adventure

Goblinwatch

Introduction

The village of Eryn’s Hope has been cut off from the rest of the world. Being situated near a road running between two major cities, the area sees a lot of travelers, but the roads haven’t been safe recently. Goblin bandits attack travelers and villagers, making a nuisance of themselves and preventing an effective plea for help from finding the right ears. With the arrival of the heroic PCs, perhaps the villagers stand a chance after all.

Goblinwatch is a Dungeons & Dragons adventure designed for a party of four to six characters of 2nd level. The Dungeon Master should feel free to adjust the adventure as necessary to accommodate groups not falling within this range. However, given the fairly low power level of most of the inhabitants of the Goblinwatch keep, it should be noted that parties consisting of 12 or more total levels are unlikely to be appropriately challenged by Goblinwatch.

History

Eryn’s Hope is a small village that lies on a trade road halfway between two major cities, Havala and Free Haven. While small, the village sees a great deal of traffic and in fact, the village’s entire livelihood depends on the steady stream of travelers. Things were not always so. Thirty years ago, Eryn’s Hope was no more than a dream in the minds of a dozen or so craftsmen who set out from Free Haven to found a new village in the hopes of escaping big city life while still making a living. After months of living in a cave, the villagers completed their new homes and moved in, applying their trades for the needs of travelers.

Within a year, though, a tribe of goblins moved into the area, attacking travelers and raiding Eryn’s Hope for everything they could steal. Having seen the value in having the village around, both Free Haven and Havala sent warriors to dispatch the goblins, a task they did with lethal efficiency. Afterwards, a keep was built near the village to act as a fast response garrison. As preventing another goblin threat was on everyone’s mind, the keep was dubbed “Goblinwatch. ”

For a while, Goblinwatch maintained a full garrison. However, when no major threats loomed their heads, the garrison was reduced and Goblinwatch became more of a relay station for messengers to rest or get new horses than a proper combat post. Eventually, its duties became completely administrative and its garrison was reduced to a mere two keepers.

Unbeknownst to the villagers, a tribe of goblins managed to move in quietly and take the keep by surprise. Quickly overwhelming the tiny garrison, the goblins moved into the keep and set about making it into a base of operations for their raiding operations. Now the keep designed to combat goblins has become the walls that protect them. The town council has determined that Goblinwatch has become infested by virtue of the fact that the scout they sent to check the keep out, a ranger by the name of Garrett Hendel, has not returned. They have withheld this information to avoid a panic among the villagers.

Adventure Summary

The party begins in the village of Eryn’s Hope, where they learn about the plight affecting the area. Depending on what their motives appear to be, they will be approached by any of a handful of individuals asking them to help exterminate a tribe of goblins that is believed to have moved into the old Goblinwatch keep nearby. From here, the adventure is a very straightforward extermination operation.

Within the walls of Goblinwatch, the PCs will encounter as many as two dozen goblins. As they hack their way through the keep, they will have to face more difficult challenges in the form of hobgoblin leaders and their bugbear enforcer. The party may also discover evidence of a powerful mastermind that orchestrated the tribe’s migration to this area to further his own goals by arming his own army with the equipment from the keep’s armory.

If the PCs fail to eliminate the goblin menace,they’ll certainly end up falling before a horde that only keeps prisoners until they become hungry. Worse than that, the inhabitants of Eryn’s Hope will surely die. Ultimately, the entire region could come under the power of the evil mastermind.

How To Use This Adventure

While all that is needed to run Goblinwatch is included here, the adventure can be easily changed to fit into any setting. All that is required is a village on a trade road between two large cities. An interesting change might be to place the two cities in different nations, perhaps belonging to different races. In this case, the keep of Goblinwatch could have been an effort in good relations between nations.

Some of the areas of this adventure contain objects that have differing Search DCs to find. If the PCs are searching the entire area, they find everything with a DC lower than their total Search check. For example, if a room contains a brooch (Search DC 15) and a diamond (Search DC 20), both items will be found if the result of the Search check is 22, but only the brooch will be found if the result is 17. If the PCs are searching somewhere specific in an area (in a desk, for example), their Search result will only turn up items that can be found in that specific part of the area. However, Search DCs are reduced by 5 if the PCs are searching in a specific place. For example, if the brooch is hidden in a desk drawer and the diamond is hidden under the bed pillows, a PC searching the desk can’t find the diamond, but the DC required to find the brooch is reduced to 10 (from 15).

