The Light of Mant Forest

End of Week adventure

Happy weekend all, will keep today’s writeup brief as I have already done a lot of the pre-work.

The process – I covered this yesterday in my writeup that can be found here

The Plot

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The party have found their way to the town of Mantford after an uneventful journey through the Granitepeak mountains to the north of the town, a sponsored caravan for their current patron.

Upon arriving in the small city the party head towards the local in <name> to wait for their patron to arrive. After a few days of waiting the party were approached by the caravan driver, who had been requested to wait around, that their patron had failed to hold up their end of the bargain and had not showed up. This left the party in debt to the caravan driver for a tidy sum of 40 gold pieces.

After paying the caravan driver what they could afford (if the party has less than 40gp combined then take what is fair.. They can try and deceive/slight of hand money if they want to) as the driver had some pretty large and intimidating henchmen, the party were left in the town of Mantford, now 40gp down.

The party decided to investigate the town around them and to look for work as their previous patron had apparently organised work for them in this town.

Upon walking around and making some enquiries they were soon pointed to a building at the end of the square.

Decorative boxes that once had flowers have been taken over by weeds, the windows of the shop appear to have a thick black paint painted on the inside of the expensive glass. A weathered sign reveals the words “Dryns Parlor”.

Inside the building the party are greeted by lamplight keeping the darkness at bay, a dwarf woman can be seen sitting at a wooden table studying a book. Approaching the woman the party notice that blackened windows have a glowing script almost floating across it, arcane sigils float across the inky paint, almost ilnlegible in parts.


Arcana roll: DC 13 to reveal that the script appears to be looking at healing magic – it’s a list of ingredients, almost all of it foreign but the “Milk” is written in dwarvish over and over again.


If anyone can read dwarven they can also note the word “Milk” written repeatedly, circled several times as well amongst the arcane script.

People

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Bardryn “Dryn” Silverstone

Dryn

The Alchemist known as Bardryn, or Dryn to most, is a cheerful yet eccentric alchemist from Silvestone Clan. 

Her long double braids are rarely without soot or burn marks in them. She never goes a week without changing the colour of her hair through one of her alchemical concoctions 

Dryn recently became more erratic since a parcel arrived from her father which contained her uncle’s large leather bound tome of alchemical research. 

Her once good name and profitable business, that seemed to revolve around her potions that could change the colour of ones hair, has fallen into ill repute as she started to put more time and effort into researching her uncle’s book rather than focusing on her business.

Once the party talks to Dryn and she realises that they are the adventurers that the “patrol” organised to help her she excitedly reveals that she has uncovered in her uncle’s book a creature in the nearby woods whose milk could cause a man to live forever. Leaving the shop the party are stopped by passers by who reveal that they (three nobel born women) used to be customers of Dryn and her potions that changed their hair color – They claim that, although brilliant, she is acting erratic and that a lot of the villagers, Definitely not them.. (although an insight check of DC10 would prove that it is them…) have been overheard saying she’s gone mad.

Twists

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During the night, if the party don’t set off straight away, the party are approached by a local halfling merchant, Gil Tenpenny, who offers to buy them drinks if they can tell him some tales – he comes across as a merchant who dreams of greater things.

People

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Gilbert Tenpenny

Gil explains to the party, after they have started drinking, that he is a businessman who is short on luck – he goes through a few of his most recent unfortunate events including how his business burnt down recently. He asks with (Faked) awe what brings the party to Mantford and seems genuinely interested in them

After Gil fills them with alcohol and food he bids them good night, appearing drunk he stumbles out the door to a chorus of laughter at the halflings expense.

Later that night, once the party returns to their large shared room there is only one room and its quite large…

The party wake up in the middle of the night to find the door to the inn open slightly, swinging lightly in a breeze they didn’t realise was blowing. They could have sworn that they closed and locked it last night but their new patron, the man who offered them a job, had insisted on buying them ale and wine and lots of it so they could be mistaken.
The flash of moonlight on steel sends the party scurrying out of bed as they watch the window fly open and the shadow of a humanoid jumps out.
A metallic clang resonates through the enclosed room as the party hurriedly produces some light. 
On the ground in front of the window is a golden crown and a hastily scrawled note on strange parchment.

“By my thinking you stole the princesses crown, and I reckon the guard will be beating down the door any moment to drag you before the king to be hanged.”, At this moment the party can hear shouting from down stairs as a mailed gauntlet bangs demandingly on the inns door, “Meet my associate by the northern gate before dawn and do as he says or else I will make sure the king’s men find you.. oh and I wouldn’t leave the crown lying around to prove your guilt…” At that the parchment bursts into flames and not a trace is left behind.
The party, in this scenario, are blackmailed/betrayed into completing their quest for another agent. The associate at the gate tells them to instead complete the quest for another party, or for example instead of protecting something, they deliberately let their guard down, and so the game changes for the players.
What they do, and for whom they complete the job for is up to them but don’t forget about consequences.

Encounter

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This Encounter is an escape encounter – they can either face the guardsmen and have their gear confiscated before appearing to the king to plead their case or they can try and escape. This becomes a series of stealth rolls and decisions (DM to judge) in order for them to get to the gates.
The gates are not that far from where the party is staying, however there are guardsmen patrolling the streets, at least 2 encounters unless the alarm is raised (the party are seen skulking about, fail a stealth check or blow their cover.. DMs choice) then double the number you have. The party should be encouraged to do whatever they want to escape (violence will have its consequences though) and the aim is to let them escape to meet the accomplice at the gates.

If they do escape then they meet with the accomplice.. Who is an illusion made of shadow. any attacks will pass through the illusion and the creator of the illusion (Gil Tenpenny) would up the ante by offering them an ultimatum. “Steal the king’s mace for me or I will make you pay”

He will also send his henchmen to attack the party in the forest (See next encounter – 01FrST)

Places

The first notable place is Mantford (see the ‘Mantford map’ here) – This is a good way to get your bearings. The next places are really places of note for encounters.


Road to Mant

Bandits! (01FrEsFeLe)

In this encounter I would suggest having a read of the setup and plots here.


Surprise encounter

01WkSup

For this encounter let’s look at a new statblock.

As the party venture into the forest, after fighting off the ambush from the bandits, they soon encounter a series of rocks in the middle of the path that glistens with a coating of slime.

A successful investigation check of D12 will reveal that the rocks are slugs – they will then rear up and attack the nearest party member.

The party (4 level 1s assumed) will then have to fight 2 of these slugs. If the Party attempts to move around the rocks the slugs attack and will get a surprise round on the party.


Yooligo River

01FrEsFeSTLe

See maps. If the party goes near the river at night – play the Yooligo worm (01FrEsFeSTLe) encounter out. If the Party are wandering around during the day they may encounter Ilya the witch (roll a % dice (2d10 and have one be the 10s column and one be the 1s column. 10+10 = 100, 10 + 1 = 1)) – if 80+ then they meet the witch Ilya.

When they discover the source of the worm milk (01WePt), if they have a vial they can try and take some of the milk-imbued-water back (and this will trigger the worm fight – they can also bring the worms corpses back if they want but they will attract another 2 black slugs on their way out.

Conclusion

The party upon successful return with their findings, sample or not, will have 20 gp provided to them, 3 potions that will change their hair colour to one of choice, and they will also receive a map from Dryns uncles book that speak of a stone in the nearby mines that reportedly will cure lycanthrope with but a touch.