Writing a D&D Duet Campaign
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#Duet Campaign

A duet (DM + player) campaign written by a virgin DM, in the Greyhawk setting. Note that everything here is probably terrible, and we're learning... so maybe not a great source of information, other than the References section.


#Rules and Content

A Visual Comparison of Several 5e Races

#Duet Combat

#Greyhawk Setting



Campaign Area





  • Celestial = Hangug-In (Korean)
  • Dwarvish = Hrvatski (Croatian)
  • Elvish = Suomalainen (Finnish)
  • Giant = Türkçe (Turkish)
  • Gnomish = Cebuano
  • Halfling = Magyar (Hungarian)
  • Orc = Bānlā (Bengali)
  • Sylvan = Sesotho
  • Thieves' Cant = Esperanto
  • Undercommon = Kreyòl Ayisyen (Haitian Creole)


©2021 Stick. Where not otherwise specified, this repository is licensed under the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

#Initial Setting


  • Crossroad thorp at fork of Kisail-Attstad and Kisail-Littleberg roads, Duchy of the Reach, Kingdom of Furyondy.

  • Post-war period (10-15 years). While the southern Reach did not actually see the war, many men were conscripted or joined the military. Some did not return. Some of those who did return bore physical and emotional wounds. Area farms almost uniformly led by men whose fathers were either drafted or branded cowards. Many suffer from PTSD caused by child abuse caused by their fathers' war PTSD. Others grew up hard because they had no father to protect them. Casual misogyny rampant based on example of war-stricken previous generation and in reaction to over-prevalence of older women in rural society after the war. Commerce is still depressed; war followed by drought and crises have not allowed rebuilding and export demand has still not returned.

  • {Character} is the oldest child of a widower farmer on a meager homestead north of village. They are too young to remember the war, but grow up in its aftermath.

    • If human:
      • Mother died in childbirth; younger brother survived.
      • Father passed away during the winter; older man who could not be drafted because of his slight frame and weak constitution.
    • If half-elf or half-orc:
      • Elvish or orcish father killed in the war.
      • Human mother passed away during the winter; frail woman whose beauty was elven but lacked their immortal strength and constitution.
    • If halfling, dwarf, or other race:
      • Mother died in childbirth; younger brother survived.
      • Father passed away during the winter; older man considered an outsider in the village.
    • Younger brother ran away years ago, rebelling against his perceived unworthy lineage.
  • Homestead farm is failing. Once upon a time it boasted tall corn, laying hens and attendant roosters, and a few swine. Only a few chickens remain; no other animals. (There was a pig, but now there is just salt pork.) Minimal crop yields and a hard winter mean there is no grain left to sow.

  • Minimal possessions at home (form starting equipment from the list below):

#Planned Leveling Calculation

Completed episodes = Sum of i from i=1 to i=level. For example, after the first episode, {Character} should be level 1. After the third episode, {Character} will be level 2. After the 21st episode, {Character} advances to level 6.

#Episode 1: The End (Level 0 -> 1)


  • Long lost brother
  • Conspiracy theories of local village qultists

#Encounter 1: Drunken Foreboding

{Character}, wondering how long their food will last one early spring evening, interrupted by drunken neighbor Emon Yardleh banging on door. Emon is yelling that [war cowards/the unfit/{Character}'s race/women] should not own property, especially if they cannot run a farm properly. The man is spoiling for a fight; he has a dagger at his waist but seems to have forgotten it and comes out punching wildly.

Possible resolutions:

  • Kill neighbor (self defense?)
  • Neighbor passes out, what to do then?
  • Neighbor persuaded to leave
  • {Character} leaves

#Encounter 2: The Fire

Note: fighting is not meant to be an option.

The next evening, soon after sundown, a group of 9 men with torches show up outside the house. They yell for {Character} to come out. All but one man are from the crossroads village; another is unknown. They demand {Character} leave, and take the influence of their family with them. There is no taking no for an answer; the thatch will be on fire momentarily.

Possible resolutions:

  • Persuade them to let you grab things out of the house, then run away
  • Grab'n'go while the thatch is on fire

Note: what do you take with you?

#Episode 2: The Wanderer


  • Faerie Death Drop
  • Spirits of the departed beasts

Encounters in this session should happen in whatever order makes most sense.

#Encounter: A Ruined Hovel

The Ruined Hovel

When looking for a spot to rest, {Character} comes upon a small valley with a central stream, and the scene above: a ruined stone hut. Inside, a skeleton... roll for initiative!

If the skeleton moves outside the building, its animating force departs and it crumbles.

On a DC12 investigation check (or DC15 arcana or insight check, followed by DC10 investigation check), a loose stone in the wall near the hearth reveals a small bag of gold and one small gemstone of a sickly pink color.

If {Character} takes the gem, this sets them up for future encounters with fey or necrotic elements.

#Encounter: New Life, Axebeaked

Pass by a small herd of {antelope or similar} with new young.

Nothing happens.... or {Character} does something. Eventually {Character} moves on.

Later, near {Charater}'s path, they notice a young axe beak tearing into the body of a baby {antelope or similar}. The prey animal shudders its death spasm, with a low strangled cry, as {Character} watches.

A druid or ranger character might feel the presence of the animal's spirit as it departs. What other spirits might be just beyond their fingertips?

If {Character} gets to close, the axe beak might attack....

#Encounter: Clergy Con

2 clergypeople with a tent near the road, each extolling a different deity in friendly rivalry. Each attempts to convince {Character} to join them in a brief moment of worship. DC14 insight, DC15 religion, or DC16 perception reveals it's all a sham....

If {Character} is a paladin or cleric, be sure one of the scammers chooses to support {Character}'s chosen religion.

Possible resolutions:

  • If {Character} fails/does not attempt the checks, and accepts the worship moment with one "clergy", the other attempts to pickpocket {Character}
  • If {Character} makes the check, do they call out the con? Are they willing to start a fight?

#Encounter: Nighttime Visitor

If {Character} takes a long rest too near the road, the visitor is a thief looking for valuables. If they move far from the road, it's a giant badger looking for aromatic food.

