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Kill Bargle!by John Calvin
My daughter just turned 9 and she's been asking to play some D&D, so I thought I would finally oblige her. I've been thinking of several possibilities for adventures for her, but have finally settled on running something in Karameikos. She's pretty keen on having a wolf companion so I'm thinking she will probably end up playing a ranger or druid type and therefore I want to add lots of wilderness elements to the adventures. I also want to utilise as many of the suitable materials that I have around as possible (it's why I have them after all), so I spent some time going through my old modules, Dungeon mags, and the Vaults as well, to see what I could come up with. Of course the adventure in Dungeon 150, Kill Bargle! was what decided me. Bargle will be my main antagonist, and the adventure will be set in the town of Threshold. What follows below is a brief outline of a campaign centred around Threshold and Bargle's machinations. If there are any other adventures that you might think it worth my while to look at, please let me know.
The adventure starts out in the town of Threshold, which has been having a few minor problems as of late, however the townsfolk are about to find out that those problems are just the tip of the iceberg.
Foreshadowing: One or two of the townsfolk (the PCs friends) are sick. Nothing major, just some sniffling or coughing. This however is a sign of worse things to come. The wererat miller has been poisoning some of the food supply on Bargle's orders and soon there will be an epidemic that only the PCs can stop (lead in to D0). Several people in town have also gone missing (killed by the wererat - a lead into The Beasts of Aulbesmil).
The town guard is quite busy and has been called to protect the Windrush road (south) from bandits (possibly humanoid attacks). As such there is a reduced presence of the guard in the town (leads to The Distraction, Aulbesmil, and W1).
Tales of owlbears and other fantastic monsters moving into the area and terrorising the locals starts to increase. In fact these monsters are being pushed out of their natural hunting grounds deeper in the wilderness by humanoids and evil fey.
Event 1: A boy comes into town complaining of wolves attacking his flock of goats. Since the real town guards are busy with other matters, the PCs are sent out to investigate (perhaps one of the PC's father is the captain of the guard). There is a pack of wolves in the wilderness near the town and they are starving. They are attacking anything that looks like an easy meal. These wolves have been pushed out of their territory either by humanoids hunting them, or the treacherous fey that have just moved into the area. The situation can be solved by force or through diplomacy. The wolves are not evil, they are just trying to survive.
[The wolves, and other creatures of the wild, have been pushed out of their normal territories by the increased humanoid activity in the area.]
Event 2: The townsfolk are getting sicker, and the local herbalist is able to prove that it is no accident. In order to stop the epidemic she needs special ingredients that grow in the Black Peaks Mountains. The PCs must journey there, get the ingredients, and return before Threshold becomes a ghost town.
[Events 2 and 3 can be run in either order. Modify D0 - Hollow's Last Hope to run this. Hollow becomes Threshold of course, though many of the NPCs can be used as is. The disease is being caused by the wererat miller (one of Bargle's minions), as part of his plot to dominate the region. Castle Mistamere could replace the dwarven monastery in the adventure, but it is probably too close to Threshold (the PCs need to journey some distance in the adventure).
Will modify the hobgoblin trap to use one of the wolves from Event 1 (assuming that ended in diplomacy) and provide a possible companion for druid or ranger character.]
Event 3: Someone in town has been poisoning the townsfolk, and the PCs must find out who it is and stop them. In addition to causing the sickness, the wererat miller has also been involved in a few murders and recently a kidnapping. The murders are his own doing, but the kidnapping was on Bargle's orders and will be the first time the PCs hear of the evil wizard.
[Events 2 and 3 can be run in either order. Modify Dungeon 131 - The Beasts of Aulbesmil, possibly add elements from VoP - The Old Mill. The mill will be changed from a wheat mill to a lumber mill. The person kidnapped by the wererat was a messenger from Baran Halaran sent to Specularum to ask for help with recent humanoid incursions in the area. The messenger was intercepted just outside Tarnskeep and is now a prisoner of some of Bargle's goblin minions.
More opportunities to learn of Bargle and now also of his amassing humanoid troops in the area. The messenger must complete his mission or it is very likely that Threshold will fall. This is a lead in to Dungeon 145 - The Distraction.]
