One Shot: Sabes-Kimming in Danger Plot in Skeigham | World Anvil

One Shot: Sabes-Kimming in Danger

When the heroes visit the dwarven town Feynbinge at the northern edge of Ethoressi and southern border of Aliretar to join the yearly celebrations for Sabes-Kimming, they encounter an old fear of the dwarves, as a dangerous illness suddenly reappears. They have to find the instigators behind the outbreak that threatens all the dwarves celebrating peacefully - and avoid the authorities that would rather detain them, fearing they might be contagious.



It is the time before Sabes-Kimming, the nights are long, the days are short and everybody prepares for the upcoming festivities. As do your heroes, that happened to find themselves in the dwarven city of Feynbinge.
When the adventure begins, the heroes are enjoying a meal at the local tavern, frequented by both dwarves and a few humans. The group is not the only outsider so they do not draw any unwanted attention. The atmosphere is positively humming in anticipation of the festivities, which with the dwarves usually avoids lots of light shows.
Your heroes might hear about a shipment of lights that burn without fire, a new development from several alchemists in Aleritar. Those Alchemical Lamps are all the rage currently
The heroes might notice some commotion in one corner, where the atmosphere seems a bit more aggressive. A dwarf in dark but fine clothes, curiously wearing silken gloves is arguing against the arrival of several council members. He claims that their corrupt rulers would not be welcome here and they just disturb the celebrations. The argument catches the focus but it does not seem dangerous.


The sick dwarf

Suddenly, a dwarf burst into the door, brabbling stuff, screaming incoherently and staggering into the middle of the room. The conversation stops, people are irritated by the dwarf. Some cry, enraging the dwarf even more, who seemed to turn on the spot confused, apparently searching something. Some dwarves seem to fall into a panic, frantically edging away from the raving person. He would attack anyone with hand and teeth who tries to get near him. No dwarf will engage him though. Calls for a Manedhand grew louder.
The dwarf will mostly stammer incoherently but common themes are light, death, betrayal, light again, darkness, light, trickery, insane, cult and light. Did I mention light?
  At last, the dwarf will simply fall to the floor, especially after he seemed to recognize a person in the crowd. He will shout "the lights. It will kill us all!" the only coherent sentence before he collapses. Blue veins are visibly crawling up his neck. His hands already have been blue. This dwarf is infected with the Blue Steel Taint, a fact that every dwarf will be fully aware of. Panic ensues.  
Perceptive players will be able to each notice one or more of these things:
  • The dwarf seemed to recognize the darkly clothed, glove wearing dwarf.
    With a raise, the player that the dark dwarf is one of the only in the rooms calm and even smiling coldly.
  • The dwarf is holding a silvery object in one hand.
    With a raise, a player might notice the dark dwarf picking the thing up in the commotion.
    With a raise and a knowledge of at least d6 in either Alchemy or Dwarven Technology the player can identify this as part of an alchemical lamp
The Blue Steel Taint, the deadliest sickness for dwarves ever is now in this town!

Rising Action

The Authorities react fast, contain all visitors of the inn with their troops and escort them to a holding area a bit outside the city. The atmosphere is tense,some dwarves cob and cry, others are angry and helpless.
They know plenty of stories about how the Blue Steel Taint has terrorized the dwarven world for centuries and how they fear that the darkness will win.
Some well placed questions to a well educated dwarf could lead to the rumor about a dwarven cult - the Berit-Notur Cult - that uses the Taint as a weapon.
Some dwarfs might wonder if that shady workshop in the outskirts of the town might have broken with the rules of conduct, allowing the Taint to develop.
The party will be able to witness the dwarf in black clothes talk to one of the guards and leave the containment. From here on out they can decide how to act.
They talk their way out
If the group consists only of non-dwarves - or has at least one dwarf capable of the healing spell then they can get out diplomatically. Valid arguments are the fact that non-dwarves to not transmit the disease or that the healing dwarf is best placed outside to help prevent an outbreak.
If they convince the leader of the guards that they even have a clue who could be behind this, the guard could give them 1d6 + raises dwarves as support.
They fight their way out
If you have a brawl happy group, let them be. Most guards will forget the fact that they are most likely not contagious and withdraw quickly. If they happen to inspire some of the contained dwarves, 2d6 of them might join them in their search for the culprits. If they do so, the workshop in the outskirts will be mentioned often.
Encounter with the city guard on their way to the workshop is likely.
The sneak out
They can certainly try. The guards are on high alert and are anxiously guarding the only exit - a big gate in the wall around a large plaza, surrounded by said wall. Half of the area is part of a cave inside the mountain. Of course, there is a large number of nervous dwarves, ready to make some disturbance and the plaza was not cleared of boxes and stuff. But again, the dwarves are all on high alert and the penalty should be from -2 up to -6.
Unless they managed that with a raise, an encounter with the city guard on their way to the workshop is likely.
They either decide to wait or fail at other attempts
If they decide not to follow or engage, there will be a concerned dwarf who will instigate a riot because they saw the dark hooded guy.


If the dwarves follow the hints toward the workshop, they will be able to find it and in it a group of around twenty dwarves. More than half of them are wearing dark robes with blue markings on them. They are supervising the other dwarves, obviously frightened, working on alchemical lamps.
Listening to the conversations should reveal that the lamps must be ready for Sabes Kiming tomorrow. They can witness the dwarves filling a metal powder into the cylinders in the middle of the lamps. To enforce the purpose, it can happend that a dwarf spills the powder somewhat and the taint breaks out with him.
If they engage the robes dwarves, the frightened dwarves will be in the way but trying to scramble away. The robed figures use throwing knives and lightning bolt based magic. Knocking over the work tables is a clear risk whenever people fighting besides one. This would endanger any dwarf in the direct vicinity to be infected with the blue steel taint. The range is only 1m. Should a dwarf move through it, there is a smaller chance of him getting infected.
The robed guys are immune to this.
If the battle is won or almost won, the guy from the tavern appears at the backside of the workshop and prepares to light up the dust with a magical spell. In three turns, the players can try to scramble to him and try to interrupt him. Failing to do so, will result in a giant explosion of light, infecting any dwarf within the workshop and a few meters outside it with a strong case of Blue Steel Taint. The cultist will be severely weakened non-dwarven member can take care of him.

Falling Action

If the heroes managed to stop the explosion, the authorities will arrive shortly after, either following the dwarves anyway or because they were with them. They will arrest the cultists, identify them as Berit-Notur Cult and call on several priests to help clean the contagious metal away.
It becomes clear that these lamps were to be lit during Sabes Kimming, spreading the Taint all over the Town at once. Especially at the councilmembers that were expected to visit the festival.
The dwarf in the tavern was a worker that escaped and wanted to warn everyone. He will most likely survive but won't be completely coherent for a few days.
If the heroes failed to stop the explosion, then the Taint is now spreading in the town. Follow up adventures can deal with getting provisions for the sick, escorting priests from a nearby town to help to heal the sick, or helping with containing the outbreak.
Furtehr follow up adventures can try to find out more about the Berit-Notur cult and their current agenda against the rulership of Aleritar.
Plot type
One Shot


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