#Episode 3: The Town (Level 1 -> 2)


#Encounter 1: Guards, guards

While the city is not walled, there are a few soldiers and city watch around the town, some of whom habitually loiter around the roads on the edges of town. Two such individuals are engaged in conversation as {Character} approaches. One turns and, with a slightly over-the-top polite smile (and intimidating mirth in their eyes), asks {Character} for 1d8 silver as a "city entry fee". A DC14 insight check will reveal the guard's deception; a DC13 perception check will remind {Character} that no one else entering the city seems to be being asked. {Character} can pay the fee, in which case the asking guard turns to his friend in triumph, or refuse, in which case the guard's friend breaks out in mirth. It was a bet, played on an obvious country bumpkin.

#Encounter 2: Odd Stares

This encounter can only occur if {Character} has a Faerie Death Drop (or some other necromantic focus).

In a crowd, a person dressed in shabby but striking black and red pauses awkwardly and stares at {Character} after they pass closely. Subsequently, {Character} encounters this person multiple times, always at a distance and awkwardly trying to escape notice. If approached, the person will flee. If caught or cornered, they will stubbornly lie. The person is a necromancy adept.

#Encounter 3: Not My Cabbages

As {Character} enters a market square, a cabbage merchant is losing their mind because a beetle swarm has descended and is eviscerating his produce. Nearby sellers begin swinging quarterstaffs, clubs, and other simple bludgeoning weapons against the swarm, fearing it will spread to their own wares.

#Encounter 4: Hot Market Blacksmith

As {Character} passes the Rot Irons smithy, two customers flee the establishment. There is a crash and some swearing from inside. The smith --- a short, burly man in only an apron, cotton breeches, and hobnail boots --- stomps out, blowing out a sharp breath and pressing a damp cloth to his forearm. "Another bloody ooze," he exclaims in frustration to no one in particular. It is obvious he is hoping someone will volunteer to help. His name is Rot Smithers.

#Encounter 5: Bad Bard

{Character} finds an inn near the river (the Boatman's Harpoon) and goes in. An elven woman is playing the lyre in a corner, surrounded by human men and women in rapt appreciation. As {Character} listens for a few minutes, they begin to find the song ...unsettling. The music becomes more and more emotional; the singer speaks of the beauty of the land, freedom, the valor of the king, and honorable sacrifice in war. Then the tone darkens. Carefully worded lyrics dance around the idea of threats and traitors. More and more of the listeners begin to glance at the lone dwarf at the bar (and if {Character} is not human or elven, at {Character} too). Several drop coins into an open purse on the bard's table.


Stari Vojnici Nikad Ne Umiru

A veteran of the Greyhawk wars, Stari was discharged years ago from the 345th Light Axe, a semi-mercenary regiment from the Kingdom of the Iron Hills. Sent in support of the Kingdom of Furyondy, their colors were red and bright green; their equipment breastplates, greataxes, daggers, and rakish hats. Stari still wears his old gear --- no sense in wasting it! --- but nowdays all he wants is a soft bed, a tankard of ale, and a game of dragonchess. He always seems to have just enough gold hidden in his pockets to make it happen, but he's not averse to getting more.

Before the song ends, the dwarf gets up, drops a few silver on the table, and heads for the door. A few of the more emotionally affected listeners give each other knowing glances, and follow.

If {Character} does not follow, they hear the sounds of a fight starting in the street outside.

If {Character} is not human or elvish, the listeners also attack {Character}.

If the fight goes too long, the city watch might show up.

#Episode 4: The Outcasts

This session's direction is almost entirely player-driven. The DM should have options available for {Character} to move away from Attstat in any possible direction. The expected option is for {Character} and Stari to continue southeast along either the Att River or along the south or east roads. If qultists die during the bar brawl, it will be dangerous for Stari to go back into the city. If guards die, it will be all but impossible. If {Character} joined the fight, the same danger will apply to them.

#Basic Travel Plan

Stari is a nice travel companion (and handy in a fight), but not interested in adventures and only able to teach dragonchess (with which he will be delighted) or great weapon fighting. If {Character} asks, he will be happy to start teaching them Dwarvish. He's not going south to Veluna, though... no interest in the constant proselytizing.

Does {Character} forage? Do they feed the birds or other animals? Do they spend time practicing skills? Meditating? Observing nature?

#Encounter Plan: East Road

The east road flows across the grassland; more axe beaks, antelope, and the like. Eventually there is an intersection where the party needs to turn south at the edge of a forest. There could be a thorp (with more qultists?) at the crossroads. Some good village encounter ideas here. There could be lumberjacks.

Once the party turns south, they're in the woods, and end up at Stalmaer on the border with Verbobonc. It's a smaller city than Attstat, but handles significant trade; there are several other villages within a few hours' walk. Once in Verbobonc (country, not city), the party is quickly in the woods. Could they meet druids? Wolves? Lumberjacks?

#Encounter Plan: Att River

Houseboats! Gypsy gnomes! {Character} (and Stari?) will get picked up by Madato and Mamatay Sa Pagsulay, a pair of gnome women floating a shallow-bottomed barge with a wattle-and-daub house built on the deck. The group floats down the river for two weeks, with nothing untoward occurring except that on one occasion M&M pull into the shallows and disappear for several hours. When they return, Madato pulls a crossbow bolt from Mamatay's shoulder, heals the wound, and mends Mamatay's clothing.

Throughout the idyllic float, the party forages for fresh food, but subsists mainly on M&M's store of ale ("the Margrave's choice"), candied pecans, and smoked venison.

The river goes to Stalmaer, just like the east road. As the city comes into view, the gnome women point out that they have been very generous, and ..."request" that {Character} and Stari pay up by helping M&M to "re-provision" the houseboat via a small heist in town.

#Encounter Plan: South Road

The south road handrails woods to the west for a while, then crosses the grassland. There's a crossroad near the border with Veluna, and a bridge over the Velverdyva River. The village there, Stone River, should probably have a small garrison of terrible (fat, slow, dumb, etc) soldiers and maybe a bored administrator. Veluna is a Theocracy; probably the administrators are clerics. More woods here too.

#Episode 5: The Border


The city of Stalmaer sits on the border between Furyondy and Verbobonc, near where the Att river terminates into the Velverdyva river. Smaller than Attstat, it is nonetheless more cosmopolitan due to its crossroads nature.