Event 4: A massive beastman army is gathering near the town and preparing to attack. The PCs must try to delay the army, giving the messenger (from Event 3) enough time to return with reinforcements from the Duke. However, even with the reinforcements, the town is still under threat. The Marching army has a powerful weapon with it, a bronze golem, that will destroy the town unless the PCs stop it.
[Run this as a combination of Dungeon 145 - The Distraction and VoP - Legend of the Bronze Warrior. Change the army in LotBW to an army of gnolls (since I want to draw parallels to the time of Halav), and make the Bronze Warrior a gift from Bargle. Once the humanoids are dispersed, the immediate threat to Threshold is over, but the PCs should be aware that an evil wizard is out there orchestrating these events and that he must be stopped.]
Event 5: Kill Bargle! The wizard who has been plaguing the town of Threshold must be brought to justice, one way or another. The PCs are sent to capture the wizard, or kill him if they must. It is possible that with his plans of conquest thwarted, the wizard has succumbed to other means to achieve domination in the area and has kidnapped Aleena (the Baron's daughter) and is holding her to exert his will on the Baron.
[Run as a combination of D1 - Crown of the Kobold King and Dungeon 150 - Kill Bargle! Once his base of operations are found and disrupted, life can get back to normal for Threshold... though not necessarily for the PCs. Here the PCs will learn the extend of Bargle's meddling along with his ultimate goal - the discovery of the Lost Valley of the Hutaaka.
Bargle may or may not escape. Regardless, his power over the humanoid tribes has been broken, however if he lives the wizard may dog the PC's ever step until they finally reach the hidden valley.]
Event 6: Using Bargle's notes, the PCs are able to piece enough together to help them find the legendary Lost Valley. Although the humanoid threat has been ended (for now), there is a new threat in the wilderness surrounding Threshold. Evil and vengeful fey creatures have moved in and will make finding the valley difficult.
[Run a combination of Dun 132 - Wingclippers Revenge and W1 - Conquest of Bloodsworn Vale, finally leading into B10 - Night's Dark Terror.]
So we spent some time in character creation this weekend and had our first mini session. Here is what my daughter came up with (I made one or two suggestions to her, but for the most part the rest is entirely her own):
Lavita - Lavita and her younger sister Rava were orphaned when their country went to war. Their mother and father, who was a minister for the Traladaran king, were both killed in the battle, but the two young girls were spirited away by their aunt Rose and fled into the woods. Lavita was 8 years old at the time and her sister Rava was only an infant. Shortly thereafter the three resettled in the little logging village of Threshold and began the process of rebuilding their lives. Their aunt Rose had managed to escape the battle with some money, but now it is almost all gone. The girls know very little about their past because their aunt doesn't like to speak about it.
Lavita has several friends in the town of Threshold. She enjoys riding her horse in the woods when she doesn't have to do chores for her aunt Rose. She always takes her trusty bow to protect herself.
Tamer - Tamer is another Traladaran orphan that lives in some ruins outside of the town of Threshold with her dog Sammy. She grew up around the animals of the forest and is a little wild herself. Most of the people in Threshold think that she is a little off, but even so Lavita is friendly with her. The two often go riding in the woods together. The ruins that Tamer lives in were once the home of a great wizard (Merlin) and there are still magical things lying about. Tamer often gets into trouble when she stumbles upon any of these magical secrets.
Kallish - A younger boy, Kallish is apprenticed to the blacksmith Hadent (whom Aunt Rose is in love with). Kallish is an only child and his father is the captain of the guard in town.
Keena - A Thyatian girl with long blond hair and purple eyes, Keena is very close to Lavina's age. She has a younger sister named Sanee who is the same age as Rava. Even though the girls are Thyatians, Lavita and Rava still consider them friends.
DM Notes: My daughter came up with most of the above on her own. She wanted her character to be an orphan right from the start and I suggested that her parents died in a battle. I purposefully stayed away from choosing classes and rolling up stats because I think all of that info would have been an overload for her. I'll start to introduce game rules little by little as we play. Based on her descriptions of the characters I'm pretty sure that Lavita will end up being a ranger and Tamer will be a druid. Kallish will probably end up being a fighter type. The others I'm not sure of.
