The Unicorn has been sighted quite often of late. You and your siblings will be given the task of learning why. Oberon has put this forth as a test of [wo]manhood, and an opportunity to show that you are fit to be accepted as a True Child of Amber. What dangers or revelations will you discover during your Quest for the Unicorn? (Players will be taking the part of one of the Nine Princes or Four Princesses of the House of Amber.)
Many Unicorn Sightings: Forest of Arden, Valley of Garnath, Lighthouse of Cabra, steps to Tir-na Nog'th, near steps to Rebma...
PC's asked to find out why: by Dworkin acting on Oberon's orders
Learn that she is being Hunted: by encounters with 12 man-wolves
Stop some hunters from killing a unicorn: 8 hunters and 6 man-wolves
Discover that the hunters were sent by forces out of chaos: Trump and letter found on bodies or by search of survivors
Hunter's liaison with their Chaosian masters tracked through Shadow: Liaison found with approximately a dozen guards
Learn of the one behind it all, Alkeron: Trump found with Liaison
Alkeron known to be in a Particular Shadow near Arden: gained by interrogating Lundri or further search of Lundri's location
Alkeron located: somewhere in Arden
Final Battle: fight with Alkeron and whomever he decides to summon
Gifts from the Unicorn
To start, let the PC's interact together for a while to get a feel for their characters. Then read them the following message which outlines their quest.
Dworkin - "Greetings, Children of Amber! I am Dworkin, advisor to the King. I have been instructed to brief you on a quest of great importance. The Unicorn, patron beast of the House of Amber, has been sighted in many places recently. The King wishes you to locate the Unicorn and discover why it has chosen to appear again at this time.
"To aid you in your quest, I have created a set of Trumps for each of you." He continues as he passes out a packet of Trumps to each PC. "In each set of Trumps you will find a Trump of this Library, one of each of you, one of the entrance gates to the Castle, and one of the King. You are to use these to keep in contact with each other and to notify the King of anything important which you learn.
"If you succeed in this endeavor, you will demonstrate your ability to be worthy of the Crown. Do not doubt that your father Oberon will be watching you all. Good luck in your quest."
With this, Dworkin will disappear with flashy special effects.
PC's either start with pre-generated characters, or have an Attribute Auction. If pre-generated characters are used, the 250 pt. Elder Amberites from the NPC section can be used.
This module is designed for low-level Amber Diceless Role-playing characters. Its purpose is to send the PC's on a quest that will ultimately put them face to face with the Unicorn of Amber. There will be opportunities for role-play as the PC's search for information on the Unicorn; either in the Library itself or from witnesses of Unicorn sightings. There will also be chances for combat once the PC's learn that there are forces trying to kill and/or capture the Unicorn. The first battle should happen the first time any of the PC's inspect one of the wilderness scenes of a Unicorn sighting.
A fight with agents of the main individual(s) who are "hunting" the Unicorn could happen at every scene of a sighting, some of them, one of them, or even in other locations such as the place in which a witness is being questioned. Fighting should only be about half of the overall adventure however. A balance of role-playing and combat should be attempted.
Some quotes from Unicorn Sighters:
"Bright, she was. Like a shinning star."
"It seemed to me as if she was runnin' from somethin'."
"The most beauteous thing mine eyes ever beheld."
"I don't know what gave me this impression, but she seemed awfully tired and spent-like."
"She kept looking over her shoulder, like she was being followed."
"I don't know what it was, but some kind of howling made her bolt away out of sight."
"I only caught a glimpse of her. But there seemed to be somethin' big and dark hot on her heels."
Encounter with man-wolves: Can occur at any location outside of the city.
"You are rushed by a group of creatures with a toughly humanoid build. They are over six feet tall, have dark grey fur, and the head of a werewolf. They all seem to be wearing pants and some kind of sash. What will you do?"
Encounter with hunters: can occur after a few man-wolf attacks or once the PC's track some man-wolves back to their masters.
"You see a group of eight hunters attacking the Unicorn. There are about six man-wolves attacking her from all sides. Four of the hunters are taking aim with bow, three are shouting orders to the man-wolves, and one is shouting arcane sounding words, while a shimmering field of energy is beginning to surround the Unicorn. Them one of the men spots you and shouts. The archers turn to face you, arrows at the ready. What do you do?"