Mamatay Sa Pagsulay

Mamatay Sa Pagsulay

M&M want to find some spices, exotic fruit, smoked meats, etc from the customs warehouse. They demand Stari and {Character} assist in the heist. They disguise themselves as twin elf merchantwomen and work to snatch a customs order, then forge their own. Stari and {Character} are to be the muscle, carrying found items out of the warehouse.

Possible resolutions:

  • Caught (well, Stari and {Character}; M&M escape)... and taken to the customs officers. They are offered a deal: assist a certain elf lawman in apprehending a dangerous bandit on the loose outside of town, or sit and rot until the next time a Knight of the Hart visits Stalmaer to render judgments.
  • Success? Stari waves goodbye to M&M --- does {Character} do so too?

Either way, Stari no longer wishes to travel with the gnome boatwomen, preferring to remain on the right side of the law (though he has enjoyed the good ale and candied pecans).

Argon Merchari

Argon Merchari

Arson Merchari

Arson Merchari

If {Chracter} remains in Stalmaer, there are several inns and taverns, some artisans, and the Merchari household has recently been prevailed upon to ...acquire assistance for a certain elvish paladin. Not exactly interested in spending their personal guards (or the customs officers who may or may not be on their payroll), the Merchari have their agents post notices near the inns requesting any available adventurers report to the Merchari residence near the center of town.

#Episode 6: The Bandit (Level 2 -> 3)

Inspired by Dungeon-a-Week #2: The Bandit Hideout

Älä Tuomitse Ettei Sinua Tuomittaisi

Älä Tuomitse Ettei Sinua Tuomittaisi

An elvish paladin, Älä Tuomitse Ettei Sinua Tuomittaisi represents one faction of the government of Celene and is tracking a murderous bandit and his group of ne'er-do-wells. With Älä is an elvish sorcerer whose services he has already engaged. The elves believe that their quarry has holed up in the woods to the north of Stalmaer.


Riittävän Kehittynyt Tekniikka

Daughter of an elven noble priest in the Kingdom of Celene, Riittävän was blessed at birth by Sehanine Moonbow, the elvish god of the moon. Given every advantage of education and pushed to excel in magic, she grew more and more absorbed in dreams, mysticism, and transcendence --- to the point of neglecting the material world and personal relationships. Sent with Älä by her teachers as an exercise in connection with the "real world", she is nonetheless aloof and distracted most of the time.

If {Character} (with Stari) volunteers for the stated reward of 1,000 sp, Älä wishes to depart early morning the next day. The party should venture north on the road, attempting to either escape the bandits' notice or draw the bandits out by seeming a rich soft target. If they don't manage to draw any attention, Älä's intelligence indicates that there is a ruined priory north of the road near the Velverdyva river.

While moving through the forest, the party will be ambushed, first by 2 scouts with a mastiff (from the bandits' band), and later by at least 1 ettercap (unaffiliated).

Ḍākāta Cā'i

Ḍākāta Cā'i

The priory itself consists of a small chapel (40 ft. by 70 ft.) with a few smaller rooms connected to the sides and rear. Some of the external doors are locked; the main sanctuary doors are not. Standing watch outside the building are thugs and bandits, 1 near each external door. There are also two more mastiffs outside. The rest of the bandits and thugs (4 of each in total, inside and outside) are inside, along with Ḍākāta Cā'i (the bandit captain Älä is looking for), an acolyte (the group's healer) and a commoner (the captain's ...squeeze). If pressed (majority of thugs and bandits dead), Ḍākāta Cā'i will flee with whatever members of his group are available... leaving his chest of treasure behind. If he flees, how will the party capture him (or will {Character} take the treasure and run)?

Stoner Bard Bunny

Ḍākāta Cā'i's ...friend

Tracking (DC12 Survival) the fleeing bandit captain will lead the party back to the road (failures in tracking will lead the party to an ettercap's nest instead). The party may also come upon Ḍākāta Cā'i's female companion, injured and abandoned (or left behind as a decoy). The trail will turn north; after some time, the party arrives at the bandits' preferred ambush area, where the remaining members of the bandit party lurk in wait....

#Episode 7: The Crypt

Inspired by Dungeon-a-Week #3: The Crypt and Forsaken Labyrinth of the Golden Baron

At some point before they depart Stalmaer, {Character} and Stari (and Riittävän, if {Character} asks her) are met by an exceptionally graceful woman in a tantalizing purple dress. She introduces herself as Ardor Merchari. Conspiriatorally, she shares that there is a Merchari family crypt underneath the Stalmaer fortress, and offers the party another 100 gp if they will retrieve certain items from within. If persuaded (DC 10), she is willing to pay as much as 200 gp per member instead of a flat rate total. (It's a trap!)

"Ardor Merchari"

"Ardor Merchari"

If the party assents to the woman's offer, she leads them around to the northwest side of the Stalmaer fortress walls, near the river. From a safe distance, she points out a cleverly hidden burrow entrance. The burrow is large enough for a small creature to walk into, or a medium creature to crouch. The party's employer explains that the burrow has breached a wall in the tomb, and warns that the tomb is probably well-trapped. If the party does not have thieves' tools, their employer helpfully provides them.

As the party descends, they find two rough chambers off the main tunnel. The first is the lair of two constrictor snakes; the second is a camp with three kobolds in residence. Beyond, the tunnel looks crudely shorn up (as if by the kobolds); then it breaches a thick stone wall (of the tomb complex). Just inside the stone wall is the body of a dwarf man, recently deceased (DC12 Investigation or Insight: less than a week). His pockets are empty and he carries no equipment (DC13 Investigation or Insight: looted), but his armor is dirty and it appears (DC10 Medicine or Insight) that he was killed by daggers in the back.

"Merchari" Tomb Map

The party makes their entrance through the corridor at the northernmost side of the map (above room 3). Traps and features are as described in the generated writeup. The stonework and decor of the tomb do not suggest any connection to the Merchari household; the walls and items are decorated with gruesome scenes of human sacrifice. Stari will tell {Character} that it is the oldest stonework he has ever seen, and does not match anything in his knowledge of recorded history.

  • Room 2 is the actual target room; it contains an alchemy jug on a small pedestal in the center of a shrine at the back of the room. This is the item requested by the party's employer.

  • Room 3 is inhabited by 5 kobolds.

