QUEST: The Blacksmith's Ballistics
Built thousands of years ago by a long lost empire, this is a ruined watchtower that now consists of little more than a few crumbling walls and a broken stump of a tower.
As you crest a low ridge, you spy the crumbling ruins of an old watchtower standing amid the rugged hills. The place is so old that the walls are only mounds of rubble enclosing a courtyard of sorts, adjacent to the broken stump of an old tower. A colorful tent has been set up in the middle of the courtyard, but no one is in sight. There are two large broken ballistae on the piles of rubble near the tower.
The ruins are occupied by a mage who is busy exploring the site in the hope of gleaning arcane lore left behind by the builders. They can enter from any direction, either following old footprints or scrambling up the slope to find a gap in the rubble.
Twelve zombies lurk inside the tower, and cannot be seen from outside. Any character with a passive Wisdom of 10 or higher can smell the deathly odor wafting from the tower’s direction. When they approach the tent, the zombies shamble out of the tower.
If a battle erupts, Hamun Kost, the evil mage, emerges from his tent and asks, “What is the meaning of this?”
Kost is a stout, red-robed figure with sallow skin, a shaved scalp, and a black tattoo on his forehead. A character who succeeds on a DC 10 Intelligence (History) check verifies the garb as that usual for Thay, a land far to the east where wizards pattern their flesh with tattoos. Thd tattoo on the head represents a wizard’s school of magic. Kost’s school is necromancy.
If they try to talk to Kost, even calling out a greeting or answering his questions, he will temporarily call of his zombies. He is not aggressive, and is willing to strike a deal.
IF he agrees to let them take the ballistas, he shares his request:
He wants the Hobgoblins to promise not to attack him, as they have scouted him out and will probably cause trouble.
His tent is a comfortable traveling suite, including a cot, a chair, a writing desk, supplies, and a chest of clothes. In the chest is a leather bag with 35sp, 20ep, 20gp, 5pp, one pearl (100gp, a potion of healing, a scroll of darkness in a bone tube, and a tiny jeweled box (25 gp) containing a ring of protection from ancient Netheril, his best discovery so far
The ballistas can be carried back with two people per machine, with a DC check of 10 per mile (it is 2 miles away). They can then be taken to the blacksmith, and a character can spend 1 week with the blacksmith helping him repair the weapons. If they do so, they can place them wherever they please.