Most adventurers die having chosen a life of seeking fame and fortune.
Some become powerful kings, queens and even gods.
But a few adventurers simply live a long, successful life gathering some riches and some renown and by and large stay out of serious harm’s way. These few individuals retire living the remainder of their lives in hope of no further adventures.
It was the 24th of December…
… and Isabella Flowerfist, the Dwarven Barbarian, Rea Thunderbolt the Human Druid and Sol’kanar, the Half-Orc Rogue (named after my favourite MTG card), were sitting by their usual place in front of the fireplace in the “Sunshine Senior Center – Home for the Retired Adventurer“.
They were gathered in the common room alongside all the rest of the residents waiting for Santa Claus and his Christmas Gnomes to arrive with presents… well almost all. Sofia Rumbletickle, the grumpy ancient woman who hated Christmas was tucked away in her room upstairs.
The Jingle Bellies arrive
As the evening crept in, the sound of the high-pitched singing of the Christmas Gnomes emerged from the forest and came closer.
Sure enough, the familiar Christmas Gnomes arrived carrying presents announcing themselves as “The Jingle Bellies, the followers of the True Santa”.
The pensioners thought this to be a bit odd, but otherwise paid no attention.
The Merry Munchkins arrive
However, before the Christmas Gnomes could deliver the presents, another group of equally familiar Christmas Gnomes arrived, also carrying presents, but announcing themselves as “The Merry Munchkins the followers of the True Father Christmas”.
Both groups of Christmas Gnomes rushed to the pensioners to be the first to deliver their presents and having done so, they took their leave and walked back to the forest while shouting abuse at each other.
The pensioners soon recovered from the confusion and Rea walked over to inspect the presents.
But she had barely made it there when several of the finely wrapped parcels exploded.
The two groups of Gnomes accused each other of committing the crime and while Sol’kanar tried to assess which group might be fake, he had to conclude that he with a high degree of certainty spotted familiar Gnome faces in both groups.
Sofia Rumbletickle must have done it.
Sol’kanar and Isabella immediately concluded that the Christmas hating Sofia Rumbletickle must be the culprit, but Rea having heard an odd echo during the explosion, was more cautious.
As her two companions ran for the stairs, she stopped them as she noticed a hole in the wall into the caretakers office.
A quick investigation found that the safe had been broken into and all the treasures of all the residents were gone!
Where the treasure had been lay a sleeping Pumkin Head, one of Jack Skellington’s Halloween gang!
The (retired) heroes tried to wake the little guy, but he was fast asleep, hibernating as expected.
On the way out through the hole again, they also noticed a rabbit footprint in the soot.
Up they went to the first floor and the rooms of the residents. But talking to Sofia, it seemed clear she had nothing to do with the explosion … although she firmly enjoyed the fact that Christmas was potentially ruined.
Should we visit the Halloween Horror House of the Easter Meadow?
Reviewing the evidence, the heroes decided to visit the Easter Bunny in his Meadow.
The party went the the Easter Meadow, which was permanently fixed in a beautiful spring day. The Easter Bunny’s little cottage was on a small island in the central lake.
The party attempted to cross the water unheard, but the keen ears of the Easter Bunny picked up their movements and he poke his head out the door.
The Easter Bunny was polite but tried to get the heroes to leave. But as he babbled on, he accidentally revealed he knew more about the explosion than he should and he tried to lock the door and flee.
However, the experienced heroes blocked the door and the fast Sol’kanar hit the Easter Bunny with his chained dagger effectively catching the fast creature.
It became clear the Easter Bunny had been behind the heist, but that he had been black mailed to do so. As Rea checked his cottage she found a note saying: “Dear Easter Bunny – Thank you for helping. Consider your secret safe with me as long as you keep your mouth shut! – Mrs. S.”
OMG mrs Santa did it… or did she?
The heroes decided the “Mrs S.” could be none other than Mrs Santa and made haste to Santa’s workshop.
The workshop had been divided in two camps on either side of Santa’s house. In the two camps were the two Christmas Gnomes factions… and two Father Christmases, one that looked like Santa Claus and one that was wearing a loin cloth and looked buff.
Confused, the heroes decided to talk to the one that looked like Santa Claus. He introduced himself as “Santa” and while he came across as a nice chap, his “he he he” instead of “ho ho ho” made the heroes suspicious.
The heroes decided to talk to the buff chap in the other camp. He turned out to laugh with a familiar warm “ho ho ho”…. but other than that, his only vocabulary seemed to be “I am Claus!”
Let’s check the house
Being no closer to solving the mystery, the heroes decided to go inside the house, but at this Mrs Santa came out. She was tired and angry and a confession was easy to extract from her.
She explained that the two Santa’s were in fact brothers working as one: Santa + Claus. One being the face of the duo, the other the muscle and laughter.
But they had a falling out, and now they were running two toy productions instead of just one.
Hence she, as the financial controller of the company, had had to steal the treasures to be able to fund the two productions.
But now that the heroes knew the truth they would have to take it to the grave and Mrs Santa summoned an animated Snowman would see to it that it became an early one.
But during the fight it became clear that Santa and Claus were magically gifted to produce toys. In other words they didn’t need funding. With this revelation the attention turned to Mrs Santa whose disguise dropped and revealed she was none other than Krampus in disguise.
Krampus tried to kill the heroes in a desperate attempt to hide the fact, but while they were retired, they still knew how to fight and soon made short process of Krampus.
Mrs Santa was found locked in a forgotten room in Santa’s house alongside the treasures. She came out happy to see her two brothers.
The heroes promised never to reveal that Santa Claus was in fact two brothers and a sister.
With that, Christmas was saved!
Ending with a handmade Character Sheet
Setting up the game
Here are the various rooms / encounters ready for action
The stage is set!