvarossa (S-SL), Blackbeard (S-GS), Bounty (S-SS), Buccaneer (S-GS), Cutlass (S-GL), Magnussen (S-LS), Renegade (S-SL), Revenge (S-GW), Sea Hag (S-SS), Sea Hawk (S-GL), Sigtrygg (S-LS), Swashbucker (S-GS), The Pride (S-SS), Thorgrim (S-LS), Tortuga (S-SS)
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Class Builds –
Artificer – Bombardier (Tinkerkin),
Barbarian – Totem Warrior (Plamin, Camdu),
Bard – College of Valour (Sunfey),
Druid – Circle of Dreams (Woodfey), Circle of the Tree of Life (Seasonfey),
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