Thursday, June 6, 2013

All Quiet on the Perrenland Front: Through the Forest

The tracks from the slain men lead through the woods. Ranger or Druid PCs will note how eerily quiet the forest is. After 20 minutes of travel, the party will emerge on the other side of the small woods. Before them, at the edge of the treeline, is a two-storey house that has fallen into disrepair.

     If the characters have not delayed, it will still be early in the day. Therefore, the goblins - ten in all - will be asleep in the cellar of the abandoned farmhouse. In plain view are three men. One is armored in a fashion similar to one of the slain fellows near the road. The other two are wearing tunics, breeches and are clapped in irons. All three men have been tied to a tree. They are in a seated position, with a long length of rope wound around them and the tree.

Birds of a Feather
     Perched in a nearby tree are two more of the hideous vulture-esque birds encountered on the other side of the woods. If the bird from the first encounter managed to escape, it will be present here. Upon sighting the party, the birds will start squawking loudly. The birds are hoping to feast upon the eventual corpses of the men below and are loathe to let their potential meal escape.

Iuz Carrion Bird; Armor Class: 7, Hit Dice: 2+2, Hit Points: 14, THAC0: 19, No. of Attacks: 1, Damage: 1-4 (beak), Alignment: Neutral, Move: 3/24 flight, XP Value: 120

     The next few rounds may be very tense. The birds can be driven off with a hail of effective missile fire. Effective, of course, is a relative term. If the carrion birds are not driven off, they will drop to the ground, spread their wings and  advance upon the party in a threatening manner. Their cries will rouse the goblins in the house's cellar.

Shhh! Don't Wake the Goblins
     Should the goblins awake, one bleary-eyed humanoid will climb up from the cellar to investigate. Squinting into the bright light, he will try to divine the source of the noise. He, too, will begin gibbering and wailing. Like the birds, he can be driven off with a hail of missile fire. If he is unharmed, he will call to the others and they will spill out of the cellar to keep their captives from being freed. (The goblins will fight at a -1 due to the sunlight.)
     The ensuing melee may be chaotic, indeed, as PCs, goblins and carrion birds squabble and clash. Collectively, the goblins have a meager 25 gold pieces in the cellar.
     If any goblins survive and are questioned, they will reveal that they traveled west through the Sepia Uplands from the Vesve Forest. They were part of a much larger warband comprised of various humanoids that were harassed by humans and elves. The warband splintered into many smaller groups. The carrion birds shadowed the warband, hoping to feast upon any carnage the group might produce. 

Goblins (10); Armor Class: 6, Hit Dice: 1-1, Hit Points: 4, THAC0: 20, No. of Attacks: 1, Damage: 1-6 (short sword or hand ax), Alignment: Lawful Evil, Move: 6, XP Value: 15

The Captives
     The armored fellow is Hayden, a constable from the nearby town of village of Piketon. He was transporting three prisoners to the town of Traft to the north when the group was attacked by the goblins. The two surviving prisoners were convicted of drunken brutality and are sentenced to one year hard labor. 
     Hayden will request that the group escort he and the prisoners back to Piketon. He is alarmed at the presence of the goblins and vicious carrion birds. It would seem that the Greyhawk Wars - or their aftermath at least - have arrived on their door. 

     For goblins I prefer the melon-headed freaks from the Pathfinder Battles series. They are rather expensive for their size, but I do like them. The trees are Woodland Scenics that I based on 2" x 2" pieces of balsa that I textured with craft sand and then painted. The ruined house is from Miniatures Building Authority. 


  1. Great encounter. I like the little details you add...
    - Ranger or Druid PCs will note how eerily quiet the forest is
    - He, too, will begin gibbering and wailing.
    These kind of details make an adventure breathe.

    1. Thanks, Tim. I appreciate that. When I wrote this encounter, as well as yesterday's, I did so with my old group in mind. We played together so often that it was easy to anticipate what they'd do and they knew what's I'd expect. For example, when I mentioned chasing the goblins and carrion birds away with missile fire, I thought of my buddy Todd, who always attempted to dissuade foes with a few arrows.

      Now if I could just jump in my Wayback Machine and play this with those dudes back in 1995! :)

  2. You need to get to the Northtex con. It is the wayback machine.

    Great work. I loved these encounters.

    1. Hi Jason! I hope you are on the mend. :) I am glad you liked the encounter. I just have to figure out where to go next!

  3. Yeah, I'll second what others have said. These encounters are great. Excellent material!

    1. Thanks, Bard. I have gotten to the point where I really can't stand my own writing style. It's overwrought, bloated and contains far too much information that has no bearing on actual play. These two encounters have been my attempt to pare down the nonsense just a bit, but to still provide enough information for me to have a good "feel" for what is happening and why.