The Unicorn Speaks:
"Thank you for rescuing me. I don't think I could have held them off much longer. Don't look so surprise. I'm just one of a race of lesser unicorn sent by the Great Unicorn to warn of the danger to her. Forces out of the chaos have been trying to destroy her so that Amber and all of Shadow can be destroyed. These mad beings seek a return to a time before the coming of Order. Please, you must find the one behind this terrible deed. And hurry, there is no telling how close their plans are to a reality!"
Converse with Hunters:
"We though she was just another dumb animal."
"This guy convinced us that there was an overpopulation of unicorns in the area. They needed to be thinned out."
"The guy was really convincing. I never questioned him. He just seemed to know what he was talking about."
"He gave us this card to notify him when we killed a unicorn."
Search of Dead hunter's bodies:
"You locate a Trump of an unknown man. You also find a letter. The letter says: 'When you kill off a unicorn, use this to contact me and you'll be well rewarded. This infestation of overpopulated unicorns must be cut down.' It is signed: Lundri.
Locating the Man on the Trump:
"You find the place which corresponds with the background on the Trump. You see the man from the Trump heading toward a small keep surrounded by a dozen guards. A guard spots you and orders the others to attack. What will you do?"
Converse with Lundri:
"It wasn't me I tell you! Alkeron is the one you really want. I'm just a lackey. Here, this is his Trump. Use it if you want. No, I don't know where he is, just that he is somewhere in a Shadow of the Forest of Arden. I'll do anything, go to prison if you want, just don't kill me!"
Search of Lundri's Body and/or keep:
"After a thorough search, you find a Trump of someone. The background of the Trump is really distorted and strange, as if the artist kept changing his mind on what to put there. You also find a message: 'Lundri, once the hunters have killed the Unicorn, join me in the shadow of Arden.' Signed: Lord Alkeron, House Hengrave, CC."
"You see the man from the Trump, the one called Alkeron. He is dressed in deep black robes with strange spidery and snakelike symbols upon it. You looks at you and says, 'I've been expecting you. I knew sooner or later Oberon's brats would find out what has been going on. No matter, you won't live to tell anyone about it.' With that he launches a magical attack which knocks you over. He begins to incant another spell. What do you do?"
After the death of Alkeron:
"A shinning figure enters the clearing. A soft shimmering light encompasses her, as if she were covered in down rather than fur and maning. She has tiny, cloven hooves which are golden, as is the delicate, whorled horn that rises from her narrow head. Her eyes are bright emerald green, and her gaze when it meets one's eyes is penetrating. She nods her head at you and a box bearing your colors and symbol appears at your feet. You feel a wave of love and gratitude wash over you. She rears back, taps her hooves on the ground, turns, and vanishes into the forest."
Unicorn gifts(if using pre-generated characters):
Benedict: a beautiful katana, a Trump of a Japanese-style Shadow and a letter of introduction to a great warrior/strategist
Bleys: a magnificent sword with a filigree pattern design
Caine: six bejeweled daggers of magical nature
Corwin: a silver rapier baring an image of the Pattern in its blade
Deirdre: a suit of black and silver battle armor
Eric: a heavy golden sword of fabulous quality
Fiona: a letter sending her to Dworkin for more advanced mystical training with magic and the Pattern
Brand: a Trump of a Shadow of legendary magic and power
Gerard: a big indestructible sword
Julian: white enameled armor
Unicorn Sighters - These people are simply Amber folk who happen to have seen or glimpsed the Unicorn. All sightings are to be considered valid. No-one would lie about a such a thing since they believe the Unicorn to be a scared beast. Unicorn sighters include such people as peasants, merchants, mercenaries, sailors, barmaids, miscellaneous low-ranking individuals, and a few minor nobles. Exactly where in Amber proper these sightings occurred is up to individual GM's. If the sighting was in or near a town, a small Unicorn shrine will most likely be in the process of being built. If the sighting was in the forests or near the beaches, either a small shrine or a cairn of stones will be in the process of being erected. Fights with the man-wolves (hunters' agents) should only occur in these latter types of areas. Just about anyone a PC might want to question will either be a Unicorn sighter themself or have been told about a sighting directly from a sighter. Such landmarks near sightings include the Valley of Garnath, Lighthouse of Cabra, the steps to Tir-na Nog'th, steps to Rebma and in the Forest of Arden.