  • Room 4 includes a large (human-size) clay pot (5 hp). Inside the pot, the kobolds have trapped a giant centipede. If the kobolds in room 3 manage to chase any characters into room 4, the kobolds will target the pot with ranged attacks in an attempt to loose the centipede among the party.

  • Room 5 is inhabited by 3 kobolds. After every other round of combat in room 3, one of these kobolds will join the fight there.

  • Room 6 is a family tomb; there are 6 sarcophagi in the room, one of which is broken open and empty (there are a few bones on the floor). Unless the ghost in room 7 has already been sated, opening any of the other sarcophagi will unleash a skeleton (5 skeletons total), and inside each there are various items of jewelry worth 4gp.

  • Room 7 is the main tomb, and contains an elaborate sarcophagus as well as the features mentioned in the writeup. Opening it will release the ghost of a long dead noble, who will converse with the party (unless they reveal that they are looting the tomb). If it becomes hostile, it is not able to chase them beyond the limits of its room. In life, the ghost spent their effort, fortune, and time in perfecting an alchemy jug --- the same one as is found in room 2 --- but they died before seeing it complete. The ghost may be sated by a drink of wine from the jug; if so, it will depart. However the party deals with the ghost, there is an empty vial and an amulet in the now-uninhabited elaborate sarcophagus.

  • Room 8 is inhabited by a black dragon wyrmling. The kobolds serve and venerate this wyrmling; the dragon sees the kobolds as target practice when more interesting prey is not available. When the party enters this room, roll a D20.

    • 1-10: The dragon is in the room.
    • 11-20: The dragon is out of its burrow; the party meets the dragon on their way out, near the kobold camp cave.

    Regardless of whether the dragon is in its room or not, the room contains a meager treasure hoard:

    • 12 pp, 259 gp, 961 sp, 75 cp
    • 14 gemstones worth 10 gp each (4 banded agate, 1 eye agate, 1 malachite, 4 obsidian, 4 tiger eye)

#Episode 8: The South Road

The party ({Character}, Stari?, Riitavan?) decides to go somewhere. Is it Verbobonc? Is it somewhere else? They will need to travel.

To Reymend: 5 day journey, navigation DC 0 (roads), discovery DC 2, resource DC 7

Reymend to Verbobonc is a trivial half-day journey

Eventually the party arrives at their destination. They should find a place to stay (Stari will expect this, if he's there). They might want to go shopping. What about some rumors?

  • Some of the swineherds in the swamps to the southwest of the city have reported incredibly foul odors and several pigs have gone missing.
  • There is a fat elf at the Bronze Unicorn (inn).
  • Two young wizards staying at Grandma Henri's are looking for help excavating the deep library of the ruined magic academy near Verbobonc.
  • There is an ...interesting halfling hitting all the taverns, who'll arm wrestle anyone for ale.
  • Some gnome fishermen have disappeared recently. A fishing dispute is suspected; the gnomes blame a group of particularly aggressive human fishermen. The truth? Not guilty.

#Episode 9

See Series C, frame 1.

A pair of young assistant wizarding professors have grown tired of waiting to be granted tenure at the College of Magic in Greyhawk. Because of their... unorthodox ideas and perhaps some personality conflicts, the more senior wizards at the College recommended they investigate the ruined university outside Verbobonc. They are especially interested to find the old library. If they can, they may have a chance at re-establishing the school, building an outpost of the Silver Consortium in Verbobonc, or at least publishing a bunch of papers.

#Episode 10: The Huntresses (Level 3 -> 4)

Inspired by The Lost Huntress

A catoblepas (named Bill) has found its way to the swamps southwest of Verbobonc. Three women from the Dreadwood, members of a religious order dedicated to Ehlonna and Hiatea, have tracked it north through the winter and early spring. They attempted to kill the beast a few weeks ago in the Kron Hills, but it killed one of their members and escaped. The beast is very dangerous, but avoids populated areas and even small farms. The authorities of Verobobonc and the surrounding towns have declined to take any action and the women have run out of money, but they still want to avenge their friend. In the minds of the locals, the women are the bigger nuisance: dirty poor beggars nagging the guards and any travellers they can find in the inns. The innkeepers have gotten fed up and want to keep the two women out.

Benne Stillglide

Benne Stillglide

Elys Seawound

Elys Seawound

{Character} and their companions witness an innkeeper/bouncer shoving one of the women out into the street. If the party decides to help the huntresses, the latter offer no reward but the satsifaction of the hunt. However, if they complete the hunt successfully, the huntresses will bestow a Quiver of Ehlonna (which belonged to the dead woman) on one bow user in the party.

#Episode 11: Leaving Verbobonc

Note that Episode 12 occurs during episode 11.

Stari is tired of unpaid jobs and frankly a little miffed that {Character} keeps signing him up for them. He wants to enjoy the city, especially The Rusty Nail, and get some dragonchess in. Riittävän is ready to head south towards Enstad and return to her pampered, studious existence there.

Use AngryGM's traveling rules and random weather.

#Possible Encounters:

Might be some quests in the villages as well.

#Option 1: The South Road (Verbobonc to Hommlet/Crossroads)

Depart Arrive Miles Danger Discover Forage Navigate
Verbobonc Etterbock 25 1 1 7 0
Etterbock Cienega Valley 25 1 1 7 0
Cienega Valley Hommlet 25 1 1 7 0
Hommlet Crossroads 10 1 1 7 0
Crossroads Sheermobb 15 1 1 7 0
Sheermobb Crossroads 15 1 1 7 0
Crossroads Ostverk 15 1 1 7 0
Ostverk Crossroads 15 1 1 7 0
Crossroads Crossroads 150 2 1 7 0
Crossroads Enstad 105 1 1 7 0
Verbobonc Enstad 400 2 1 7 0

#(Riittävän prefers) Option 2: The Southwest Road (Verbobonc to Loren's Ford/Crossroads)

