A Time of Strife in Crestwold

Steel Realms - Dunstrand Rising (A Living World Campaign)

Entering Town

Torrelsons Ford… the town sits astride a main spur of the Murchart River, a half mile from the delta mouth. Its a trade hub, but it feels like the bustle is missing. The city definitely seems more empty than normal. It takes only moments to become aware of the expedition to save nearby steadings. Everyone is talking about it – it has taken a lot of people and materials. It’s not hard to find a place, many folk are renting rooms. Boarding houses and Inns seem to be full up though – there are many mercenaries in town. Apparently there have been strange “phantom soldiers” seen at night the last month, to the east. Also, everyone whispers about the escalating troubles between the trade interests. It’s a ripe market for mercenary bands and rogues! The sky is overcast, and the wind is cold and smells like salt. The streets have turned to mud and few people travel further than they have to. Something at least has got the townsfolk attention. There are people shouting in the streets and groups of people moving to the east. You can overhear what people are saying, a scene of great destruction east of Torrelsons Ford from the unending rain.

Someone may try and pick a pocket, a PC may get jostled, etc. The overall chaos and pitiless weather should be stressed to the PCs.

Exhausted from your travels, you find a farm on northeast edge of town where you can stay in the stable tonight – all of you together. A meal with the locals gives you a little more background on what’s been going on locally. Strange weather, difficult seas and more Gwinnish ships off the coast, crops not coming in, violence on the docks, crime on the rise. Spirits wandering the countryside. The chaos has left the city of Torrelsons Ford without much of a constabulary. A swelling of crime began almost immediately as the constables were used to patrol outside the town – though all of it petty. Everyone seems to be taking advantage of the absence of militia, troops and civil authority. The last few days, the Barons troops and volunteers have left to try and save the surrounding areas from landslides and flash floods. The Baron himself has said he will lead another force out himself! As you eat, there is the sound of cheering coming from not far away. The farmer tells you its from the market square. It lasts only a few minutes, and is followed by the sounds of marching booted feet. The family and you all wait expectantly, but after several minutes, the sounds fade to the east.

Scene: Market Pickings of Torrelsons Ford

Background: This is for a character wanting to take advantage of the chaos to pick pockets and engage in small crimes of theft.
Setup: The characters should notice the opportunity with the loss of authority. Whatever crowd had just gathered is now dispersed.
Requirements: Sleight of Hand, Stealth checks

The following information can be gleaned from observing the market:
  1. DC 15 Perception: Prices are all 10-25% higher due to scarcity in times of war.
Location: Crest Market in Torrelsons Ford
Check: DC 10 Sleight of Hand

Simple = Ring 15sc
Full = Purse 50sc
Crit = 180sc in gems, 40sc
Location: Baggage Train (assembled and moving east edge of town)
Check: DC 12 Sleight of Hand

Simple = Purse 35sc
Full = Ribbon and silver worth 90sc
Crit = Ring with a folded note and 200sc ruby [see SMUGGLER’S GAMBIT]
Location: Assembly Camp (east edge of town)
Check: DC 15 Perception; A suspicious man looks out of the area, heads toward the barons tent area – a side tent with suppliers/merchants in the barons favor but he gets into thinner crowds. He shows ring to guards = DC 14 Perception = flash of ruby, seeing him use ring to get into his enclave of merchants/ferriers/smiths/wainwrights. DC 15 Stealth, and Sleight of Hand per target:

DC 12 ring (see SMUGGLER’S GAMBIT)
DC 15 satchel (maps, a favor of lady – worth 25 sc), message to merchants in code – plan an artificial scarcity (signed the “Sideways Master”)
DC 12 purse (110 sc)
Location: Crossroads Camp (after pitched near sunset)
Check: DC 14 Sleight of Hand

Simple = Purses 60sc
Full = Bracelet + loose worth 150sc
Crit = scribes scroll tube (100sc; Fog Cloud, Magic Missile)

The Queen and the Baron

Background: The goddess Elancil is trying to drive the morale and will of the people of Crestwold down so her forces can operate with greater impunity.
Setup: The Baron of Crestwold has rode out of his seat of power at Torrelsons Ford to tour his lands east of there and address the devastation wrought by the strange weather.
Requirements:

The following information can be gleaned from asking:
  1. DC 10 Investigation: The Baron has not been out of his stronghold for a year.

