So the halfling saga started today. In other words my D&D campaign is off the ground and running. I wanted to avoid the whole you meet in tavern scenario. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I just play with a bunch of old school fellas. So they have encountered that cliche to many times to count. Plus I wanted them to start out as a definite group. I think I succeeded in that.
The characters are all residents, staying at, or living nearby Long Leaf Shire. (Just as a note in my world all halfling towns, villages, and hamlets are referred to as Shires. Typically they are named after the founder or a local landmark.) They are all halflings.
Allow me to introduce them. Phineas, and Bartleby the barbarian brothers. Who are circus strongmen (or would stronghalflings be more appropriate?) that happen to be staying in Long Leaf after being on the road performing. Gaylen the druid tends a small sacred grove not to far from the shire. Agustus Busch the ranger typically prowls the woodlands around the shire. Coming to town for supplies, to trade, and to get drunk in the tavern/inn. Lastly is Zanth. A half dragon, halfling scout. Yet another wilderness explorer. They are all gathered together by the town. Save for Zanth. To whom a messenger has been sent. (The player arrived late so he was inserted into the game later.)
They were addressed by the mayor of the shire, Vartan Keghart. He told them how a series of murders have been committed on the outskirts of the shire in the last two weeks. As the only adventurer types in the shire he asks the characters to help there shire and find this killer and bring the individual to justice. They have no money to pay the characters. But they do offer them a bag on items to help them. As well as the gratitude of their people. They except and are given the bag. It contains three potions of cure light wounds, a vial of holy water, a alchemical silver sickle, and a black iron hand axe.
Well after distributing the items amongst them selves. They headed to the scene of the last murder. Which is a ten minute walk outside of the shire. They came to it. A small one room cabin. The front door wide open. Well Bartleby and Gaylen investigate the house. While Phineas and Augustus search out side. Inside Bartleby and Gaylen find the cabin filled with common drab items. Nothing of real value. Nor does it look like anything has been taken. Though it is obvious that a struggle has taken place. A large pool of blood is in the middle of floor. The body having been taken care of by the towns folk. After a closer examination. It appears a part of the pool looks like has been mopped up with a cloth. Outside Augustus finds a set of small footprints (about halfling sized.) leading off into the woods. It appears to him that the footprints head in the direction of Tarin.
The hamlet of Tarin was a human settlement. It was abandoned thirty years ago. An evil druid plagued the land. This druid was eventually hunted down and killed. But the blight he had visited on the land lasted longer than the people could wait. So they abandoned the hamlet.
Anyways Augustus and Phineas go in the house and tell the others what they found. The group travels to the hamlet of Tarin. Which is about an hour and a half, two hour walk. They arrive at the abandoned hamlet. Augustus tracks the footprints to the old mill. The old mill (as well as the rest of the building left in the hamlet) has its windows boarded up.
They walk up to the porch and the front door of the mill. They try the door. Its locked. Bartleby puts his shoulder into the door. Battering it to bits. As they enter Gaylen casts light onto his quarter staff. Lighting up the room. As it is pitch black in the mill. They all enter the front room finding it completely empty. Save for the counter at the back of the room. Where there is a door located. They check it out and find it unlocked.
They open it and enter the room. They find the mills old machinery, piles of bags, a cluster of barrels and a stair case up ward. The machinery looks like it hasn't worked in decades. Augustus starts to the stairs while Bartleby checks out the cluster of barrels. Well Bartleby cracks out a barrel to find it half full of moldy corn and rats. Which pore out and attack having been disturbed. Well the players make quick work of the rats.
They continue to check out the rest of the room. Agustus heads up the stairs (Missing a spot check) he triggers a trap. A barrel swings down on ropes nearly hitting Augustus. He checks out the barrel that has swung to a rest. It would appear to be full of rocks or some other kind of debris. Well before August can continue up the stairs.
The party hears a noise out in the front room of the mill. The party save for Augustus who stays on the stairs lighting a torch. Readies itself by the door to the front room. When they see and hear Zanth. Whom they recognize from the shire. Its hard to forget him. Being a half dragon and all. Well as the rest of teh group regrouped. Agustus headed up to the top of stairs.
As he reached the top. A sling stone bullets whips past Augustus. Nearly hitting him. Impacting the wall behind. Splintering the wood leaving a divit. This is obvuiously not a normal bullet. Augustus runs for cover behind a pile up moldy flour bags. Next up the top is Bartleby. Who happens to be missed by teh attacker as well. (Man, these guys got lucky.) Gaylen had followed up behind, Bartleby. With his staff held up tall. Providing light to the room. Bartleby spots the attacker. He stands behind some of the mill equipment.
