A Solo Adventure
Source: Kelly Berger
The town of Hiddzwaur, in the world of Orlec
Current Date: Common Year 250 (approx)
Day 1: The Tovis family arrives in Hiddzwaur
Day 3: The theft of the stole is discovered
Day 5: The second theft is attempted; the thief is caught and abused
Day 6: Word goes out – the family is looking to hire someone to retrieve the stole
The resettlement of Hiddzwaur has begun in earnest. The efforts of some locals to spread the word is paying off. It also is attracting the attention of less savory types. Already a haven for any who will use her port, the beginnings of a rogues gallery, a criminal brotherhood, has begun. It has no name, and no one knows its numbers or leaders. Its begun with simple protection money extortion – its inconsistent and infrequent. A local dragonborn, who came to town a couple years ago, has stood up to them and they have gone into hiding the last few weeks.
A group of settlers has just come to Hiddzwaur. Among them is the wealthy Tovis family, the head of which is the lady of the house, Karithia. They had been staying at Bailey’s Bar, taking all of the rooms and kicking out anyone else with their money. As they negotiated to buy/settle local land, her expensive stole was taken from her room during the evening hours. At first, the servants were blamed and beaten, but it yielded no results. Many threats were made to the locals by the family – they had brought with them four men-at-arms with swords and armor, much tougher than the local militia. The family threatens nearly everyone – the townsfolk are hassled for two days.
On the fifth day, a thief is caught trying to abscond with an expensive necklace. It turns out that there is a local brotherhood of thieves that has formed; The influx of settlers has drawn together the unsavory elements into a more organized force. It has no name, and the leader or leaders are not known, but one of its hideouts is a small collapsed cave system east of town. The family is offering a reward, and the local head of the watch is offering a small reward for more information.
The characters are told to see Ted Bailey, at Bailey’s Bar. Ted says to see Arvin, and Benton.
Arvin, guardmaster of the Tovis family.
He assesses the character in a sneering manner. “The family will pay 100 silver for the stole; will you accept this deal?”. If they do, he will smile and tell them one of the locals will be able to tell them where the cave is – he just knows its east. They can negotiate for more (DC 15 Persuade). If asked why so much – It has sentimental value to the family, and the lady herself. It was given to her by her mother. Its a rare white arctic fox stole. DC 10 Insight: He seems reluctant to say much else.
Benter runs the local jail and house for the militia/watch. The character(s) are told he can provide them with a crude map from his wall that shows an old cliffside about a mile and a half from town along the worn down east road, and towards the sea.
“It’s not right”, says Benter. “They might have money, but they are not the law. Poor Ned’s a simple man, probably fell in with the wrong crowd. He’s terrified of them too, he’s got no allies left and he may swing on the end of a rope for his crimes if no one else can be found to pay. At least he gave the location of the hideout, but someone has to get there fast before word reaches his friends. They worked Ned over terrible bad, he can barely drink porridge. I can’t even understand him, and I don’t think he can see his whole face is swollen so much.”
> He could be persuaded (5 silver or DC 9 Persuade) to give the party a few moments with Ned. “I think we got all we can out of him… well, Arvin did anyway. But, as long as you don’t hurt him further, i can let you see him.”
The man who was caught is Ned. He was a fisherman that was lazy, and the new people settling in town worked harder than him. He sold his boat, and no one saw him after that for the last 2 weeks.
He has had his left hand cut off (by Arvin). He is in a jail cell, crying and holding his stump. He has obviously been beaten badly.
Ned can barely see. He’s had teeth knocked out. He can confirm the location of the caves. If the character(s) say (deceive or persuade) that they are going to kill all they find in opposition, Ned will ask them to promise them that. If they do swear, he will tell them that the entrance is trapped, “walk on the left” and there is always a watcher at the cave.
[i] Medicine or Herbalist Kit check can tell by the smell and his wounds that he will die quickly if he’s not tended to. -> If the party heals him, +1 Inspiration. Also, Benter will give the party 3pts of salve he was going to use on Ned.
Perception DC 12 to see someone following the party.
Possible bow attack!? There will be a scout from the criminal brotherhood waiting for the PC – they have been watching them. He is in full cover and can easily escape into the wheat/barley fields before the PC can find them. They have full cover, and will shoot at least 2 arrows (with Disadvantage so as to not give away their position).
The PC will be attacked by strange migrating birds. The birds are smart, they have learned to stake out the roads and attack creatures on them. If the PC parallels the road, or goes overland, the encounter will not happen.
Perception DC 10, Nature DC 10 to know the use road as a game trail – get off it!
Dark clouds roll swiftly in from the sea, and the air is cold. Deep rumblings come from overhead as a rapid rainstorm moves through the area.
1 on d6 = mudslide; The PC may lose held items.
DC 10 Constitution check or 1 level of Exhaustion until they get a Long Rest
DC 5 Intelligence to follow the map. If they fail, the thug defending the cave may get a chance to see them searching for it on a random check from up above.
