Getting There is Half the Fun

The idea for this one came from the Cellarer scenario seeds in Woodland Warriors. I ran it as the second adventure in our campaign. There are two suggested scenarios. The first is to deliver some goods to the surrounding villages to repay creatures who helped rebuild the abbey. The second is investigating the strange scratching sounds that the Cellarer hears behind the walls. I used it to introduce the character of Olive who is in charge of the Cellar and also Tigwyn, who is in charge of the Quarry I’d planned to run Shadow’s Roost (from the rule book) and Ants in the Pantry later on. Meeting the NPCs adds a little verisimilitude to the game when the characters interact with them in later adventures.

Introduction: Another Road Trip

The characters have had a few days to rest after their last adventure. Prioress Noona requests to see the party’s friar. After pouring a cup of tea she begins.

“Are you recovered from that incident with that serpent and his rat minions? Terrible. I shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, but for all Master Nodberry’s faults, he certainly didn’t deserve that…

“I’d like you to perform another task for the abbey. As you can see, reconstruction of the north east wall is progressing well. Oh, that’s right, you came to us after the attack. Suffice it to say, that a rat bandit by the name of Glorbane and his band attempted to storm our dear abbey. Fortunately, we repelled them, but the wall took quite a beating. The workers have been doing a fine job and are quite ahead of schedule so we want to show our gratitude. We are sending a barrel of our blackberry wine and jars of honey to each of the villages and the stone quarry. You will be in charge of seeing they are delivered. The roads are still perilous, so please gather your companions to help protect the goods. I’ve hired Dimble, that nice lizard who used to work for Hauser Nodberry, to pull the wagon.

“Report to Olive in the cellar. She’ll show you what is in the shipment and draw some provisions for the trip. Please have (the warrior) help with the loading. Olive will give him some of those honey cakes he likes in exchange for his help.”

Did You Hear That?

Olive is a stout, matronly vole. Her cellar is immaculate. Barrels of wine and beer line the walls. Shelves are packed with jars of honey, preserved fruits and vegetables. When the characters enter, she is puttering around the cellar.

“Ah, is that you? Good, good. Noona told me you’d be along.” She waddles over to a table, “Here is the honey.” She says gesturing to several boxes containing jars packed in straw, “And these,” she says deftly swatting away (the warrior’s) questing hand are honey cakes I just baked this morning. You can have them after you’ve loaded the wine.”

Olive goes to the wine racks and begins pointing out the barrels to take. Suddenly she stops and cocks her head to the side. “Did you hear that?” She says in a voice barely above a whisper.

Have all the players attempt a Notice roll. If they succeed, they hear a scratching sound coming from behind the rack of wine. If the characters admit they hear something, Olive will be ecstatic.

“See. I’m right. There is something behind that wall. Bowser keeps pooh-poohing me about this, but I bet old Glorbane has got some minions tunneling into the abbey for another crack at us. Do be dears and scout around the abbey to see if anyone is up to mischief.”

Even if the characters fail to hear anything, Olive will ask them to take a look around the abbey grounds.

Snooping Around

When the characters scout around the abbey, they discover Rolf Pebblebonnet, armed with a shovel, has cleared off a good section of sod from the soil not terribly far away from where the cellar lies. Nobody thinks it would be close enough to hear through the abbey walls though. If the characters ask him what he is doing he’ll reply.

“Lookin’ fer treasure. The abbot told me der’s probably some buried around here somewheres. Hey Teddy, grab a spade and gimme a hand. If we find it we’ll be filthy rich!”

Rolf is (surprisingly) eager to get back to work. If the characters tell him to leave off he’ll say.

“The abbot hisself gave me leave to do this. You go ask him about it.”

If they seek out Abbot Camber, he confirms Rolf’s story.

“I’ve led poor Rolf on a bit.” He admits. “There are tales of a bandit group living in this site long before the abbey was established and many speak of the treasure they buried here. The truth is, Dunstable the herbalist wanted a new herb garden. If I’d asked Rolf to dig one he’d not do half as fine a job as he’s doing ‘looking for treasure’. I’ll pay him for his work later today.”

On the Road Again

The party must take the wine and honey to three destinations: Rumblewood, Stormhollow and Tigwyn’s Quarry. Show them the map of the area and allow them to plan their route. There are planned encounters for each leg of the journey described below. The Game Master is free to rearrange them or add additional ones. He may also wish to use the random encounter table while the characters travel to add additional complications to their journey. Note: the road to the quarry passes through Stormhollow.

