The Theft of the Holy Horse
By: Arjan Wardekker
Difficulty: Level 1-3
Game: Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D)

The mission starts in Khazad, a medium sized town (of course it can be any town you like).
There is going to be a great feast in just a few (4-6) days, honoring the local god of war, Zirnath. Zirnath is symbolized by a black horse. This Holy Horse (medium warhorse) gets stolen by a band of Goblins.
The priests try to keep this theft a secret, because they don't want overall panic to erupt (you can imagine the god being pissed, if his horse gets stolen).
The Player Characters hear some rumours about the theft. If they try to get some more information at the temple, a monk will tell them the story (that the horse is actually stolen by the Goblins) and lead them to the leader of the priests (level 3, Chaotic Neutral).
He will make some other monks take away the first monk and kill him, becaus he told the PC's the story (it's a god of war.....). The PC's will hear a terrible scream (the monk who's being killed). Then he will try to get the PC's to help him and offer to pay them 100 gp if they return the horse safely. He will tell them that the Goblins left into the forests, north of the town. The leader of the priests doesn't accactely know where the Goblins are now, but he tells them that a ranger lives just outside the town, north of the forest, and that he probably knows where they went. This ranger can be found in his hut, dead (slain by Goblins). A dead Goblin lies in the hut to.
The party sets off (all they really need to do is follow the road). After a small time, they will encounter a Goblin priest:

AC = 6
THAC0 = 20
weapon = quarterstaff
Hit Dice = 1-1
XP Value = 15
equipment = holy symbol, map

This priest will not immediately attack them, but when the players show interest in the Holy Horse, he will. If the players capture and question him, he will tell them where the camp is (of course, it will take some effort to convince him to talk). Might they kill him, before he can talk, he's got a map on him, pinpointing the position of the camp (1 day's walk north-west of Khazad). The PC's might take the priest back to the Temple of Zirnath and the leader of the priests will give them some gold for it (after they have done this and walk out of the temple, they will hear the Goblin scream; he's being killed in a very painfull way).
When the players arrive at the hill (the location on the map, marked with an "X"), they will find it fortified by the Goblins. These fortifications are quite primitive, because they had to be constructed in only a few days: some trenches, sharpened wooden poles and a stone hut on top of the hill.There are 20 Goblins guarding the town: 5 archers (short bow), 10 soldiers (javelin), 5 swordmen (short sword):

AC = 6
THAC0 = 20
weapon = short bow, javelin or short sword (see above)
Hit Dice = 1-1
XP Value = 15
equipment = one of them will carry 5 gp and leather armour

These are the troops that will defend the town, when attacked by the PC's. Furthermore there is a priest and a leader (with Worg) inside the stone hut:

weapon: burning sword (see 'special ability')
special ability: 'Flame Blade' (1d4+4 damage, duration 10 minutes)
XP Value = 50
equipment: nice robe, holy symbol, 15 gp

AC = 4
weapon: long sword
equipment: armor (leather), Worg (he's riding on it, see below)
XP value = 35

AC = 6
THAC0 = 17
weapon = bite (2d4 damage)
Hit Dice = 3+3
XP Value = 120

These will come out of the builing if they try to climb the hill and have almost reached the hut (don't let them come out during or right after they have fought with the other Goblins; they might prove to strong. You could consider to let them rest a night and heal first). The priest runs right back into the hut. There he will start sacrificing the Holy Horse (also in the hut). If the PC's have killed the leader and his Worg and have reached the hut, they will see the priest, preparing the sacrifice (if they look through the entrance of course; the entrance is on the northern side of the hut). They must stop the priest; if they wait too long (a few minutes, or something like that), first give them some hints that he is actually sacrificing the horse and if they keep on waiting, then let the horse be killed.
If they return the horse safely, the promised money will be paid. Might this be in time for the feast, they will be invited to join the celebration as guests of honor (lots of free food and drink). If they return a dead Holy Horse, they will still be given some money (about 10 gp), but they may join the festivitations as ordinary guests, which includes bringing a pig as sacrifice.

User Comments on this mission:

Comment by: dik
Very good yet basic mission works well for low levels. Well done on the setup!!!

Comment by: Ryan Johnson
This mission gives a new meaning to the term "short but sweet." Though the plot was a little dry and predictable, the enemies and action was too good to ignore. I'd give this one a 7 out of 10.

Comment by: Brett Nicholson
Very good, nice little tactics for the PC's to figure 9/10 from my vote, V good for the lvl chars.

Comment by: Brett Nicholson
I used this mission last night i thought it was very good and so did my PC's exelent i'd like to see more of your missions my next line up is, your Bat Plague.

Back to the Mysterious Stranger