Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Location: The Road to Castle Stieglitz

Presented here are several encounters travelers between Onuago and Castle Stieglitz are likely to have.

Background: Several months ago, the Baron Stieglitz dissapeared from public life. Since then his armies have split into four factions, each one led by one of his former captains. Two of these captains have set up tolls illigetimately on the road to Castle Stieglitz. The third has moved to the edge of the swamplands where a village of Windam-folk live. The fourth defends the village of Talook, near the castle, and it's surroundings.


Random Encounters
Random encounters include leocotta, manticore, hill giants, cloud giants, stone giants, werewolves, thoqua, and dark naga. Most will use the steep rocky terrain to attack from above, due to the road becoming increasingly rocky and uphill, up to a 3-5% grade.

The Dish-Eater's Trolls on the Bridge (EL 11)

Here the road crosses the Swift River. The bridge is 10 ft wide and stretches 30 feet across the ravine. The Swift river can be heard rushing 20 feet below. Four dirty men in mail and armed with polearms stand on the opposite side of the bridge.

The men will demand a steep toll from all using the bridge. They will ask the party to hand over half their wealth, or their best guess: 100gp per person if they appear well- equipped. They will claim it is for repairs to the bridge and other “improvements.”
A DC 10 spot check will reveal the 2 archers on a steep ridge 40' up on the north side of the river valley.

Creatures 5th Level Fighters (6): HP: 37, 42, 33, 45, 35, 38. All have heavy maces, and 2 with halberds, two with longspears, and two with longbows. See DMG for stats.

Tactics: The warriors on the bridge will stick together and concentrate attacks on single opponents, most likely the first warrior to charge them. The two with halberds may try to trip approaching attackers or may attempt to bull rush weaker characters off the bridge into the river below. The archers will harry spellcasters once they reveal themselves. If the party manages to fell 3 of the guards, the remaining will attempt to flee, or surrender if unable to do so.

Treasure: Other than the gear on the six warriors, there is a lockbox with 78 gold and 240 silver coins.

Development: If the players defeat all of the men here those remaining alive will return to Petry's camp nearby in the hills where the rest of his men are. Petry will not send men to staff the toll again, instead concentrating on recruiting from Onuago until he has more men. Through the rest of the road, it is even more rocky, and averages a 5-7% grade.

The Underharl's Defile (EL ?)

Here the road passes through a defile with steep rocky walls on either hand that rise up 15 to 25 feet. Coming around a bend you are faced by several impressive-looking men in clean uniforms. Crossbowmen stand at the ready at the top of the defile on either side.

Creatures: These men of Karl Underharl will exact a tax of 10 gold per person, claiming it is for maintenance of the road.5th Level Fighters (4): HP: 40, 39, 45, 32. All have long swords, large shields and heavy crossbows.

Tactics: The two men on the road will fight side by side while the two crossbowmen above fire down. If two of them fall the rest will attempt to flee and will surrender if pursued.

Treasure: One of the men carries a large purse that contains 25 gold and 45 silver coins. Development: If these men are dispersed, the toll will be unstaffed for two weeks while Karl recruits more men.

Ancestral Tomb (EL 9)

Several miles north of the road at the foot of a steep mountain face an unadorned arch the height of a tall man frames a dark passage into the earth.

This long dark passage ends in a small earthen chamber. A passage to either side and to the front leads off into the darkness. Several stone sarcophagi can be seen at the end of each passage. Four bodies lie on the ground, two dressed as peasants and two in bloodied uniforms.

A Wyndm couple snuck by Karl's toll in the night to make an offering at an ancestor's tomb. Two of the guards followed, and they haven't returned. When the guards caught up to the peasants in a strange cave, they attacked them as they were making offerings to their forefathers.

Creatures: This tomb houses 4 mummies who have risen from their graves after their descendants were attacked while bringing offerings to them. They destroyed the attackers (Karl's men) and now roam about the tomb.

Mummies (4): HP: 56, 52, 49, 60.

Tactics: The mummies will attack anyone entering the tomb, one coming from each side passage and two from the front. They will fight until destroyed. If the party attempts to parlay with them, a DC 25 Diplomacy check will adjust their attitude to indifferent, at which point it is possible to find out what is causing them unrest. They will be able to put the mummies to rest if a priest, even a priest from the party, is able to properly bury the dead descendants in the tomb.