Travel Times

  • Stonewell Abbey to Rumblewood: 2 days
  • Stonewell Abbey to Stormhollow: 4 days
  • Stormhollow to Tigwyn’s Quarry: 1 day
  • Rumblewood to Stormhollow: 4 days

The Stormhollow Leg: The Medicine Wagon

A few hours after the party takes the road to Stormhollow, they spy a wagon stopped in the middle of the road. As they approach, the see that one of the wheels has fallen off the colorfully painted wagon. A rather dapper looking squirrel dressed in a paisley vest and green jacket is sitting on a stool smoking a pipe. A lizard snuffles around in the grass next to him. He springs to his feet as they approach, sweeping off his top hat and giving a deep bow.

“Ah, my rescuers approach! I was beginning to despair, but I am certain that kind souls such as yourselves will aid me in my hour of misfortune. Allow me to introduce myself, I am Doctor Salisbury and as you can plainly see, I am in dire need of assistance.”

Indeed, the side of the squirrel’s wagon is painted with the words “The Amazing Doctor Salisbury Potions, Tonics & Elixirs” in fancy letters. The doctor needs help replacing a broken wheel. Unfortunately, his jack broke while he was working on it himself. Luckily, he was unharmed, but he cannot lift the wagon by himself. If the characters can make a Strength Feat roll, they will be able to lift the wagon long enough for the good doctor to hammer on the new wheel. Salisbury will be overjoyed if this succeeds and will give every member of the party a bottle of his Revitalizing Tonic, cautioning them to “partake in moderation”.

If the characters cannot aid him, he prevails upon them to seek aid for him when they reach Stormhollow. It will be easy for the GM to run the rest of this encounter on the characters return. The scenario assumes they succeed in fixing the wagon.

“I perceive that we are all headed towards Stormhollow. Might I suggest we travel together my friends?”

Dimble and the lizard pulling the Doctor’s wagon, Petunia, chat amiably, while the Doctor produces a tin flute and plays some merry tunes. You are almost within sight of Stormhollow when you hear riders approaching from behind. Turning, you see six rats mounted on lizards approaching you rapidly. The lead rat’s tail is bright green. The riders rapidly overtake you and surround your wagons.

Doctor Salisbury looks a little uncomfortable, but addresses the rat leader. “Flarg, what a surprise. Your mange has cleared up quite nicely I see.”

Flarg looks madder than a nest of hornets. “Salisbury, you quack! Look at what you done to me!”

“I did warn you that there may be certain side effects if you overindulge the Cure All…”

“Side effects! My bleedin’ tail is green! And not only that, it glows in the dark! Now, me and the lads are goin’ show you the ‘side effects’ of messin’ with old Flarg.” He draws a wicked looking blade and points it at the characters. “And you lot can just shove off. This matter is between us and the dandy.”

A fight will most certainly break out unless the characters can intervene. A Persuade roll at a -1 penalty will calm down Flarg long enough to listen to a proposal. He wants triple his money back and for Doctor Salisbury to consume enough of his potions to turn his own tail green. The doctor will reluctantly agree to this to avoid bloodshed.

Doctor Salisbury: Talespinner, Level 1, HD 1, HP 4, Dex 11, Defense 2, no armor, walking stick 1D3, thrown grenado 1D6

Flarg: Rat Warrior, Level 2, HD 2, HP 9, Dex 12, Defense 4, no armor, short sword 1D6-1

Flarg’s Minions: HD 1, HP 4, 4, 2, 2, 1, Dex 10, Defense 2, no armor, club 1D6-1

The Rumblewood Leg: The Bridge is Out

When the party reaches the Alder River Bridge, they see quite a queue of traffic. They quickly learn the bridge is under repair and the workers are not allowing anyone to cross it today. A small tent city has grown up in the interim. Merchants and several farmers stand around complaining about the delay. Children run about playing noisily. A few sit on the riverbanks with makeshift fishing poles. Some enterprising creatures have setup makeshift taverns, offering food and drink to the delayed travelers.

A young otter named Jenna has setup a ferry to take folks across the river in the meantime. Her prices are rather steep, 5 sp per creature and 10 gp for a wagon, but those with more money than time are coming to her. The characters notice two mouse merchants arguing loudly with her about which one she will take across the river first. The gist of the discussion is that both are carrying the same kinds of goods to Rumblewood and whomever gets to the village first will be able to get the best price for his wares. The raft is not big enough to take them both. Unless the characters step in with a suggestion, Jenna settles it by flipping a coin. One of the merchants walks away grumbling about his luck, while the other begins maneuvering his wagon onto the ferry.

The second merchant is about halfway across when a hue and a cry rises up from the creatures fishing along the bank. The characters spy a rat run out from the underbrush and sever the ferry rope. The current sweeps the raft around and the poor merchant is thrown overboard. If somebody doesn’t do something quickly, the ferry will be swept downstream and smash into the bridge! Hopefully the characters will act. There are two priorities. The first is to stop the raft from being swept downstream, and the second is to save the mouse who fell into the river.