Most of the monsters in this adventure are plucked straight from the Monster Manual, but with one major change. Due to thenature of the goblins’ mission to steal weapons from the keep’s armory, more of them will have masterwork equipment than might be expected. However, this is balanced out by the fact that the weapons stolen from the armory are sized for medium-sized creatures. It is recommended that the Dungeon Master familiarize himself with the Weapon Size rules on page 113 of Player’s Handbook. It is also recommended that if the DM is concerned about the total wealth of the PCs, he should have the local authorities insist that most of the retrieved masterwork weapons be returned to the Goblinwatch armory.

Reading the Map

While the map included with this adventure is as complete as possible, it does not depict every single bit of furniture or rubbish in every room. Only the largest items (items large enough to have an impact on combat) are shown. Where there are stairs, the red arrow indicates the downward direction. Unless noted otherwise, all doors except for the keep’s main double doors open into the room, not out in the hallway. Where possible, the starting locations for monsters have been represented with the first letter in the creature’s name (G for goblin, for example).

Encounters at a Glance

Area Type of Encounter EL
1: Entrance Combat 1
2: Foyer - -
3: Post Office Combat 2
4: Garderobe Combat 1
5: Chow Hall Combat 2
6: Commander's Quarters Combat 4
7: Vault Door Trap/Puzzle Solving 1
8: The Secret Way Investigation -
9: Administrative office Investigation/Diplomacy -
10: NCO Quarters Combat 5
11: Barracks Combat 3
12: Cavern Vault - -
13: Armory Combat 2
14: Roof - -

Plot Hooks

The following are a handful of potential plot hooks with which to lure the PCs into the adventure. This list is by no means exhaustive, and only you know what incentives will and will not appeal to your players. Feel free to bastardize these plot hooks or ignore them entirely in favor of your own.

  • The party is passing through the area when they are ambushed by goblins (use the Random Encounter information below). Upon stopping in Eryn’s Hope, they learn that this has become a real problem for travelers and villagers alike. Having heard that they managed to scatter or kill their ambushers, the village council privately asks the PCs to look into the matter, and offers them 100gp each if they can get rid of the goblin problem.
  • The PCs are members of Havala’s guard and are sent to investigate why no messages have come from Goblinwatch for the past month. Upon discovering that their keep is infested with goblins, they are obligated to get rid of the menace. Further, they are aware that their guard is stretched very thin, so if they return home to ask for aid, they’ll simply be sent back on their own again.
  • While staying at the Stalagmite Tavern, the PCs notice a poster put up by the tavern’s owner. Fed up with the recent attacks, he is offering a bounty of 10gp per set of goblin ears that is brought to him so he can nail them to the barroom wall. If the PCs ask about the handful of pairs that are already there, they’ll be told of a local named Garrett Hendel that hunts the woods near Goblinwatch.

Gathering Information

The PCs can use Gather Information checks to find out more about the Goblinwatch keep. If they ask around too much, the village council approaches the party and asks them not to start a panic with their questions by revealing that goblins are now in charge of Goblinwatch.

DC 10: Goblinwatch is a castle up the road to the west. Knights live there and keep watch over the land. (partially true, there was only a garrison of two administrators)

DC 12: Goblinwatch is haunted. At night, a ghost can be seen walking the grounds. People say it’s the ghost of Eryn Grey, founder of the town. (completely false)

DC 15: Goblinwatch was built several decades ago and garrisoned with men to protect this land. The garrison has gotten smaller over the years. (true)

DC 15: The keep was built on top of the caves that the village founders lived in before Eryn’s Hope was built. (true)

DC 20: A boy of about 10 that has been inside Goblinwatch can draw the PCs an extremely rough map of Areas 2, 3 and 5. (Provide a map showing the location and basic shape, but not size, of the three rooms. Do not include hallways in the map. )

DC 25: An old man claims to have helped build parts of the keep. His mind is a bit addled, but he tells the PCs how to reset the combination to the trap in Area 6. (The information the old man gives is correct. Reduce the Disable Device check to DC 5. )

Travel Time

As the crow flies, Goblinwatch lies half a mile from Eryn’s Hope. However, the straightest path will take the PCs through forested land. The PCs could speed up their travel time by taking the road (Goblinwatch lies just off of the road), but they run a higher risk of being ambushed by goblins if they do so. Through the woods, the party will take 40 minutes to walk to the keep (assuming movement rates no lower than 15ft. per turn) and only have a 10% (20% at night) chance of encountering a goblin party (see below). Along the road, it only takes 25 minutes to get to the keep, but the chance of encountering a goblin partyincreases to 50% (60% at night).