The cliffs have several handholds and surfaces to climb on. It should be a relatively easy climb to get to the partially collapsed cave 30’ up.
If the character wants to climb with stealth, they can make a DC 13 check to do both at once. A DC 10 Athletics check to simply climb. Any failure, means they tumble for 30’ (not straight down – only a d6 damage)
If a character falls, they will automatically alert the guard! Otherwise the guard must make a Perception check.
The entrance seems to be collapsed, as you have been told. However, knowing that it is supposedly being used as a loot cave for bandits makes you look closer. You can see that a tarp has been used, with stone dust and debris glued on top of it.
Spike on a spring arm trap: d4 (Dexterity DC 12). The spike is covered in feces/disease, and requires a DC 10 Constitution check or the character will be inflicted with 1 level of Exhaustion until they can get a long rest.
-> The trap can be disarmed with a DC 9 check.
Beyond the entrance is a short passage. The light illuminates a figure as it is rushing towards you!
DC 10 Perception to note that it is a stick figure on a pulley meant to scare you. Otherwise, it appears as a thin man, rushing head down with a sharpened stick; It only does d4 damage if it hits (no bonus), half if the PC is wearing any armor.
There is a palette, a small chest, some rope, wood, and a stone fire pit. A passage leads out the back, going into darkness. As you quickly scan the room, a shadow moves and a figure darts down the passage.
DC 10 Perception check to see the small clay vessel thrown into the fire pit. If the characters do, they close their eyes and are not blinded when the flash of light and smoke are triggered from the coals in the fire pit. If they fail, they will have Disadvantage for 3 rounds as the smoke clears. They will likely be surprised by Bart, the bandit. He is crouched, beneath the level of smoke filling the room. He will get a single shot off with the Light Crossbow with Advantage and flee down the passage with a lit torch. If the PC also drops to his level, it will negate the Advantage.
> Can take cover for a few rounds.
A fire can be made here without the light being seen from a distance. The smoke is minor and goes up and out. There is also a large signal lamp here.
It is only wide enough for one. If the character is fumbling their way in the dark, they must make a DC 20 Perception check, or a DC 5 with Darkvision. If they succeed, they see the trip wire and are not knocked prone.
If the character is knocked prone, Bart the bandit will make an attack with his club (d6 @ +3) with Advantage. He will throw the torch in the face of his pursuer.
There is a lit lamp on the floor. There is some spare clothes, large old chests, rocks, tarps, tools.
Bart is hidden behind a chest, and will pull a rope and collapse a tarp above the door, causing d4 (non-lethal; DC 8 Dexterity check to avoid) damage as the PC enters.
Quarters are tight. Any area effects may harm the goods. Any effect which pushes a target, may cause the target to get knocked into the supplies and end up prone.
The stole is here in one of the chests (blade trap, DC 5; 1 damage), along with clothes, a couple old short swords, 3 daggers, a small shield (beaten up), more tools (in better shape), rations, a couple wine skins, 2 pony kegs of ale (5 silver each), 3 bottles of wine (15 silver each), 35 silvers in miscellaneous coins. Another 10 silver in goods (need 14 Strength to carry); in it is a curious silver pin – obviously worth something to someone besides silver value (10 sp; DC 10 Perception to spot it – it belongs to Varoc, a man who recently left town – accused of burglary. He did violence to a woman, and stole a boat and is wanted. Knowledge that he might be associated with all this is enough to help Benton. Benton will pay 20 silvers for it.
The Stole: If it is searched, DC 20 Perception to find the hidden diamond seam; 14 diamonds worth 1000 each.
FOR CAMPAIGN ONLY -> tarnished silver scale armor (light, not medium!), silver dragon scale on a necklace (arcane focus), falchiona [all obviously made for dragonborn]
Assuming the PC returns the way that they came, there will be the same watcher who will fire arrows from cover. At least 2 arrows will be shot at the PC, from full cover, but with Disadvantage (the ambusher does not want to give their location away).
Bart; Fighter 1 (Second Wind)
HP: 12 (con 14); AC: 13 (dex 16), 2 daggers; proficient with throwing in his right, and left handed.
-> to make Bart more difficult, add leather armor and upgrade the melee to a short sword (finesse)
Anything left behind will be looted and taken away by the brotherhood. Nothing will be left behind.
The stole has the family diamonds sewn into it. If it is not recovered, this is how the local criminal brotherhood gets its start, and the Tovis family will be impoverished.
Ned will ask to be hired by the party as a servant. He once was lazy, and is strong, but will be handicapped by the loss of his left hand. But, he will be loyal, and cost virtually nothing as he will rejoin the local community and mend old ties. If the party does not want him, he will leave, and be found dead on the road a day later.
His grave will be violated, and his other hand hacked off as a ‘dead man’s hand’ candle by his brotherhood.
The PC might be enjoined in a duel, or a group of thugs try to beat them up.