Keena and Aleena sound very similar and I'm thinking of having them be one in the same. In our next session she will meet a young boy who has come in with the latest trading caravan (narrowly escaping a goblin ambush along the way). The boy's clothes will be common and coarse, but the sword he carries is of the finest make.
This session was fairly quick, but the details will have to wait because at the moment I'm beat. I'll save that for my next posting.
The first session was brief. It started with the hoof beats approaching Lavita's cottage in Threshold early in the morning. It was her good friend Tamer, who often came to ride with her in pleasure through the woods. This morning was different however, as the sound of the horse was troubled and pressing. Tamer had come to ask for her friends help. Something strange was happening in the forest, and Tamer didn't know what to do about it.
Thus the two friends rode off to investigate these strange events. Tamer had been finding animals in the forest with strange marks on their legs and paws, as if they had been scratched or bitten. Lavita had noticed the same thing on some of the animals in Threshold as well. Before making it to the ruins where Tamer made her home, they heard panicked shouting coming from a clearing. It was a small shepherd boy protecting his flock of sheep from a pack of wolves.
Lavita turned to Tamer to diffuse the situation. The wild girl was able to stay the wolves while Lavita calmed the boy down. The girls asked the wolves why they were so near the town and asked them if they might not find hunting grounds further in the woods. Tamer mentioned several areas that she knew of where deer frequented. The wolves told Tamer that they had been pushed out of their hunting grounds by small evil things that had teeth like lions yet walked on two legs. The creatures killed all game and hunted wolves as well when they could.
Both Tame and Lavita thought that these evil creatures may have something to do with the other strange happenings in the forest. They determined to go with the wolves to investigate, but first Lavita wanted to go home and get her sister Rava to go with them. The three friends, and their wolf companions were quickly off, and made it to the wolves' territory before the moon set that evening. At the edge of their old home most of the wolves became fearful and would not continue, but the oldest one led them on.
Soon they came to a clearing where they heard whimpering. There was another wolf there with its paw caught in an iron trap. Tamer rushed to its aid, without knowing that she also walked into a trap. Several small creatures jumped out of the trees to attack her, while two others shot arrows from high in the branches. Lavita drew her bow and fired on them bringing one down, while Tamer struggled with a makeshift weapon against the ones on the ground. The wolf took cover, having encountered these creatures before. Lavita was missed her next shot and one of the creatures jumped out of the tree landing on Rava's horse and grabbing her. Lavita rushed to help her sister and the two knocked the wicked thing out. Finally they were able to dispatch the last creature assaulting Tamer and the wild girl drew her knife and finished the creature on the ground which she knew to be a goblin.
Tamer helped the wounded wolf from its trap and bandaged its wounds. The older wolf returned and urged everyone to leave. There were more of the vile creatures creeping about the woods. The companions left the area as quickly as they could and were back in Threshold late the next day. On their way they encountered many strange lights dancing about them which Tamer said were fairies.
DM Notes: And that's where we ended our first session. Again we didn't roll any dice. I also have to adjust to one on one sessions. My daughter was just as much a driver in the story as I was. She came up with the idea of the animals being marked in some way, as well as with the encounter with the fairies on the journey home. I definitely need to include more animals in the story.
Next time I'm going to introduce ability scores, hit points, and AC, and bring the dice into the game. We'll see how that goes.
The adventure continued with the arrival of a small merchant's caravan into town. The carts and wagons looked like they had been through some rough times, and the people driving them didn't look much better. There was some good news that cam with the caravan however. A travelling minstrel was journeying with them, and now everyone was gathering at the Green Dragon Inn to watch him perform.
Hadent the blacksmith sent his apprentice Kallish out to Rose's farm to let the ladies know about the new arrival and invite them to dinner at the Green Dragon. Both Lavita and her Aunt Rose were very excited at the prospect and quickly got ready to go. When they arrived at the Green Dragon, the entertainment was already underway as the bard was giving an exciting rendition describing the caravan's many perils along the Duke's road.
A burly growl in the corner of the common room alerted Lavita and Kallish that their friend Tamer and her bear companion Sammy were also at the inn. Tamer had seen the caravan come into town and her curiosity had gotten the better of her. The two youths decided to join their friend and left Hadent and Aunt Rose to a table of their own. "Hey Tamer, what are you doing here?" asked Kallish.