Random Encounter

Should the party run foul of a goblin party, use four standard goblins from page 133 of Monster Manual. Along the road, assume that the goblins are in an advantageous location for an ambush and are well hidden. During a surprise round, these goblins throw their javelins at the most heavily armored member of the party, trying to bring down the “tough guy” without a fight. If encountered in the woods, the goblins are not in an ambush position and will use their morningstars. In either case, the goblins will scatter if they are outnumbered by at least 2 to 1.

Keep Description

Goblinwatch is situated just off of the road on top of a natural rock hill. The keep stands roughly twenty feet tall and is made from the same color limestone as the hill it sits upon. The crenulated roof has a parapet that overhangs the walls, except in the southwest corner and the lichen-covered walls are broken every so often by a loophole. The outer walls of the keep may be scaled with a DC 18 Climb check. A pair of large iron-bound hardwood doors dominate the westernmost wall.

The inside of the keep is made from the same stone as the outside, though it is free of lichens and moss and is smooth in many places from decades of traffic. The furnishings that haven’t been destroyed or fouled by the goblin presence are well-used, but in fair condition. Most of the interior smells of dampness, though not mildew. Unless otherwise noted, the interior areas are dark, as goblins have little need of light. The stone walls carry sound down corridors at the same time as they insulate it from other rooms. Additionally, the goblins have been playing with their newfound weapons a lot recently, so unless a loud cry for help goes up, residents of Goblinwatch do not respond to sounds of combat.

Unless otherwise noted in an area’s description, any doors are strong wooden doors (hardness 5, 20hp, break DC 23; Dungeon Master’s Guide page 61) and except for area 12 and part of area 13, the walls are of superior masonry quality, though the porousness of the limestone lowers Climb check DCs by 2 (hardness 8, 90hp, break DC 35; Dungeon Master’s Guide page 59). The keep’s outer walls are three times as thick as the interior walls. Unless otherwise noted, the interior ceilings are 8ft tall in rooms and 7ft tall in hallways. Area 12 and the connecting hallway to area 13 have unworked stone walls (hardness 8, 900hp, break DC 65; Dungeon Master’s Guide page 59).

Occupants

All of the inhabitants of Goblinwatch begin with a starting attitude of hostile. None of the command staff (Hurn, Svilik and Gr’nk) are open to diplomacy or negotiation of any kind, and each will fight to the death. If encountered on her own, Sveln is open to negotiations that involve the death of the entire command staff, which would put her in charge of the tribe. PCs wishing to negotiate with Sveln must adjust her attitude to indifferent. She will not aid the PCs in killing her commanders aside from giving them basic information about who and where they are. If the PCs hold up their end of the deal, she will keep her word and take the tribe elsewhere, though she may return later once the tribe grows to a more dangerous size. The other goblins in the keep will flee if fighting is ineffective. However, they will negotiate if pressed into a hopeless situation, promising anything in the world if the PCs will let them go. Goblins allowed to leave will flee for their lives and won’t make trouble in the area again.

Area 1: Entrance

The only apparent entrance to the keep is a large set of double doors on the western side of the building. A mildly steep path leads up to the entrance, though the doors are barred from the inside. The bolt may be slid away with a successful Open Lock check (DC 20) or the door may be broken down (thus alerting the keep to the presence of danger) with a successful Strength check (DC 25). Up to three medium-sized creatures can aid this check.

While most of the goblins in the tribe would be content to bar themselves inside the keep and come out only to pillage, Svilik is hardly so foolish. He has set up a guard system to act as an early warning in case of discovery or attack. At all times, two goblins pull sentry duty outside the entrance to the keep. As no one has yet successfully attacked the keep, the sentries are usually less than enthusiastic about their duty and spend their time throwing knucklebones for pocket change.