Depart Arrive Miles Danger Discover Forage Navigate
Verbobonc Mol 25 1 1 7 0
Mol Korbin 35 1 1 7 0
Korbin Abbey of the Valorous Knight 10 1 1 7 0
AotVK Larneystoe 5 1 1 7 0
Larneystoe Littleburrow 30 1 1 7 0
Littleburrow Loren's Ford 20 1 1 7 0
Loren's Ford Crossroads 15 1 1 7 0
#(Riittävän prefers) Option 2A: The Southwest-Southwest Road (Crossroads/Validia to Enstad)
Depart Arrive Miles Danger Discover Forage Navigate
Crossroads Validia 10 1 1 7 0
Validia Tristane 50 1 1 7 0
Tristane Castle Hagthar 15 1 1 7 0
Castle Hagthar Enstad 150 2 1 10 0
** Verbobonc** Enstad 365 2 1 10 0
#Option 2B: The Southwest Road and South Overland (Crossroads/Irondelve to Enstad)
Depart Arrive Miles Danger Discover Forage Navigate
Crossroads Irondelve 40 1 1 10 0
Irondelve Dorob Kilthduum 15 1 1 10 10
Dorob Kilthduum The Road 30 2 1 10 10
The Road Enstad 80 2 1 7 0
Verbobonc Enstad 305 2 1 10 10

#Episode 12: The Abbey

Inspired by Abbey Intrigue, though I can only see page 4 (at the link)

#Scene 1: Salvation Tourism

On the road southwest from Verbobonc between Korbin and Larneystoe, the party finds the Abbey of the Valorous Knight. Two armored knights with clubs (a half-orc, Brother Bhā'i, and a human, Brother Sidanus) stand outside the entrance as both greeters and guards. They invite the party to enter the abbey grounds for a rest.

Inside the abbey's low, tan sandstone walls are three buildings. To the left, a great hall with dormitories and kitchens at the back. To the right, a chapel to Heironeous with administrative areas (including the Abbot's office) behind it. In the center, a small welcome center staffed by another knight. Scattered around the grounds are a few small vegetable gardens, several sand pits for training, and pens for chickens, dogs, and rabbits.

Brother Didimus in the welcome center is happy to discuss religion, the weather, the abbey, or the order with any visitors. He will invite the party to relax in the great hall and take some refreshment from the kitchens. Other brothers (and sisters) of the order may be found going about their daily tasks within the grounds, but none seem interested in the party.

#Scene 2: Grave Tidings

When the party decides to leave the abbey, they will meet a dying knight (Brother Orden) at the gate, falling off his horse and collapsing in the gateway between Bhā'i and Sidanus. In the confusion of his death throes, Brother Orden pushes a bloodied leather folio into {Character}'s hands. "...papers ...only to the Abbot," he gasps with his final breaths. Healing is useless; the knight is dead. Any attempt at resurrection also fails; Brother Orden is with Heironeous and will not return to life.

If called using a speak with dead spell, Brother Orden explains that he caught a goblin south of Larneystoe. The goblin attempted to destroy the papers, but Orden managed to save a few, though the goblin escaped. He was on his way back to the Abbey to inform the Abbot of the papers' content when he was attacked by a large party of goblinoids. While he was able to fight his way to his horse and gallop desperately for the abbey, he suffered mortal wounds.

Immediately the two guarding knights (Bhā'i and Sidanus) will insist that {Character} hand over the folio.

  • If the party resists, Brother Sidanus will become increasingly demanding; before things come to blows, Brother Bhā'i will offer to escort the party directly to the abbot. Brother Sidanus will agree.
  • If the party hands over the papers to Bhā'i, the knight will take the papers directly to the Abbot. The party is welcome to follow him.
  • If the party hands over the papers to Sidanus, the knight will depart immediately to take the papers to the Abbot. If Brother Sidanus believes the party is not following, he heads back into the abbey towards the Abbot's office, but goes past it instead... and if the party asks the Abbot later about the papers, the Abbot has no idea what they are talking about.

Father Rodolfus, the Abbot, is a greybeard. He moves slowly in his armor. Upon examining the papers, the Abbot's manner becomes grave. He will confide to the party that his order has struggled for the last few months to keep up with increasing goblin raids in the surrounding countryside, and that the letter indicates the goblins encamped south of Larneystoe intend to mass against the abbey itself. Rodolfus asks the party, assisted by one of his knights, to scout out the goblin camp and investigate the threat. Brother Sidanus volunteers.

#Scene 3: Badly Turned

The party can head towards Larneystoe or attempt to back-track Brother Orden's last ride. Either way, Brother Sidanus follows behind, a watchful presence. An area of heavily trampled underbrush on the south side of the road a mile outside town is a clue to Brother Orden's route. If the party does not see it (DC12 Perception/Survival), Sidanus will be sure to point it out. The trail runs about another mile to the south, but eventually becomes indistinguishable from the animal trails in the area. Eventually, the party will stumble into a hasty ambush by a hobgoblin captain and five hobgoblins. During the first round, Brother Sidanus will encourage the party to make a deal: flee the area, never return to the abbey.... or die. He sides with the goblins in the fight.

As the fight ends, the party realizes they can hear camp sounds and shouts from the south... and the shouts are getting closer. Goblin voices. Brother Sidanus has a few papers in another folio tucked underneath his armor if they take the time to search his body. If they dally too long, they are likely to be overrun by goblins. The best course of action is to return to the Abbey post haste... but who ever knows what a party (even a party of one PC) will do?

#Scene 4: Bad Suspicion

Upon their return to the abbey, Brother Bhā'i regards the party with apprehension. "Where's Sidanus?" he demands. Once {Character} explains, the half-orc ushers the party quickly into the Great Hall, calling for another knight to bring the Abbot. A couple of members of the order begin to administer healing and provide dinner... and a couple more, in full armor, watch every move closely. In a few minutes the Abbot arrives. "Tell me everything."

Once the party has convinced the Abbot that their story of betrayal is true (and probably produced the papers from Sidanus' body), they are offered room and board for the night. Otherwise, they should head to Larneystoe in dusk's falling darkness, but the Abbot begs them to at least come back in the morning.

#Scene 5: Night Alarm

In the night, an alarm is raised. The abbey jumps to arms; the orders members arm and rush about, taking practiced positions near the wall gates and making hurried patrols through the buildings. Eventually, no one can figure out why the alarm woke them up. The Abbot invites anyone who's feeling jumpy to join him in the chapel for prayer.