"Shhhh, he's just getting to the good part," was the only reply they got. Tamer was already wrapped up in the bard's tale. Seeing that, Kallish and Lavita went off to the kitchen to find some food. Sammy followed after them and soon there could be heard the sound of dishes crashing with angry shouts following. Tamer paid them no heed. The bard was at this point telling a tale of a goblin ambush not a day's journey south of Threshold, an ambush that the caravan would surely not have survived if not for the bravery and skill of one young boy, whom the bard quickly pointed out among the audience. This brought no end of discomfort to the young boy in question. Tamer also noticed that she was not the only person in the common room to take interest in the bard's tale, or in the boy. Two gruff strangers sitting a few tables away were also staring at the boy intently.
Not being one with many social graces, Tamer promptly got up from her own table and walked over to the boy, "Are all those things true that the bard says? Did you really save the caravan?" The boy was startled by her approach, but quickly composed himself and nodded in the affirmative. Tamer saw that the clothes her wore were dirty and ragged, however there was a glint of something shiny underneath. Strapped to his belt was a sword of exquisite craftsmanship. She probed the boy for more answers to her questions but received none. The boy was wary, and clearly suspicious of her.
Seeing her friends return, Tamer left the boy to his own devices. "What's going on Tamer?" asked Kallish as he flicked chunks of food and gravy from his leather jerkin. Following him Sammy licked his lips.
"Nothing," replied Tamer. Not being as familiar with Kallish as she was with Lavita, the wild girl was being very close lipped.
"Come on Tamer," Kallish said with a scowl, "we saw you talking with that boy..." Relenting, Tamer told her companions what she knew. "What should we do?" asked Kallish.
"I'm going to find out what's going on," said Tamer, and with that she walked right up to the two men who had been staring at the boy. Of course the two men were in no mood to talk with a wild girl, but Tamer persisted. Finally one of the men grew angry enough with her that he stood up, throwing his chair back in the process. Kallish could see that Tamer was in over her head and quickly joined her.
"We don't want any trouble here, gents," he said.
"You've already got trouble," the stranger barked and took a swing at Kallish's head. Lavita backed away, but Sammy growled and jumped on the man still sitting and knocked him over. Kallish and the other man grappled with each other, throwing punches where they could, and soon the entire inn was one large melee. From the corner of her eye Tamer saw the young boy use the commotion to duck out through the back door and she quickly followed him.
"Hey!" said Tamer, but she had no time for further questions. The boy pulled her down behind some crates and signalled for her to be silent. There were other men in the alley, apparently waiting to grab the boy there. The sounds of the brawl had distracted them and they were looking inside the inn through a window. But Tamer was not put off. She whistled loudly, bringing her horse charging through the alley. The men were knocked aside and Tamer and the boy climbed aboard. The quickly raced through the alley to the front of the inn where Kallish, Lavita, and Sammy were just staggering out the door. "Come on," she called to them, "we can go to my place... we'll be safe there."
They rushed across town as quickly as they could. At the bridge they found yet another surprise. Five more men standing on the far side with bows drawn. One stepped forward, "Give us the boy, that's all we want. The rest of you can go free."
"No," was all the Tamer said. The men drew back their bows and fired, but they all flew wide of their mark. Lavita responded in order, quickly downing one of the archers, while the lead man drew a sword and advanced on the group. Tamer and Sammy rushed to meet him, even though the wolf girl had no weapon in hand.
Lavita's arrows downed another archer, sending him tumbling into the river. The lead man took a swing at Sammy leaving a nasty gash in the bear's side. Sammy bellowed in pain and dashed away. Furious, Tamer jumped the man and took a swing at his head but missed, landing herself on the hard cobble stones instead. By this time the other two archers had taken cover and Lavita's arrows were having trouble finding any purchase. One of them fired and sunk an arrow squarely into her thigh. Fighting through the pain, Lavita continued to fire.