The sentries’ duty is less to harass intruders as to announce the return of a goblin patrol or warn the keep of any intruders. Each sentry has two javelins leaning against the keep door and will throw them at intruders for sport. If any intruders approach within 30ft of the entrance, the goblins will enthusiastically ring a bell that is attached to the wall near the entrance, thus putting the entire keep on alert. Two rounds after the bell rings, the doors open and the goblins from area 3 arrive, ready for battle.

2 goblin sentries; 5hp, 4hp; (use statistics from page 133 of Monster Manual); apply a -2 penalty to the sentries’ Spot and Listen checks due to being distracted by their game of dice.

Treasure:Each goblin has 7sp in its pockets. 14cp litter the area where the goblins were playing their game. The bronze alarm bell is delicately engraved with scenes depicting humans on horseback triumphing over hordes of goblins. It is heavy (15 pounds), but would be worth 50gp from an interested buyer, but PCs that try to sell the bell to an honest dealer within 100 miles of the keep are likely to be arrested for theft.

Area 2: Foyer

A faint odor of dampness, like being underground, assaults your nostrils as you step into what appears to be a sort of foyer. Steps lead down into the room proper and open hallways break each wall. The door to the west is slightly ajar. Four identical tapestries, each a solid red in color, hang from the room’s rounded corners. Two braziers lie on the floor, knocked over and discarded.

The only feature of interest in this room is a hidden ladder built of handholds carved into the stone wall that lies behind the tapestry in the northeast corner. A successful Search check (DC 15) finds this. A dwarf or other creature with the stonecunning ability that enters the room may make this check passively, as though actually searching. The ladder leads to a trap door in the ceiling that is cleverly disguised to look like the surrounding stone (it’s actually banded hardwood with a thin stone veneer). The trap door leads to the roof (area 14).

Area 3: Post Office

This spacious room smells musty, as one might expect a library to smell. A series of wooden boxes is mounted on one wall, many containing stacks of papers or wrapped parcels. A pair of large wooden desks flanks the room’s only entrance and several smashed wicker bins are scattered throughout. Pieces of torn and soiled parchment litter the entire floor.

Once Goblinwatch’s garrison shrank to below a realistic level to be considered a military outpost, it gradually became a drop-off and distribution center for the region’s mail. In this room, mail is brought in, sorted and then stored until a carrier comes to pick it up. The goblins have had little use for this room, and once it was discovered that nothing valuable was here, they originally stayed out of it. However, Gr’nk makes a habit of visiting the barracks rooms (Areas 10 and 11) to pick on the goblins there, so some have taken their activities here to hide from him.

Five goblins are here. Having little else to do, they’re wagering copper and silver pieces on a dice game played with knucklebones. Each of these goblins has a medium-sized longsword laying nearby, with which they fight comically, but effectively. If possible, the goblins try to gang up on one opponent, preferably someone not wearing armor. If more than two of their numbers fall, the rest attempt to make it to the hallway, where they’ll scream an alarm as they flee.

5 goblin tribesmen; 5hp, 5hp, 4hp, 4hp, 5hp; (see Appendix for full statistics).

Treasure:18cp and 9sp lie on the floor where the goblins had their game. If the PCs search the area, they may find a note written in goblin (see below) in one of the desks (DC 12) and a traveler’s bank note (50gp) from the Free Haven merchant’s guild in one of the upper mailboxes on the wall (DC 25).

In poor handwriting that doesn’t stay in level lines, the goblin-written note reads Sveln has fixed the shocking box. Use 13, 8, 11, 1, 14, 6. Even if the PCs can’t read Goblin, they can read the numbers, which look as though they were written by a different, steadier hand.

Area 4: Garderobe

This room stinks. The smell of offal and rot threaten to overwhelm your senses, bringing your gorge to the back of your throat. Three chamber pots rest in the corners of the room, while a fourth has been overturned, its contents poured out onto the floor. From the look of things, whatever has been using this room hasn’t even bothered with the pots. Random garbage lies in piles on the floor and a skeleton lies slumped against one wall, its bones picked clean.

This room was originally a bathroom area, and this continued for a while after the goblins took over. A couple of dire rats have moved in since and they’ve been slowly feasting on the body of one of the two administrators assigned to Goblinwatch (the skeleton). Anyone entering more than 5ft into this area must make a Fortitude save (DC 12) or be nauseated. When the PCs enter, the dire rats are resting under the garbage on the floor, but they spring to attack whenever someone enters more than 5ft into the room.