Inside the chapel, someone points out that the stone sarcophagus of Holy Champion Sir Gregor, recently interred at the abbey, is ...open. And it's empty. Father Rodolfus' face drains and he quickly heads for his office. Reactions among the gathered faithful range from fear to piety. Some believe it is a miracle: Heironeous has taken the holy champion away. Others are not so sure. If the party stayed overnight, either the party follows Father Rodolfus, or the Abbot's aide comes to get them. If the party went to Larneystoe and returned the next morning, they are ushered immediately into the Abbot's office upon arrival.

Father Rodolfus explains to the party what he has been able to piece together from the two sets of papers. The goblins working against the abbey are worshippers of Hextor. The Abbot believes they intend to use the bones of Sir Gregor as part of a ritual to summon a devil to attack the Abbey. Rodolfus begs {Character} to once again search out the goblin camp and interrupt whatever preparations might be ongoing there. He performs a minor divination prayer to find another knight who is hopefully not also a traitor to send with the party; Brother Adstar Roguy is chosen.

#Scene 6: Dungeon Delve

Father Rodolfus prepares a heroes' feast for {Character}, their companions, and Roguy. Other members of the order cast Aid on the entire party (including Roguy). He also gives each party member a healing potion, and any paladins or clerics are inspired (lasting 24 hours). The Abbot expresses his regrets that he cannot offer more fighters to help, but {Character} can see that the abbey is in full defense preparation mode and there are no knights to spare. The party has a rough idea of the goblin camp's location based on their previous fight. When they finally see it, there are a few lean-tos scattered about, several cooking fires in various states of burning, and 2d8 goblins plus 2d4 hobgoblins milling about, several near the low mouth of a cave. The cave mouth faces south. It seems likely that anything of importance (like the stolen remains of Holy Champion Sir Gregor) are inside the cave.

Abbey Attack Dungeon Map

  • The dungeon began as a complex of tectonic fissures. Once upon a time, it was inhabited by an evil gnome wizard. It has been attacked and abandoned many times since then.
  • Walls: Natural Stone (DC 10 to climb)
  • Floor: Smooth Stone
  • Illumination: Dim light (torches in various places throughout the cavern)
#Dungeon Rooms:
  1. In the main area of this room, 2 hobgoblin devastators in red robes prepare themselves to conduct the summoning ritual. One devastator has an imp attending them. A human skeleton with a gleaming sword and shield (likely Sir Gregor) is arrayed in a tortuous position on a low table between the mages. Their ritual chants echo eerily through the cavern. The imp will attack intruders on sight, but the mages are concentrating and loathe to break off their ritual preparations. The wings of the room are empty except for a pair of brass censers etched with dwarven axeheads (common art items, 2lbs each).
  2. Empty room.
  3. A stockade pen separates this area from room 6; inside are 3 dire wolves --- mounts used by the hobgoblin scouts. The wolves make one heck of a racket when they smell the party, alerting the monsters in rooms 4, 8, and 9.
  4. A ladder ascends to a balcony on the southwest wall; two bloody and rotting human corpses are piled in the northeast alcove. A pair of bugbears wrestle in the center of the room, egged on by two goblins.
  5. Six goblin commoners work at a forge and anvil on the west side of the room, under a high domed ceiling. The floor here is a mosaic of hexagonal ceramic tiles in blue and green geometric patterns. There are an array of steel melee weapons in the room (basically any type of common weapon the party would like).
  6. A squad of five hobgoblins and their captain lounge in this area. Someone has scrawled "The Iron Fellowship looted this place" on the east wall, and the ceiling is covered with bloodstains.
  7. Cobalt veins streak the floor; there are timbered supports and square holes in the wall where timbered supports have long since rotted away in several places. A pair of hobgoblin iron shadows roll dice in the northeast tunnel. The pot from their game includes a small stauette of a six-armed demon (inferior uncommon art item), 4d20cp, and 4d6sp --- and the party might also loot the dice set itself.
  8. A goblin boss and several goblins are slurping gruel and griping to each other.
  9. Another hobgoblin squad sleeps here.
  10. The hobgoblin warlord's antechamber, and behind it, his lair. There is a pile of furs topped with a mouldering bearskin, presumably where the warlord rests. Most of the good treasure is in the lair: a silver ring set with a blue opal, a small black pearl (rare gemstone), a spiral-carved bone rod set with tiny red stones (uncommon art item), a potion of radiant resistance, and coinage in a small chest: 10d100cp, 10d20sp, and 10d10gp.
  11. A giant rat is chained to the wall here, apparently a "pet" of the hobgoblins. It is gnawing on ...something.

#Episode 13

Inspired by Ooze Tomb of the Oathbreaker but shortened drastically to accomodate a very quick "one-shot".

A storm reaches from the Relgwood east of Littleburrow. It swallows the town in a dim drizzle for days. As the storm intensifies and extends, foul creatures that would otherwise hid become bold; flying horrors scream in the sky. The Relgwood centaurs, who commonly trade Kara fruit and horn bows to the halflings of Littleburrow, send messengers to the village seeking aid. Something has fouled the small lake near their village. A few centaurs fell ill from drinking the water; the entire lake has become progressively more brackish, acidic, and clouded. The storm seems somehow connected to the fouled water. Occassionally ooze and sludge forms in the rain puddles or even drops from the sky.

The water at the center of the lake is turbulent with necromantic energy and heavily occludes vision; light cannot penetrate more than 5 feet below the surface. 50-55 feet down, two massive (~10' by ~15' by ~2') stones are dislodged from the mouth of a shallow cave (8' diameter entrance) that is filled with an inky blackness which no light penetrates. The ghostly spirit of a black dragon lich (note that average HP should not be 225), released by the final decay of the dragon's last bone, now feeds on the death of the lake's fish.

Mundane physical objects (arrows, weapons, rocks, etc) pushed or thrown into the blackness simply disappear. Radiant damage, restoration spells, or holy water will interrupt the dragon ghost's stasis-like slumber, causing it to attack any intruders, posessing the strongest among them. Characters take 1d4 acid damage per round if they enter (wade or swim) in the water, and 2d10 necrotic damage if they enter the blackness.

  • A cleric casting ceremony can make a religion check, consecrating all water in a sphere with radius 2 times the check value, but the corruption seeps back in from all sides at a rate of 5' per round. Alternately, they can bless the contents of a waterskin or other container of already fresh, pure water and pour it into the lake, purifying the lakewater in a sphere of radius 20' for each waterskin's worth of holy water.