The lead man was now stabbing at the ground, trying to skewer Tamer. Kallish rushed out to tackle the man. Taking one last desperate stab, the man caught his sword on the cobblestones and it snapped in half. Kallish tackled him, while Tamer kicked at his feet. After a few more minutes of struggle Kallish finally succeeded in knocking the man unconscious, and just at that time Lavita downed a third archer. The last archer ran off into the back alleys. Tamer tried to give chase, but the man had too much of a head start and lost the wild girl in the city streets.
Finally the group made it out of town and found shelter at Tamer's abode, where the wild girl began to grill the young boy for several minutes. Seeing that Tamer was being fairly uncouth Lavita stepped in. Taking the boy aside she began to talk to him calmly, reassuring him that he was among friends.
"What's your name?" Lavita asked.
"My name?" replied the boy, "... Valous. Valous ...Prothemian." The two talked for quite a wile. Valous told her of his desire for adventure, to get out and see the wide world and be a part of it. She asked him of his journey here and of his deeds along the Duke's road, and he told her the tale, however Lavita had the sense that he was holding something back. Finally Lavita asked him about the sword that hung at his side. "I didn't steal it..." he replied. "It was a gift from my father." Lavita began to ask Valous about his family, but he quickly changed the subject. "Tell me about your family." he asked her instead.
"My parents are both dead," Lavita responded. She told him the story of the attack on the castle she and her family had lived in so long ago, and of how her Aunt Rose had saved her and her little sister from certain doom.
"Oh..." said Valous, "that's horrible." But after that the boy grew quiet, and would say no more.
- We spent some time on character sheets before this session and I introduced Ability scores and Skills. I'm using 4E skills, since there are less of them, and my daughter seemed to pick this idea up quickly (at least the theory of it).
- I had originally intended to play through this session with Lavita and Kallish, however my daughter thought of a way to include Tamer, so I rolled with it. She likes playing Tamer more (I think) because Tamer is a bit wild and can get away with doing some crazy things (which can be very funny). She played both Tamer and Lavita, though most of her time was spent on Tamer.
- The beginning of the session was played as sort of a mystery, with the use of lots of skill rolls to facilitate the story. My daughter ended up rolling very well (14-19s) for her skill checks, so ended up noticing a lot of details. This was mostly all Tamer at this point.
- The combats we ran using to hits at 10 or above. I did not introduce initiative or hit points, so those things were story driven. The archers I ran as minions (as soon as they were hit, they went down), however the leader I ran as more powerful and I required her to get several hits on him before he went down. Next time I think we'll add in hit points and damage rolls.
- During this session I called for most of the skill checks. Near the end when Tamer was questioning Valous she didn't really get very far (because she has low Cha and no diplomacy skills). I hinted to my daughter that someone else might be a better choice to talk to the boy and we looked at everyone's skills again until finding that Lavita had Diplomacy (and a much higher Cha). At that point she switched from playing Tamer to playing Lavita. Again she had some good rolls here and "Valous" pretty much opened up to her, telling her most of his story (sans his correct name and family ties - which he would not have told at this point under any circumstances).
Tamer threw a number of monkey wrenches into my plans - first of all just by being around, but in the end it all worked out very well. I had wanted the group to befriend Valous early on (at the inn) and to have more discussions with him up front before being thrown into trouble. Tamer however was very suspicious of the boy's behaviour and of the men watching him, and she was going to have none of that. Rather than talking with Valous, she went straight to the men watching him (which I didn't expect and tried to prevent using Kallish - but to no avail).
Once the chase was on, I had wanted to use more skill checks to have the group either hide from the thugs, or to loose them in a chase through the back alleys. Again Tamer put the kybosh on that, by calling for her horse. It was good role playing so I decided to reward her for the effort and let the group escape fairly easily. Instead I moved the encounter with the thugs to the bridge and let them fight it out. There were a few critical fumbles (Tamer rolled a 1 during her attacks and I ruled that she fell prone). I rolled a 1 while trying to stab at Tamer and "broke my sword". Both of us had fun doing this, and the action was quite fast paced. I'm assuming the more rules I add, the slower things will get, at least until my daughter gets used to the rules.