2 dire rats; 5hp, 5hp; (use statistics from page 64 of Monster Manual).

Treasure:If the PCs are willing to dig through the stinking matter of this area, under the skeleton they might find a gold wedding ring with a semi-precious stone worth 10gp (DC 15).

Area 5: Chow Hall

The hallway opens through an open arch into what is obviously a dining area. The entire room is illuminated by torchlight. Four long wooden tables with benches on either side have been pushed together to run the length of the room. Bags and sacks line the walls. A huge stone fireplace large enough to cook an entire hog on a spit with room left to spare dominates the far wall and a pair of doors set into the walls lead off to other areas.

This room is one of the few in Goblinwatch to remain relatively unchanged by the goblin infestation. When the PCs arrive, Sveln, the goblin tribe’s chief scout and Hurn, the second in command of the tribe are examining maps of the area to better plan raids. If they notice the PCs, Hurn wastes no time in calling for help from area 6. If the PCs bunch together or try to retreat down the hallway and let the goblins come to them, Sveln throws a thunderstone, trying to catch as many as possible (and alerting the entire keep to danger). Hurn will wait for the PCs to come to him, hoping to lure them deep into the room so that when Svilik and Gr’nk arrive, they’ll be easy to flank. He has left his shield elsewhere, so will use his longsword with both hands. Sveln tries to find opportunities to flank so she can get a sneak attack with both of her punching daggers. If a PC goes down, Hurn will concentrate on other threats, but Sveln will pause to deliver a coup de gras if she is not in immediate danger.

If the PCs search the room, they’ll find various foodstuffs in the sacks along the wall, mostly dried hams and venison with some root vegetables. These appear to be spoils taken during ambushes and raids. Unless the PCs entered during the evening time, there is not a fire burning in the fireplace. PCs who investigate will find that iron bars crisscross the interior of the chimney, preventing anything larger than tiny size from getting into or out of the keep that way.

Hurn 7 hp, Sveln 3hp; (see Appendix for full statistics).

Treasure:If any inspection is done to the room, it becomes apparent that the four torches that light the room are everburning torches.

Area 6: Commanders’ Quarters

Unlike the rest of the keep, this room is richly furnished. Two huge beds take up the far end of the room, with a curtain between them. A chest of drawers stands against one wall and a writing desk that probably stood against a wall has been moved to the center of the room. A pile of empty bags and what looks to be a smashed chest are piled up in one corner. A large, colorful rug covers the floor and beautiful tapestries hang on two walls.

When Goblinwatch was a military outpost, this room was used as a personal chamber for the command staff. It still serves that function, as Svilik and Hurn live here. Gr’nk sometimes sleeps here, but is just as likely to sleep anywhere else. Assuming that Svilik and Gr’nk weren’t summoned to area 5 already, Gr’nk will be asleep on the floor and Svilik will be seated at the desk, reading over the latest letter from his master. Svilik will roar into combat, grabbing his bastard sword from where it leans against the desk and using it two-handed, trying to force the PCs back into the hallway where they can’t fan out and flank him. Roused from his sleep, Gr’nk pummels his opponents with his fists, using his flurry of blows ability against anyone wearing light or no armor. Against a heavily-armored foe or an opponent that looks particularly lethal, he attempts to grapple and pin them so that Svilik can finish them. If possible, both will attempt to flank the intruders and finish them quickly. Both Svilik and Gr’nk will leave downed foes to concentrate on those still fighting.

Svilik 15 hp, Gr’nk 21hp; (see Appendix for full statistics).

Treasure:If the PCs search the room, they might find a tied bundle of letters (see below) in the back of a drawer in the writing desk (DC 12), a small sack of random gems (worth 50gp) under the mattress of one of the beds (DC 17) and a locked wooden box (Open Lock DC 17, break DC 20) containing 213gp, 158sp and 385cp. Additionally the rug in the room is in good condition and would be worth up to 40gp. The tapestries depict the building of the keep and would be worth 75gp together from an interested buyer, but PCs that try to sell them to an honest dealer within 100 miles of the keep are likely to be arrested for theft.

The letters in the writing desk are a series of communications from someone obviously away from Goblinwatch. The letters are not signed, but each was sealed with a signet of a grinning skull with a single front tooth missing. The letters are written in a commanding tone, and each one details how Svilik should proceed. Some of the letters promise Svilik the village of Eryn’s Hope if he does well, but only after the writer has control of Free Haven. While the author never gives his name, it is very obvious that whoever it is, he or she is very close to the ruling body of Free Haven.