Once the dragon ghost is destroyed, it takes only a few minutes for the inky blackness disperse and the necromantic energy of the area fades. Over several hours, the storm dissipates; over several days, the water returns to its natural state. A treasure hoard can be found inside the small cave.

#Episode 14 (Series D)

Irondelve. Thane Didymus is worried. Two miners disappeared last month. A craftsdwarf went insane two weeks ago and murdered their own family, along with one of their coworkers. Last week, a teenage dwarf silversmith's apprentice barricaded themself in a weaver's shop and emerged three days later with a bolt of ("common") glamerweave --- the making of which is a lost art and which the weavers swear was not in the workshop before. Yesterday, the guards caught a halfling barmaid on a crime spree, stealing every malachite gem in town; she's become increasingly antsy in custody.

The rapidly growing overcity artisans' guild believes there must be something connecting the strange events. The dwarven leaders of the undercity dismiss the rumors.

#Story ideas/threads in progress

#Series A

  • Qultist sentiment continues to rise in Furyondy.
  • A particular Furyondian Knight of the Hart --- one who has been publicly supporting Qultism --- becomes vocal in reviving a decade-old call for Verbobonc's annexation.
  • Secretly, the knight has fallen prey to a succubus.
  • The Viscount of Verbobonc and the Gnome Prince wish to see this Knight's influence lessened, and seek means to do so.

#Series B

The Time Portal

  • {Character}'s brother has joined a Brandobaris sect (thieves' guild) in Gryrax, Principality of Ulek.
  • His job is smuggling dwarven goods to politically disfavored globalists in Celene, and bringing elven goods back.
  • The path is extremely dangerous because of the Orcish Empire next door....
  • And lately it has become more dangerous because of the dinosaurs.
  • A pair of orcish druids and their followers have opened a time portal in the heart of the Suss Forest and started bringing back the dinosaurs.

#Series C

Quentin and Cassianne Broadbent are a young newlywed human couple from Greyhawk. They have both been teaching as adjuncts at the University of Magical Arts, their alma mater. Neither has any real talent in magic, though they did well enough in school. Quentin recently recieved counseling from a panel of senior instructors that he would need to do something extraordinary if he ever wanted tenure. Instead of hearing the intended message (i.e. quit and find a more suitable job), Quentin decided to do something extraordinary. Cassianne, who has little ambition in life beyond supporting her husband, suggests that he might be able to find something in the ruins of the magic academy outside Verbobonc.

Quentin Broadbent

Quentin Broadbent

Charitably described as gangly and awkward, Quentin has quirky ideas about mass-market magic products. Like a coin enchanted with continual flame and attached to a headband: the headlamp! Or a coin enchanted with continual flame and pierced with an augur for attaching to a keyring: the keyring flashlight! Or a coin enchanted with continual flame and mounted to the front of a carriage: the headlight! Or ... you get the picture. His ideas were fine as a student in the Magical Applications department, but he's yet to come up with anything approaching true scholarly work.

Cassianne Broadbent

Cassianne Broadbent

Uncharitably described as frumpy, Cassianne né Froswell is ecstatic to be married to a real wizard... and also she is a real wizard, even if her degree is in Magic History. No one's ever really given her the time of day --- aside from Quentin, occassionally --- and consequently she's never really given herself a second thought either. What a change a little self-confidence (and/or all-corrupting-power) could bring!

#Adventure 1

(Episode 9)

Staying at Grandma Henri's House of Rest, Quentin and Cassianne request help searching the ruins of the old academy outside Verbobonc. They think they know where a small library of especially interesting books might be found hidden underneath the ruined facutly office building. The library itself sits underground (a precaution against magical effects seeping out) and has a variety of constructed custodians and guards.

The library is protected by a puzzle map (via Kassoon):

A six-room dungeon (or six distinct multi-room segments of a larger dungeon) with a start, four seasons, and a goal, interconnected in such a way, via teleporters, portals, or similar, that you can pass from each 'season' to each other, and back to the start, but navigating the four seasons in order alters the destination of the 'return to start' portal in the final season to instead lead to the goal area.

At the end of the library entry hall are four mirrors. One mirror shows the player in a scene from each of the four seasons. A player who touches one of the mirrors is teleported to an appropriately decorated room hidden in a small pocket dimension. There is nothing dangerous in any of the destinations unless the players leave the rooms, in which case the (seasonally appropriate) weather might not be fun. Each hidden room contains four mirrors: one of each other season and one which shows the hallway again (including the rest of the party as applicable). Anyone who progresses through all four seasons and back to their starting season (it doesn't matter which season they start in) will find that the hallway mirror has been replaced with one depicting the library itself. Progressing backwards through the seasons replaces the library mirror with the hallway mirror (exit) again.

Buang Nga Lalaki

Buang Nga Lalaki

Stats-wise, a rock gnome commoner with a dagger instead of a club.

There is a crazed gnome living in the "spring" mirror dimension.... plenty of food to survive, thankfully. Actually he quite likes it there; he's come and gone a few times, but it never occurred to him to explore more than one room at once. In any case, his wife hasn't seemed to miss him....

During the exploration, Cassianne finds and claims a dark, ramrod straight metal rod. It has a boringly weak magic aura, and draws little attention.

#Adventure 2: (months after adventure 1; may not occur at all)

Discoveries at the ruined academy have brought some interest. Quentin has managed to publish a couple of manuscripts regarding both ancient writings found at the site and the effects of magical seepage observed in the area. Cassianne has come quite a long way in her casting ability and has begun to draw a small following in her own right. She's also lost some weight and seems laser focused on her work.

They have enough buy-in with the Verbobonc authorities that they've been authorized to excavate the ruined academy's sewer system and its connection to the city's lines. However, the first crew sent down to start the survey work have not returned. It's been more than a week since they were seen....

Spoiler: it's wererats.

#Adventure 3: (months or years after adventure 2, or adventure 1 if 2 is skipped)

To bring the characters back, perhaps Cassianne (as an ego-driven project) has secretly commissioned a bard to record {Character}'s history especially as related to Frame 1. Maybe the bard follows {Character}'s footsteps and begins to feel awe at their accomplishments. Eventually, the bard meets {Character} and once the hero worship is undear control, they indicate that Cassianne might like to see {Character} again.