Repairing Roads

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Word has been coming in that the constant deluge of cold rain has caused mudslides, road destruction, and the hamlets of Frenan and Norover have suffered heavy damage to dwellings, fields, roads and animals – even some deaths. All day the volunteers which you are part of have been putting down planks and wood, stone and rope. Anything to ford the freshly made streams that have cut off the villages and farmsteads. Its been an uphill battle against the ever flowing cold rain. As the sun sinks over the horizon, warm spiced cider and food is finally going out. You stand in a tent, listening to the rain fall and wolfing down the food so long in coming from the Baron’s troop train. The entire camp is on edge. House Malor’s standard flies next to the Baron’s command tent. Magic is afoot – the foul weather is not be natural. Everyone seems to know this, and the tension is high. Dark thunder clouds come in from the west. They come in low, with a deep rumble. The camp is in an uproar, beasts are terrified, men look to the sky, and House Malor agents enact some obvious magics around the tent that houses themselves and the Baron’s men.
DC 14 Survival > Something’s not right, you know you better get out of the tent!
Under the tent, tendrils of water snake under the edges and begin to soak the floor. The tent shifts. Salt water, seemingly tinged red with blood is flowing into the tent. You know that furrows were made to bring the water around it – someone or something has sabotaged it.
DC 10 Perception > The tent tears and collapses, twisting around the PCs and trapping them – any Elancils Initial Strike checks are made with Disadvantage.

Elancil’s Initial Strike

A blast of cold sea air hits your face, then the acidic sting of brine in your cuts from the days work makes your head howl with pain. Camp debris is flung in every direction and it feels like you are being sucked into a vortex to be be flung far away. Camp fires all over are snuffed out.
DC 12 Dexterity of take d6/3 damage from debris

Cold Snap

DC 9 Constitution checks as a cold sea wind blows or d6/3 HP of cold damage as cold brine hail and sleet covers everything in a matter of minutes. Heat and/or shelter is needed!

  • Use Mending and other cantrips to get the tent set back up
  • Set the tent remains on fire for warmth
  • Rekindle one of the fire pits (requires DC 15 Survival)
  • If the PCs do nothing like this, the cold damage becomes Hard Damage.

An hour goes by, the brine snap begins to drain off. There is silence for several minutes as clouds roil and blacken and obscure what’s left of the sun as it sets. Without warning, the entire area shakes as a massive lightning strike comes down in the camp – sending men and beasts flying in fear. Cold rain begins to pour down in sheets, rain that smells of brine.
DC 10 Constitution check over the next couple hours to avoid 1 level of Exhaustion.

The Storm Queens Message

DC 13 Perception > You can see minute traces of lightning travel along the ground, through the water channels that pass through the camp. It looks like it is getting brighter!
The camp is momentarily lit up by a bright white light. You can see nothing afterwards, and you feel as if a lightning bolt has flashed in front of your face.
DC 18 Dexterity > Success = blinded 1 round. Fail = 3 rounds.
Attack of the _____

Attack of the Sea Shambler

Background: The Storm Queen Elancil is trying to stop the March of the Rime Soldiers, AND strike against Dunstrand in the ongoing war over Tarmysia. Attacks here could draw soldiers away from the main battles.
Setup: A priestess of Elancil summons a Sea Shambler at the mouth of the Murchart river. The shambler is tasked with taking out anyone with a weapon until it dies.

The rumors fly through the campsite – riders have brought word that the “phantom soldiers” have been spied again, 10 miles to the east. Rumors also tell of an attempted Gwinnish blockade at the mouth of the Murchart River. Men are getting worried about their families and a few desert in the night.
The tent is torn asunder. Mud is flying everywhere, the scent of brine is overwhelming. A monster seemingly made of mud, kelp, and and brine undulates and oozes everywhere – swinging tendrils wildly at first, then calming in a focussed assault on you. You hear what can only be other attacks at the same moment around you in the camp – the screams of folk and in terror overwhelm all other sounds.
One attacks the group of Pcs, 2 others attack in camp at the same time. Mostly, people run in fear.
Terrain: Mud = difficult Terrain (PCs cannot use mud or minor cover either)
Distraction: Pieces of tent and mud = disadvantage first round of attacking getting it out of eyes

Sea Shambler of Elancil

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