Treasure: If the tomb is looted the party finds the following the the four tombs: coin 29,240 copper coins, 108 platinum coins (1,080gp), a potion of Mage Armor in a Bottle (1,400gp), and a scroll of See Invisibility (l2, cl3) that is cursed: the reader must sleep twice as much as normal the next night. There is also an arcane (175gp) scroll with Precise Vision (l1, cl1) and Sensory Link (l2, cl3). The second contains a large steel shield +1, 28,972 copper coins, 2 gems: a crazy lace agate (11.9gp), and a goshenite (clear to pale blue beryl) (770.9gp), a scroll of Balagarn's Iron Horn (l2, cl3) and Bristle (l2, cl3). The third is 688 gold coins and 56 platinum coins, 3 gems: a crazy lace agate (12.5gp), a raindrop (492.9gp), and a rhodolite (pink garnet) (438gp), 3 scrolls: an arcane (325gp) scroll with Flaming Sphere (l2, cl3) Spectral Hand (l2, cl3) and Erase (l1, cl1), an arcane scroll with Minor Image (l2, cl3) and Rapid Strikes (l2, cl3), and a divine scroll (450gp) with Delay Poison (l2, cl3), Animal Infusion (l2, cl3) and Enkili's Luck (l2, cl3). The last tomb has 678 gold coins (678gp) and a potion of Expeditious Retreat (50gp) that is cursed: item has opposite effect in that it reduces the drinker's movement by 30' to a minimum of 5' per round. There is also a scroll with Make Fast (l1, cl1), Lesser Spell Immunity (l2, cl3) and Spider Climb (l1, cl1).

The Swift River Inn and Stables

A day's travel by horse northeast along the road that parallels the Swift River lies, this inn has a long-proud heritage that is sadly coupled to the fate of Onuago and Castle von Stieglitz.

As the party ascends from the swampy lower regions of North Bay, the air becomes less humid and stagnant, even refreshing,and accompanied by a light breeze. The low croaking of toads gradually gives way to the sharp cawing of ravens and other birds, just as the lands surrounding the road sheds it's greenery to assume the mottled mantle of the earth. Sharp stones rise on either side of the road and the roaring of the swift river grows louder with each step. In the distance a vague and ambiguous shape can be seen leaning heavily over the road. Lights glow brightly from within, and the vague impression of movement can be seen inside. As the party marches up the hill towards the structure, it's form resolves itself into a weathered but sturdy stone building.

This is the Swift River Inn and Stables, and it's history is as long and as storied as the town of Onuago. Once the party is in full view, too furitive looking men will emerge from inn with crossbows levelled. These men are wary and suspicious, but as long as the party shows proof that they have coin to spend and are not overly threatening, they will let them pass.

The inside of the inn is well lit, and fresh rushes cover the floor. The furnishings are mismatched but sturdy, and a warm fire burns in the hearth. Several patrons sit slumped around the inn, or stare warily at the party. The smell of something warm and filling wafts from the kitchens. The inn keeper is an older man, obviously once a powerful man, his weight now sags on his frame. His brow is knitted together as he regards the party with suspicion. His gnarled hands polish a chipped stone mug as he waits for the party to state their business.

The inn has both beds and stables available for 5 gold a night. The exorbitant prices can be attributed to the roving brigands and the cost of getting supplies from the troubled city of Onuago. Ale, wine and food are also available for outrageous prices (1 gold for ale, 2 for wine, 2 for food, and 3 for both wine and food). Bertram is the name of the bartender and proprietor of the inn, and if pressed he will tell the party what he knows of the surrounding country side and the brigands that roam the area.

The Thorp of Talook

Nestled at the foot of the Cyrűk mountains, the thorp of Talook's stone hovels are visible for many miles down the road. Tiny plumes of smoke rise from each of the huts, which are set close together for protection.

When the party arrives, the citizens are busy setting up a makeshift celebration to honor St. Zelnyeki the following weekend.

Population: 58
GP Limit (price of most expensive item available in thorp): 40gp
Ready Cash: 116gp
Power Center: conventional (Anna Červená), LN (with good tendencies)
Highest Level Locals:
Adept: 1st
Barbarian: 1st
Cleric: 1st - Caretaker of the tiny wooden chapel that is the spiritual center of the town. Commoner: 5th
Expert: 5th
Figher: 4th - Orlay Petronova – an older man, appointed by the Baron's father as magistrate of Talook. Orlay supports Anna as the last legitimate authority for the region.
Monk: 1st - An ascetic who has taken a vow of silence and lives on the church grounds tending the communal gardens.
Ranger: 2nd
Warrior: 2nd

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