Cassianne continues a meteoric rise in influence. Quentin seems to have peaked, but he is more than content to enjoy the spoils of his wife's fame. The party recieves an invitiation from the couple to attend the grand opening of a set of new teleportation circles linking Verbobonc and Greyhawk. Cassianne is the circles' chief architect and indeed has begun restoring the magic academy by arcane power. At the ceremony, she is honored by the Viscount with a nobility, and becomes Lady Broadbent.

Cassianne offers {Character} the opportunity to be in the new circles' inaugural travel group, along with Cassianne, the Viscount, a mage from the University of Magic Arts in Greyhawk, two Knights of the Hart, and two Greyhawk Freemen. Everything is arranged so that the group will finish the ceremony in Verbobonc by vanishing through the circle; they will then arrive in Greyhawk at the climax of that city's ceremony. The four Verbobonc representatives will then go back through the circle to complete the round trip. What could go wrong?

Well, there might be jealous wizards in Greyhawk who resent a young (female!) student's sudden massive leaps in power and influence... and are not above temporarily sabotaging the circle, just long enough to interfere with the group's return trip.

#Adventure 4: (months or years after adventure 3)

A message from Quentin makes it way through underground channels to {Character}. He begs them to return to the academy and speak to Cassianne. His wife, the letter says, has begun conducting more and more horrific rituals. She has become abusive to those around her and disturbed in her lust for power and influence. All of the Broadbent's early friends and colleagues hae left or been pushed out. One --- a young woman from Greyhawk among the first to join the Broadbents' project after the library exploration --- was even found dead. Quentin fears for his own life; he even believes that Cassianne has achieved some kind of arcane hold over the Viscount, so he dares not go to the local authorities. Her ceiling seems limitless in both corruption and magic. Someone must convince her to step back, take a break, reconsider her love... or stop her by force.

Cassianne will not part with her rod. She will not listen to reason as long as she has it. The rod will alert her to any attempt to part her from it.

#Adventure 5: (immediately after adventure 4)

The metal staff must be dealt with. It consumed Cassianne, body and soul. Can it be destroyed? Disenchanted? Hidden, or locked away?

What about the university?

What about Quentin (if he survives)?

What about Cassianne (if she does)?

#Series D (episode 14)

  • The dwarves have delved too deeply. An ancient horror has arisen.
  • What kind of Lovecraftian adventures can we come up with?
  • Dwarves are having strange moods.
  • The dwarven expedition leader wants help investigating and ending the issues.
  • The DEEP STATE secretly want the disturbance to continue because the disturbed dwarves have been creating trade objects of great value.

#Series E

Adventures in this series are not linear, and may even interleave. They represent ongoing events in Celene and the northern reach of the Pomarj empire (which used to be the city-state of Badwall).

#Adventure 1
  • The Queen of Celene (Her Fey Majesty, Queen Yolande, Perfect Flower of Celene, Lady Rhalta of All Elvenkind) insists on isolationism out of a racist sentiment that elven lives are more valuable than any others.
  • The Knights of Luna disagree with a totally isolationist position and wish to confront the menace of the Pomarj Empire in the Suss Forest (see also Frame 4).
  • A group of elf-besotted humans, mostly men, have begun to gather in Enstad (the capital) and formed a paramilitary organization they call the Queensguard, dedicated to the preservation of elven culture and the protection of Queen Yolande herself.
  • Initially dismissive, the Queen has recently begun to quietly encourage the movement (while continuing to publicly demean them) as a political bulwark against the Knights of Luna.
  • In reality, the group are little more than well-organized cosplayers.
#Adventure 2

Inspired by Grammy's Country Apple Pie.

  • Pretty much straight from the published module... an elvish wizard in Celene remembers a human woman in Badwall making the very best food he ever ate: an apple pie. That was more than a century and a half ago, and the area is now part of the Pomarj Empire. But there might be a chance the secret recipe was written down somewhere....
  • The wizard has a good memory, and can draw a simple map showing the bakery's location in a little town south of Badwall city.
#Adventure 3
  • On the border plains of what was formerly the State of Fax and the Lands of Badwall (both now part of the Pomarj Empire), a gobliness has taken the first steps toward domesticating axe beaks.
  • She's selling them as mounts.
  • While she does supply various military units from the Empire, she does not refuse anyone's coin.
#Adventure 4
#Adventure 5
  • A wild druid circle, already in conflict with Lohikäärme and his sect of more... civilized druids is displeased with both the demons and the royally-appointed party.
#Adventure 6
  • The warlock MacDaer has settled into the ruins of the Nol-Daer fortress and begun terrible work. He keeps an imp around at all times; various other fiends might be lurking in or near the fortress as well.
  • MacDaer has one wondrous item when defeated: roll a d20. 1-4: Cube of Force; 5-13: Glamoured Studded Leather; 14-20: Mantle of Spell Resistance. The fortress contains a treasure hoard; roll random treasure for Challenge 5-10. If the random treasure includes items from any magic items table, change the table to table A. Ei Tonttu will protest that any treasure recovered belongs to the Kingdom of Celene; the others will laughingly load him down with too many (low value) coins to carry and then share the rest among themselves.

#Series F

  • The sages speak ill portents for the winter. A chill south wind blows through Ulek too early in the fall. Snow begins to fall before the winter has come.
  • MacGuffin: Horn of Winter, searched out of the Crystalmist mountains south of the Eye of Joramy.
  • The Eye of Joramy erupts cataclysmically, visible from hundreds of miles... but eventually everyone wonders why there was no ash, why the eruption did not continue.
  • Artificers in the Yeomanry viewing the aftermath through their lenses (telescopes) find a massive ice shard rising in the mountains. (Ice fortress.)
  • Frostlord, goblin artificer, She's Always Cold.

#Series G

  • Marowyn meets Celahald in Loren's Ford; he attacks her, seemingly motivated by gold.
  • Celahald is a warlock of Roykyn (who serves Erythnul).
  • Roykyn (who once served Urdlen) opposes the gnome and halfling pantheons and is almost a foil of Dallah Thaun or Charmalaine.