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Some NPC'sby Beau Yarbrough
Both of these guys are from the Midwood region (a hamlet in the middle of Karameikos' Radlebb Forest, for those who don't remember). This was to be the beginning of the campaign, but one person couldn't make it, so I had this mini-prequel this evening.
The characters all know Gus from growing up in the village (they're about to have their Shearing), and caught him wearing his eyepatch. He explained about losing his other Eye of the Eagle, and pointed the guys towards the west. Between the wizard with his herbalism and the ranger with his knowledge of the surrounding woods, they figured out Gus had been zapped with amber lotus pollen and where to find it ...
8. Gus' tower
Gus the gnome tinker, living atop a hill in a wide clearing northeast of town, near a fishing hole
Chaotic Good male skygnome fighter, near Midwood, Karameikos
Gus Goldhand is a retired gnome adventurer who has lived in Midwood for several years now. He stands three feet tall, with a neatly trimmed circular white beard, glittering blue eyes and severe male pattern baldness. Gus is nimble (dexterity 16) and perceptive (intelligence 15) and earns his living as a tinker. While a friendly fellow and well-liked, he seems to value little other than staying in his tower and sitting up on its roof, working and watching the skies. He enjoys the company of others, but is a bit guarded, and no one has ever been inside his tower or learned where he came from before settling down outside the village. Gus is famous for his knowledge of birds and meteorology. He has a tendency to sing gnomish battle hymns to himself and chew on his corncob pipe when he's concentrating.
Of course, he also has one whopper of a secret: Lieutenant Augustus Goldhand is a fighter pilot from the flying gnome city of Serraine. His plane was sabotaged with a magical time bomb that randomly teleported portions of his plane away. Appearing in the skies over Karameikos with part of a plane, he crash-landed and hid the remaining pieces of his craft. Erecting a short tower, he sits atop it most days, tending his birds and watching the skies for Serraine. He has rigged up a signalling device for when he spots Serraine: a concave mirrored shell with a small orb with continual light cast on it in the middle. In the meantime, he waits and tries to figure out what happened to his plane, and why. He keeps his origins secret, allowing those who know him to think him an eccentric gnome from Highforge. The one indication of his origins is the leather armour jacket he wears constantly, which features a red dragon on the back and the motto (in Skycommon): "Death from Above."
A more immediate concern is Milosh the kobold, who made off with one half of his Eyes of the Eagle lenses while he was asleep one overcast afternoon. (Milosh was scared off before he could kill Gus by the sound of the innkeeper wanting a pot repaired.) Feeling that he can't afford to look away from the heavens for one day, he's loathe to go after the band himself, but will pay adventurers what he can, including his Ring of Feather Falling, if they retrieve the lens for him.
Gus' tower features a pegataur weathervane, various windsocks and other meteorological data gathering instruments, bird feeders and bird cages and has crenellations along its roof and a complex interior locking system so that he can protect the ruins of his plane against further kobold assaults in the future. He has a stash of secret notes on what he believes he needs to reconstruct his plane in a hidden trapdoor in the ceiling above his bedroom which he reaches via his boots of levitation.
Gus speaks Skycommon, Gnome, Nagpa, Kobold, Thyatian, Traladaran
Equipment: Ring of Feather Falling, Boots of Levitation, one Eye of the Eagle lens, eye patch worn while wearing Eye lens, light crossbow, meddling box and skyhook set (lens, box and hooks kept in the secret compartment in his bedroom)
Lawful Evil male kobold thief 3, a hollow tree northwest of Midwood, Karameikos
Milosh is a solitary kobold bandit living in the woods a little north of the mid-point of Westron Road as it runs through the Radlebb Forest. He is small, even for a kobold, standing under three feet tall, with yellowish horns and moss-stained leather armour. He is unusually clever for a kobold (intelligence 15, wisdom 14) and very nimble (dexterity 15). The victim of a Ring of Contrariness, he no longer enjoys the company of his fellows (or they his company), and he spends his days smoking his foul-smelling moss pipe and robbing passers-by with the aid of his invention: amber lotus sling pellets. Sarcastic and sharp-tongued, he enjoys haranguing from the safety of the trees those he deems too dangerous to confront. He knows a great deal about the state of things amongst the Black Eagle's former humanoid mercenaries, although it takes a lot to get it out of him. He has a wicked scar across his snout (the result of another kobold getting tired of his contrary behaviour) and as a result he speaks in a very nasal voice (and can no longer smell).
A former mercenary in the Black Eagle Barony, his band of kobolds survived the invasion of the Hin, fleeing eastward into the Radlebb Forest. Milosh was kicked out of the band a few days later, after he discovered his ring on the body of a hin soldier he'd killed. His band, in turn, was wiped out by a group of Calarii elves a few days later. Milosh stumbled on the marsh with the amber lotus grove and the hollow tree a few weeks later and, slaughtering the deer he found asleep in the grove, quickly figured out the situation, including the fact that he is immune to the pollen due to his wrecked nose. A few weeks later, he discovered he could form pellets containing the pollen using mud dried in the sunshine. Attacking with the pellets fired from his sling has been his main method of both hunting and robbing solitary travellers ever since.
Spying Gus fishing and polishing one of his Eyes of the Eagle one day, Milosh hit him with a pellet and grabbed the odd disk, but fled at the approach of a villager before he could slit Gus' throat.
Hit points: 10
Armor class: 7 (leather armour + wicker shield) Equipment: Short sword, sling, pouch with six amber lotus pellets, pouch with 20 sling stones, one Eye of the Eagle (kept in pouch worn around neck), Ring of Contrariness (with shocking grasp), pouch with 20 cp, 40 gp, 9 pp
Amber lotus pellets: Victims struck by a pellet take no damage, but must save versus poison or fall asleep for 1d4 rounds (the pollen is much less effective dried and in the mud pellets). Victims can be woken up if shaken or splashed in the face with water.
Pick Pockets: 25
Open Locks: 15
Find/Remove Traps: 15
Move Silently: 45
Hide in Shadows: 45
Detect Noise: 45
Climb Walls: 65
Milosh speaks Kobold, Thyatian, Orc and Traladaran
Milosh's tree is surrounded by six amber lotus plants in the marshy soil nearby, near which is a sleeping wild boar (12 hp) which just got zapped by the pollen a short while ago while Milosh was napping. The boar will wake up and shake off the pollen as the player's awake, squealing in confusion and outrage. Milosh will hear the commotion and monitor the battle from the branches of his tree (hiding in shadows the whole time). He will use his amber lotus pellets to knock out any spellcasters first and attempt to subdue the whole party from above. A seventh amber lotus is growing up the trunk of the tree, but Milosh getting involved in the battle will be sufficient vibration to cause the tree to harmlessly discharge its pollen (which the player characters will likely not notice if they're worried about a wild boar goring them).