Several weeks ago, I mentioned this would be a megadungeon campaign loosely based on Thundarr's world. The players' interest in the outside world has been limited so far - the chance for mad phat l00tz in the megadungeon has entirely occupied their interest to date. Too's player has been talking about needing to get his shield identified, and about investigating the source of the stink in the aptly named Stinkborough, and with only 2 more rooms to write up on level 1, I'm going to devote a little time to coming up with some information about the outside world.
Wizards are great for outdoor encounters and quickly-thrown-together plots. Their sole excuse for existing is to provide a foil for players, so I don't have to worry about how they fit into the greater world too much. They just need to be memorable, and maniacally hungry for power. The more powerful wizards will rule city-states, but every wizard has to start out small. This fellow I outline below is an early-stage wizard, and given how silly he is, I'm hoping he dies an ignoble death rather than becomes a persistent feature. But that all depends on the players. I don't mind having him be so ridiculous, given the deadly serious nature of level 1 of the megadungeon - a little goofiness will provide a nice contrast.
Monsator, Lord of the Stalks
No. Enc: 1
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 3 (21 hp)
Hoard Class: XII
Monsator was once just a local farmer with a surly disposition. This changed when he discovered a strange vault door buried near his farm, while digging a new root cellar. Behind the vault door was an ancient cryogenic storage facility for a genetic engineering firm. Being an enterprising sort, he collected the various embryo and seed samples, ground them up, and used them to fertilize his cornfield.
The DNA from embryos, seeds, spores, and retroviruses proved a potent cocktail, and were nearly the end of Monsator. He had contacted and inhaled much of this DNA mixture, and became feverish after a few days, eventually lapsing into a coma. When he finally awoke, he felt invigorated and refreshed, despite the strange fleshy seed-pods that now covered his body. What was truly shocking was the spectacle that greeted him upon inspecting his cornfields: the cornstalks had become animate, marching about the field. They recognized their genetic brother and master in this simple farmer. Monsator had acquired an army.
They say that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Monsator’s power is something less than absolute, but he has put his corn army to work regardless, emulating the powerful wizards that all men fear. He has limited himself to raids on his hated neighbors so far, stealing their livestock, burning their farms, and enslaving the survivors. He brings the loot and prisoners back to his “wizard’s tower,” a structure much like a grain silo, on a grander and more martial scale.
Monsator attacks with a pitchfork he has modified with parts from a plasma pistol. It has a range of 120’, and does 2d4 points of damage. The weapon will cease to function within several hours of separation from Monsator, as it is only his insane will that keeps it functioning.
Monsator’s henchmen are Cornstalk Warriors, and he is always accompanied by 2d6 of them when he roams abroad, mounted atop his reliable draft horse, Tess.
No. Enc: 2d8
Movement: 90’ (30’)
Armor Class: 8
Hit Dice: 1
Hoard Class: None
Cornstalk warriors are animated stalks of corns. They walk about on root-like feet, and attack with crude wooden spears and clubs that they grasp in their leafy hand-stalks. These creatures despise all animal life, especially those who eat corn. Cornstalk warriors are highly vulnerable to fire, and take double damage from it.