Saving the Ferry: The characters can see the ferry rope is still staked to this side of the river. The stake probably won’t hold the ferry on its own, but they can grab the rope and pull it back to shore. It takes a Strength Feat roll to do this. The characters have two chances to succeed or the ferry will crash into the bridge and be broken into kindling. The merchant’s wagon and goods will be lost.

Saving the Mouse: The poor merchant thrashes around while being swept downstream by the current. Clearly, he is unable to swim. The characters have one chance to throw him a rope by making a Reflex save. If they fail, one of them will need to swim out and grab him before he is swept under the bridge. It requires a Reflex save to reach him in time and a Strength Feat to pull him back to shore. Otters get a +1 bonus to both rolls. If the characters fail to save the mouse, he will drown when he is swept under the bridge.

The characters are applauded if they rescue the ferry and mouse. Jenna offers to ferry them over the river for free and the mouse (whose name is Keddly) gives them each 10 gp for saving his life.

If the party decides to try and find the rat who cut the ferry rope, they will need to make a Track roll once they reach the far bank. The eventually find him in a hollow log in a nearby copse of trees. The rat surrenders rather than putting up a fight against a group as doughty as the characters. If asked why he cut the rope he says.

“Some mousey paid me a gold piece to sabotage the ferry. Hah! I would’ve done it fer nothin’. Did you see the look on that fat merchant’s face when he fell into the drink? Hah! Priceless!”

The characters may wish to see justice done. If they go to see the sheriff of Rumblewood they will find Squire Jaggle sitting at his desk in the gaol, working on a puzzle. He is a short, fat and bored-looking little hedgehog. Unless the characters demand his attention, he continues to look for puzzle pieces while he talks to them. The sheriff is happy to throw the rat into the stocks for his part in the fiasco, but unless some creature died or lost property, he is unwilling to incarcerate the other merchant.

“It’s unlikely to amount to much and, as you can see, I am rather busy here…”

A Persuade roll is needed to get him to act.

The Quarry Leg: The Deadly Drift

Drift thirteen is a tunnel that leading deep underground. While the quarry is mainly used for stone, the moles occasionally hit veins of iron ore and mine them out when they can. This drift has been abandoned for many years (none of the existing miners have ever worked it). Tigwyn is preparing to quarry the stone around the old drift, but the miners keep hearing noises coming from underground and are refusing to work the area.

The quarry is bustling with activity when the party arrives. The workers direct the characters to deliver their goods to foremole Tigwyn in the office. He thanks them for the wine and honey. “The workerth thall really enjoy thith.”

As the characters are speaking with the foremole, a miner rushes into the office.

“Master Tigwyn!” He cries. “I heard something moving down in old drift thirteen!”

“Not again! Filbert, there ith nothing down there.” Tigwyn replies.

“I know what I heard.” The miner insists. “It’s the prospector’s ghost. I’m sure of it.”

Tigwyn sighs and turns to you. “I don’t suppose you’d be so kind as to take a look and reassure the lads that nothing is there? We’re falling behind quota with all this talk of the old prospector’s ghost.”

If the characters agree to look into the matter, he directs Filbert to lead them to drift thirteen. He can supply them with torches or lanterns if needed as well. If the characters ask Filbert about the old prospector’s ghost, the young mole pales.

“I don’t know the story so well.” He begins. “What I heard tell is over a hundred years ago, this quarry was founded by an old prospector. Rumor is that he found silver somewheres about. Anyhow, this group of rats come down out of the Murkenhills and tried to make him talk about where the silver was. When he didn’t spill it, they killed him and dumped his body down the mine. His ghost has been haunting this place ever since.”

Careful questioning reveals that nobody had heard any ghostly goings on until work began around drift thirteen.

Filbert takes the characters to the tunnel entrance, but refuses to enter with the party. The tunnel is low and cramped for larger creatures. It slopes down precipitously in a couple of places as it winds its way into the earth. The party has travelled several hundred paws underground, when they hear the earth moving up ahead. They stare in amazement as a section of the tunnel wall detaches itself, forming a humanoid shaped of living rock. Its gem-like eyes sparkle with malice as it moves to attack you.

Stone Creature: HD 2+20, HP 29, Dex 8, Defense 3, rock-like exterior 3 AP, fist 1D6

The characters can pry the gems from the creatures eyes once they defeat it. They are worth 15 gp each.

Tigwyn and the miners have never seen such a creature before and toast the heroes success with some of the blackberry wine.

Home Sweet Home

After their other adventures, the voyage home is relatively uneventful. The characters are happy to be back in Stonewell again where they can rest up and get ready for their next adventure. The GM may award the characters 50 XP for the completion of this adventure.