After escaping from the thugs I had intended to have the PCs encounter some giant rats that have been plaguing the town recently, but the escape on horseback just wasn't conducive to that encounter. I'll have to work it in some other way. At this point I want to start dropping clues about Bargle, but Tamer also has a fairly bad habit of dispatching her opponents quickly, even if they are helpless/unconscious. That makes it hard to get information from your attackers after they have failed in their attack. I may have to leave some clues in the form of notes/messages that can be found in the pockets of their opponents.
Well, my daughter has been asking me to play some more, so how could I refuse? We ran a quick session last night (mostly to re-orient ourselves to the characters and the story). Hopefully we will make this a regular occurrence.
Before Lavita or the others could pry further into Valous' past, the group heard a horse rush up to the ruins. A flustered Aunt Rose jumped off and began to bang on the makeshift door that Tamer had crafted. “Lavita, are you in there? Something terrible has happened!”
Opening the door Lavita asked, “What's happened Aunt Rose? What's gone wrong?”
“A sickness has taken your sister Rava. She is at home with a fever... The healer gave me instructions for making a medicine from gooseberries and chervil leaf, but there are none to be found in the village. I'm very worried for Rava, her skin feels like it's on fire and she can barely speak.”
Tamer took control of the situation. “Don't worry, I know where we can find some. Come on.” The two girls wasted no time and quickly combed the area for the necessary ingredients. Tamer was the victorious one. With the components in hand, the group made their way through the woods and back to Lavita's cottage with all haste.
“You should stay here, Valous,” Lavita said. “Those men could still be after you.”
“No, I... I want to come.” Valous wouldn't abandon a friend, but his resolve grew weaker when they neared the edge of the village. Rose's cottage was on the outskirts of town but it was quite possible that whoever was after Valous would be watching the roads nearby.
“It's ok,” Kallish said, sensing his trouble and putting a firm hand on Valous' shoulder. “You girls go on ahead, we'll stay here under cover. We're only shouting distance away if you need us.” The girls ran on to the cottage, with Tamer only taking a moment to smack Sammy on the nose and tell him to stay with the boys.
Once in the cottage, Tamer could see it was just as Rose described. Poor Rava was in her bed, beads of sweat dripping down her head in rivulets. Her eyes fluttered, and she mumbled incoherently taking no notice of any others in the room. Tamer got to work right away mixing the medicine, and soon they fed it to Rava. The day wore on, and there was little sign on the girl recovering.
“I don't think it's working,” sighed Tamer.
Distraught, Lavita broke down to tears. Tamer simply stood nearby, her stoic expression unchanging. Finally, it was Aunt Rose who roused them to action. “Go down the street and see Davul. Let him know the potion did not work.” Davul was the local healer, a somewhat cranky old man who lived not two houses down from Rose. The view that they came across did nothing to alleviate their fears. Davul's cottage was packed with the sick, a long line extending from the door and winding its way back out to the street.
“Come on,” Tamer said to Lavita, and shoved her way through the crowd. Villagers grew irate at the pushy wild girl's actions and it became apparent that if they persisted, there would soon be a riot. Amazingly Tamer seemed to have learned from her experience at the Green Dragon the night before. “I have another idea.”
After whistling for Sammy, the two girls made their way to some bushes near the back of the cottage. There they sat for several minutes with their ears to the wall, trying to listen in on the conversation that Davul was having inside. “Sammy and I will climb up and try and find another way in.” Lavita was dubious, but wisely said nothing.
Sammy soon joined them in the bushes, and he and the wild girl climbed up to the thatched roof... and promptly crashed through it, falling inside to the floor. Davul was stunned, if only for a moment. He began berating Tamer (loudly) for what she had done, but stopped as soon as he recognised who she was.
“Wait a minute... you can help me. You know that there are many in Threshold that are sick, yes? Yes, of course you do, that's why you're hear. The disease is magical in nature... I can't cure it using normal methods. But there is a chance to do something... I just need the right components. You know the wilds of this region, you can go and gather them for me.”
- This session was fairly action light. There was no combat, but we did roll some skill checks (nature - to find ingredients, and heal - for the attempt to cure Rava). Tamer failed her heal check, but even had she succeeded the result would be the same. The mysterious (and magical) illness that they have caught hints of before is beginning to show itself.