Hunting party "agents" - These agents have a humanoid build. They stand roughly six feet 4 inches in height. They have fur in shades of grey and a head that is a cross between a man's and a wolf's (your basic werewolf look, but not a werewolf). These agents wear dark black leggings and a sash (choose any color) with a design of a crossbow, long bow, and spear crossing in the center of a badge over their hearts. Because of their minimal intelligence, they will attack anyone who they perceive as interrupting the hunt. Because of their nature, these beasts will fight to the death.
Abilities/other notes - Extra-Hard claws and teeth Danger Sense Follow Shadow Trail Rapid HealingMan-wolves generally travel in groups of three. In any encounter with them, however, there should be at least twice as many man-wolves as PC's, but no less than three.
Hunters - These consist of four archers, four bare-handed fighters, and two mages. These people are typical Amberites out for a grand ole time and the thrill of the hunt. They wear hunting outfits with their personal design (see above) as a round badge over their hearts. They believe the Unicorn to be just another dumb beast; one of a race of such. They think the reason for all of the recent Unicorn Sightings is because the population of unicorns has gotten out of hand. They are not truly of evil intent, but are mearly being misguided by evil forces from the Courts of Chaos. They will surrender or try to run away (GM discretion) if their lives are seriously threatened. When fighting, they will go for disabling attacks; they will not try to kill people. If a PC has creatures fighting for him/her, the hunter(s) will attempt to kill them quickly and with minimal pain.
All hunters will be mounted. The fighters each have a bow with about a dozen arrows, a crossbow with six bolts, a single spear, and a regular sword. The bow will be readied, the crossbow and spear will be attached to their saddle-bags and the sword will be sheathed at their hip. The tough fighters will be equipped with leather armor and daggers. There will also be two mage hunters. These hunters will be trying to use their magic skills to keep the unicorn at bay while the others finish her off. They will begin casting spells at the PC's if they try to interfere.
A unicorn - A brilliantly white horse with cloven hooves, a whorled horn and bright eyes. She is an agent sent by the True Unicorn to warn of the threat to Her. This unicorn knows Sorcery. Once rescued, the unicorn will tell the PC's that she is merely one of a race of lesser unicorns sent by the True Unicorn to warn of the plans of a being of Chaos who was seeking the destruction of Amber by destroying Her.
Lundri - This individual is merely a lackey; and agent sent to spread the idea that the Unicorn is just another dumb beast. He is somewhat evil in nature, but can be reasoned with. He is out for money and power, and has little idea of the true state of affairs between Amber and Chaos. He will fight to defend himself, but will surrender if things look bad.
Lundri knows how to Shape Shift and is a Logrus Master. He will be accompanied by a dozen guards. The guards will be armed with a variety of weapons. Some will have a sword, others will have an axe, war hammer, or spear. They will all be wearing chain mail shirts and leather leggings.
Alkeron - This individual is a truly evil chaosian who wishes the utter destruction of the Unicorn, Amber, and Shadow. He wishes a return to the time before the Pattern was created, when only Chaos reigned. He will never give up or surrender. He will continue to fight until all who are in opposition perish. Alkeron is a Shape Shifter, an Advanced Logrus Master, and knows Sorcery and Trump Artistry.
The True Unicorn - A soft shimmering light encompasses her, as if she were covered in down rather than fur and maning. She has tiny, cloven hooves which are golden, as is the delicate, whorled horn that rises from her narrow head. Her eyes are bright emerald green, and her gaze when it meets one's eyes is penetrating.
An enigma of powers and abilities. The only thing know about her is her ability to move through Shadows, and the fact that she is the Patron beast of the House of Amber. There are rumors that she is much more, and a superstition among the Amberites that harm to her would be very detrimental to everything in Amber.
/B - Psychic barrier
E - Endless (Endurance Only)
U - Unknown
# - # points above Human
L - Logrus
AL - Advanced Logrus
SS - Shape Shifting
T - Trump Artistry
S - Sorcery
EH - Extra Hard "Weapon"
SD - Sense Danger
ST - Shadow Trail
RH - Rapid Healing
P S E W Abilities
Man-wolves(12+) 15/B 31 E 37 SD,EH,ST,RH
Mage Hunters(2) 49 31 35 21 S
Warrior Hunters(4) 37 38 37 49
Tough Hunters(4) 37 49 37 39
Unicorn 25/B 95 E 100 S
Lundri 45 45 45 45 SS,L
Lundri's Guards 25 37 37 49
True Unicorn U U E U ?
Alkeron 75 40 55 95 SS,AL,S,T