A gnarled little man. With a maw full of long pointed teeth. Wearing a blood red cap. Bartleby charges the attacker. the rest of the gang runs up stairs. Bartleby squares off with the red caped assailant. The attacker switching to a large scythe attacks Bartleby first. Hitting him, causing a massive wound. Bartleby strikes him back. (He rolls a natural 20, critical hit. Doing massive damage himself.) Augustus from his posistion behind the bags shoots at the attacker. The arrow strikes true. But falls, doing absolutely no damage to the red cap. By this time the rest of the group moves to surround teh redcap. It attacks bartleby again missing him. Bartleby attacks back. Striking him back. Doing a small amount of damage. Agustus tries to shoot him again with an arrow. He misses, hitting Bartleby. But does no damage. Zanth strikes the redcap with his dagger. Finishing off the redcap. It falls to the ground. Quickly turns gray, and turns to dust. Leaving only his red cap, a pouch, and a single tooth.
Phineas grabs the hat. While Gaylen takes the tooth, and pouch. The pouch contains twenty five gold, and thirty one silver pieces. The room contains more piles of sacks and barrels. On the side wall there is a ladder leading up to what appears to be an attic. The characters search the room. Finding much teh same that they did below. Moldy flour and corn.
Zanth with Gaylen, and Bartleby head up the ladder. They find a pile of sacks containing moldy flour and a barrel of moldy corn. Zanth notices that the barrel has a false bottom. They smash it open. Inside they find. A big silver key, with a dragon head on it. With that they find a map. On the top it says,
5 Keys to Wealth
5 Keys to Power
5 Keys to Salvation
5 Keys to the Vault of the Archon
1 Finds Another
The Last Finds the Vault
Below that is a map showing the Hamlet of Tarin. With the trail to Duricks Pass highlighted.
They take this and head back to the shire. As they enter the shire they are greated by mayor Keghart and some of the residents. They speak with them. Telling them of what happened. They tell the Vartan of the creature that they battled, and show him the tooth. He tells them it sounds like they fought a redcap. An evil fey/fairy. They ask him about Duriks Pass and Archon. He tells them that Duriks pass is home to a silver mine. Archon sounds familiar to him. From one of his uncles books. He invites them to his house for drinks and to check out the book. So they go with him. His house is a very lavish and well apointed. They chat and have a drink while he finds the book. He does and showit to them. Its written half in common, and half in some unknown tounge. What they can gleem from it. Is that Archon was a sorcerer king from centuries ago. Well the group decides that they will go to Duriks pass in the morning. Vartan tells them that they can stay at the Inn he'll pick up the tab. In thanks for saving the town from the murdering redcap.
So they move to the tavern/inn, Lysandras. Save for Gaylen who retreats to his sacred grove. They enter and com into the common room. They are greeted by Lysandra. "So Phineas, Bartleby have you come to stay with us again?" They say yes. She gives them the rooms they had before. They go imediately to bed. Augustus sits at his normal table. As when he comes to town he always comes here to drink. He has never rented a room though. As everytime hes come here, hes passed out at the table. Zanth stays and drinks with him, till Augustus passes out. Zanth gets up to leave. Lysandra comes up to him as he is the last person in the common room. She offers hims a room. Hes hesitent. But she insists. Telling him she doesnt care that hes different. That he welcome here. Basically showing him real kindness. Something that he has not seen in a while.
The next day they gather together at the tavern. Then head off to Duriks pass. The first day is very uneventful. That night though is different. As Zanth keeps watch. He is attacked by plant like creatures. (Twig Blights) He hollers waking everyone up. Except for Phineas. Who is still fast asleep. Zanth attackes with his claws ripping out the midsection of one of the creatures. Apparently killing it. Gaylen pokes Phineas with his staff waking him up. Augustus attacks the creature missing it. But Bartleby strikes true. Killing the creature. They search around, but find no more of the creatures. Phineas in disgust goes back to sleep. While the rest throw the bodies on the fire. Which burn hot and produce a stinky black smoke.
The next day as they travel along the trail. They encounter a boar, rooting around a tree. Being very territorial. Its charges the characters. Well they make short work of the boar. They cut up the boar, adding it to their supplies.
Several days later, as they are almost to Duriks Pass. They encounter a group of people. They all seem very sickly, and are carrying what appears as all their worldly possetions on there backs, and in carts. They stop and talk to them. They tell them they are leaving Duriks pass as the mine is cursed. That they are all sick, and that their is a great evil there. Even though they are refugees, and sickly. They still talk down a little to the group. Being that they are just little halflings. Well they part ways with the refugees, and finally arrive at Duricks Pass. Thats where we left off.
Next time, The Burning Plague.
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