- My daughter cam up with the cure made from gooseberries and chervil leaf - it's something she read about in another book! - so I ran with that.
- Next session I'll be running a modified D0 - Hollow's Last Hope. Before they set off I'll give my daughter the PHB and some starting gold and let her outfit her party. Each of the characters already has a few personal items of interest, but this will give her a chance to look at the book and maybe get some ideas of things she hadn't considered yet (like rope - don't forget the rope).
Not much really went on here. We spent most of the time remembering who everyone was and what their motivations were (and quite a bit of time searching for dice that we ended up not really using that much). Davul the healer will give the girls a list of ingredients to gather which will start them on the path down D0 - Hollow's Last Hope. I expect Tamer to take a lead role in determining where to find these ingredients. I plan on giving my daughter a handout of a map along with some notes as to what Tamer knows about the area and let her take it from there.
Before they leave town, I plan to do three things:
1) I want to bring more of Lavita's history back into the story, so I'm going to have Rose give her a brooch that belonged to her mother. It's going to be an ancient scarab that has been passed down by Traldar nobility throughout the ages - something that actually predates Traladara all the way back to the time when Nithians ruled the land. The brooch is magical (I'm thinking minor protection), and will come to life briefly once it recognises Lavita as the rightful heiress to her people. Later I'm planning on having it open locked doors in long lost ruins and playing a part in various other story related issues.
2) I need to introduce the final character to this story. My daughter came up with a concept for a friend of Lavita's and called her Keena. I'm going to take this person and morph her into Aleena. I'm not sure if she will join the party on this adventure or not - she may be too busy tending to the sick, but I'll let that play itself out when the time comes. This could introduce added dynamics to the party as Aleena will surely recognise “Valous” for who he really is. Out of respect she'll keep her mouth shut, but it could raise some interesting questions for my daughter.
3) Finally I need to introduce the villain of the story... yes, Bargle will make his first appearance. I'm thinking he's spying on the results of his handy work disguised as an old beggar man. I'm thinking the group may bump into him after they finish their shopping. If Lavita is wearing her mother's brooch he will certainly take note of that, and may actually approach her to get a better look at it. Both Valous and Allena will have a chance to recognise him if they are around.
I made this map based on the 2.7mph Threshold map by Simon Neri. My version is a 1mph focused in on Threshold and the surrounding area - the area that most of my Kill Bargle! campaign will take place in.
Many of the locations on the map are ones which will feature prominently in the upcoming adventures that I have planned. I'll list them below:
D0 - Hollow's Last Hope
Ulizmila's Hut - This witch's hut contains one of the three components that the party will have to gather to stop the magical disease afflicting Threshold. Although the witch is not home (and never encountered), she has left some “animated” guardians.
The other two ingredients of the cure will be found in the heart of Black Woods (or any other old, dense woods) and Castle Mistamere.
Dun 131 - Beasts of Aulbesmil
Halaran Hunting Lodge - Cloten the wererat and his humanoid minions capture and hold one of Baran Halaran's officials here on Bargle's orders. This may turn out to be Aleena depending on how things go.
Dun 138 - The Mud Sorcerer's Tomb
Mud Tomb - An ancient Nithian tomb (dating back to the BC 500s at the height of Nithian corruption), this tomb is one of the reasons that Bargle is so interested in the area. This is an adventure for much later on and will eventually point the party in the direction of the Lost Valley.
Dun 132 - Wingclippers Revenge
Emissary Stone - Another Nithian artifact, this lone monolith has strange magical properties making it an ideal site for fey gatherings. Since the fall of Nithia, the fey have co-opted this site for their own purposes, and it now serves as a thin boundary between the normal world and that of the fey.
Nightshade Hold - This ruined structure is the abode of a renegade ranger named Wingclipper and his band of hobgoblin minions. Wingclipper has sworn revenge on all fey for the death of his sister, and is at the centre of a brewing war between the few of this area and mortals.
W1 Conquest of Bloodsworn Vale
Fey Clearing - This fey gathering point is dominated by the King of Roses and his grisly dark court. I'm linking these fey to the war that was started by Wingclipper.
There are still several more sites I need to add before handing this out, most related to the other large story arc - the return of the Beastmen to Traldar.