Adventures in Ivendarea: The Royal Academy Heist
Mission brief: your adventure party has met up with the resistance movement, and they seem impressed enough of you to consider to let you join them. But first you need to prove your worth and that you're ready to risk something, as the everday reality of a revolutionist isn't only the romanticized version sung about in songs. The resistance leaders of the area are going to take you on a not so little mission to Saratheas, the Royal Academy, to be precise. One of the human professors there owns an important scripture stolen from Maan Ganyr during the The Revolution War - and you will get it back. Getting into the Academy won't be much of a challenge - but locating the scripture in the huge building, and escaping (preferrably without alerting anyone) are going to really test your wits and skill.
The rebel leaders take the group of adventurer's willing to join them to Saratheas without drawing too much attention. The group has to come up with a plan by themselves, although the rebels might give hints, as some of them have been to the Royal Academy before and know the rough layout. The Academy consists of the main building, which has a circular shape, and two steep towers, in which the teachers and students from out of town live and have their offices. The main building has several smaller classrooms spread across 3 floors with laboratories and research facilities mixed in. On the fourth floor lies the main auditorium, surrounded by the Academy's gardens. In the basement is an archive and library.
By the time the group arrives at the location it is shortly before lunch time - if they hurry they could get in before the lunch break starts and figure out where the scripture is located. Or they wait until the lunch break starts and the hallways are crowded, blending in with the people but also more likely to be spotted if they do something risky.
Things can get complicated if the group is spotted early on and identified as intruders - which could happen if they decide to rummage through people's offices or ask around too much about the professor in question and his studies. If this happens and their cover gets blown so early on, someone might call the guards (if not persuaded otherwise), and those will be after the group for the rest of their stay at the Academy.
No matter if the cover is blown or not though, they will learn that the professor apparently had been holding a lecture in the main auditorium this morning, so that might be a good place to take a closer look at.
The professor himself doesn't need to be located to find the scripture, and depending on when the party decided to enter the Academy and how long it took them to explore, he might not be in the auditorium anymore. If the professor isn't in the auditorium anymore: It's possible to interrogate students or other teachers still present, but this will draw attention and might be considered suspicious if handled without care and preparation. Violence is a possible approach as well, but will result in the guards being called and chasing the group from this point on. If the professor is still in the auditorium: Question him directly about the scripture (draw attention) or follow him as he leaves after finishing a conversation with a student (if blending in with the crowd while following him it will draw less attention). Either way the group will learn that the professor has been researching old scriptures in his office, which is located high up in the north tower.
Arriving at the office of the professor, he might nor might not be there, depending on previous choices, so now it is time to deal with him, as he won't give the scripture away without a fight. Negotiation is definitely possible, but as a teacher known for strictness and discipline he is not easy to bargain with. The office is relatively small and stuffed with things, over book shelves, to a collection of tea pots, as well as a relatively opulent desk and chair. Fighting is possible though, and using things in the environment might be of advantage. The professor has magical abilities, but he is no skilled fighter and can be knocked out (or killed) easily, should a fight happen. In the case of a fight, the guards will definitely be alarmed though (if they weren't already), and they could storm the tower, cutting off the only easy escape route. The scripture is locked away in a cupboard with other old books and scrolls, the key is in the desk.
Depending on the choices so far, the group might now be facing a battle against guards in a very small area, a climb down the side of the tower, or a casual stroll as if nothing had happened through the same entrance they had come through before. If the guards have been alerted already before the group entered the tower, they will now directly run into them as soon as they leave the professor's office - no matter if they hurt him or not. A fight ensues, but the party can also try and flee either down the stairs or climb out of a nearby window, but the guards will chase them until they manage to get out of sight and into a sufficient hiding place. The climb out of the tower window might be a better option if the guards have been alerted during or after the confrontation with the professor and if it turned violent in some way (even if he didn't die or end up in a fight - if e.g. furnitue gets destroyed, this will also alert the guards). When the office is left though, the guards aren't there yet, but they can be heard running up the stairs. A window nearby is open and climbing out is possible. The tower is slightly ingrown with thick ivy plants that provide a little bit of foothold, and while definitely risky and exhausting, it's possible to "disappear without a trace" with this approach. The last and easiest option is that no-one is alerted throughout the mission and the group can just walk out the same way that they came in through again.
The mission was successful if the scripture is handed over to the resistance - even though it will remain unknown for the time being what they need it for. Depending on how well the group performed in the sense of leaving traces or drawing attention to themselves, the rebel leaders might want to overthink if they are really ready to join them. Especially in the case where guards are alerted early on and a lot of fighting happens the rebel leaders will be thankful, but refuse to let the group work with them for now. Alternatively, if the outcome is better with less or no attention drawn, the group can consider the rebels as new permanent contacts and will get the chance to obtain more jobs from them in the future. Maybe also paid the next time.
- Infiltrate and Exfiltrate the Academy - preferrably without causing a scene or drawing the guard's attention
- Find out where the professor keeps the scripture (locating the professor himself is optional)
- Retrieve the correct scripture in one piece
- Impress the rebels (open to interpretation - could be achieved by being extremely witty, showing prowess in combat, or generally doing something unexpected that has good consequences)
- Explore the Royal Academy to potentially uncover some secrets about the further plot or background knowledge
One-Shot Tabletop Adventure
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