No. appearing: 1-20
Armour class: 7
Hit Dice: 4
Percentage in lair: Nil
Treasure type: Nil
No. of attacks: 2
Damage per attack: 1-6/1-6
Special attack: Charge (3-12 damage on impact and an additional 1-4 trampling)
Special defences: Nil
Magic Resistance: Standard
Size: L (5’ at shoulder)
XP value: 85 + 4/hp
The party are after a particular item/monster which, so legend has it, can be found in a notorious and dangerous labyrinth. This was designed centuries ago by a particular architect who, as luck would have it, was somewhat lazy and used the design twice. The party can get some valuable insights into the layout of the labyrinth if they visit its twin, which is in the territory of a certain king, who has long since cleared it and now claims it as part of his domain.
The King, when approached, is in a good mood. He is perfectly happy to allow the party to venture into the labyrinth – provided that they are men of honour and pass a test to prove this in the eyes of his court.
Provided the party agree to this, he will announce that they are to embark on a royal hunt – the object of which is to bring back a number of wild bulls, alive, for the ritual use of the king himself.
It is up to the DM to establish how difficult it will be to capture several of these specimens alive. Use of bolas, nets, lassos or such like are valid methods of bringing them back in one piece. The party should be encouraged to come up with weird, wacky and occasionally useful methods of capturing the bulls. Generally speaking, magic is not regarded as a manly or heroic activity. Members of the King’s court will ride along to see the party in action and to make sure they don’t harm the bulls.
Provided that they can bring perhaps three or four bulls back alive and unharmed, the party may think that their task is done. However, this is far from the case. The King holds a feast for them that evening and provides them with wine, women and fine apartments in the palace, where they may prepare for the next day. They’ll need the rest because the next day’s activity is bull-fighting.
No, not the sort you see in Spain but something more manly and heroic. The King really likes those two words.
The party will be asked to nominate their best fighter, without knowing what they’re letting themselves in for. He (or she – this is a fairly liberal society) will enter the King’s arena, wearing ritual armour (studded leather at best) and armed with a simple weapon (spear or sword) and will be set against one of the bulls they captured the previous day.
Of course, it’s not even that simple, because as well as the party’s candidate, other young nobles will be contending for the honour and glory and they will be most disgruntled at the fact that they might lose to outsiders. Therefore, it is likely that the night before the fight, the various nobles will try sneaky or downright bad ways to ensure that the fight is not a fair one. They will not go so far as to kill the party, since that would raise too many questions but drugs, excess alcohol, exhausting them with over-attentive women will certainly be considered.
If the party’s champion does win, fame and glory will certainly be theirs. They will have a private banquet with the King, access to his harim and of course permission to enter the labyrinth. The champion, being a worthy and brave individual (they’ve just proved it) will also be put on the list of the King’s reserve in case of war; they can have this worded into the ceremony that bestows the honours on them.
Comics Without Context... - An assortment of comic book panels taken out of context, without explanation. h/t to Al Bruno III
1 hour ago