Area 7: Vault Door

This room is relatively unadorned. No tapestries cover the bare stone walls and there is no furniture aside from a console in the center of the room. It looks as though it were carved from a stalagmite and has a bronze plate fixed to the top. On the far end of the chamber, a large wooden platform rises to form a ledge by which someone could get up to the room’s only other exit, a large natural cavern, which seems to be blocked off. Two wooden ramps stand against opposite sides of the room and lead up to the platform.

This room was created from the original foyer to the small system of natural caverns that the villagers of Eryn’s Hope sheltered in prior to the village being built. Characters that interact with the two ramps will notice that while they are heavy, they are movable. They are designed so they can be pushed together in the center of the room to allow the contents of area 8 to be moved down and hoisted upwards through the ceiling. The exit on the far wall leads to area 8, but it is blocked off by a series of six strong stone doors that descend from the ceiling to act as a vault. The doors are operated by the console, which has sixteen copper buttons that rise above the bronze plate in a row of four by four. Each button is numbered except for the one in the top left, which has a square and the bottom right, which has a circle. When a button is pushed, it sinks down so it becomes level with the bronze plate and stays there for one minute or until the circle button is pushed, which activates the button’s function. The function of each button is listed on the chart below:

 

  Opens Closes     Opens Closes
Square Trap (see below)   8 Door 2 Door 3
1 Door 4 Door 5   9 Door 2 Door 1
2 Door 5 Door 4   10 Door 6 Door 5
3 Door 1 Door 5   11 Door 3 Door 4
4 Door 5 Door 1   12 Trap (see below)
5 Door 2 Door 4   13 Door 1 Door 2
6 Door 6 --   14 Door 5 Door 6
7 Door 3 Door 2   Circle Activate

 

To operate the console, a PC needs to depress one of the numbered buttons and then press the circle button to activate that button’s function. A successful Disable Device check (DC 15) will reset all of the buttons except the circle and the square, allowing the PC to reset the combination in any way he wants. This check requires pushing a square button at the same time as other buttons, but this does not set off the trap unless the Disable Device check fails. PCs that manage to figure the console out via trial and error rather than being told (from the note in area 3 or the old man while gathering information) should receive experience for defeating a CR 2 challenge.

Shocking Trap:CR 1; mechanical; touch trigger; automatic reset; 1d4 electrical damage (no save); Search DC -; Disable Device DC 15. Market Price:800gp

A PC that makes a successful Knowledge (architecture and engineering) check (DC 15) will notice that the buttresses of this room leave a 10ft section of the ceiling unsupported and a DC 20 Spot check will reveal a fairly well hidden trap door in this space, which probably opens to the roof.

Area 8: The Secret Way

This hallway is unremarkable to the casual viewer. However, hidden in the wall is a secret door that was built to act as a back way into or out of the armory in case the keep became overrun. An entire 5x5 section of the wall can be spun on a central hinge, allowing a medium-sized or smaller creature to easily squeeze through. There is a bolt on the rear side of the door, which allows the door to be secured and locked by someone on that side (it is not currently bolted). This door is very well-built, and requires a DC 20 Search check to find. An elf or a dwarf passing through this area can automatically make a Search check due to proximity with the door.

Area 9: Administrative Office

The hallway opens into a large room that is partitioned with a false wooden wall about five feet tall. Each partitioned area contains a single desk and chair. It looks as though this room may have contained more furniture once, but probably not recently.

This room used to be a bustling center of activity. Soldiers and administrators once used this room for record keeping and provision storage. It hasn’t been used much since the keep’s decline as a military outpost and until the goblins arrived, it was hardly ever visited at all. Currently, each of the desks is a mess. All of the drawers have been pulled out and papers have been strewn everywhere.

If the PCs make a successful Listen check (DC 15), they hear light snoring and troubled breathing peppered with the occasional whimper. Inspection will lead them to Buo (see below). If the PCs search the room, they might find a small stack of maps on top of one of the desks (DC 12). Most show the local area surrounding the fort, but a larger map shows an area of 150 miles in all directions. A hilly area just North of Free haven is marked with a circle. They might also find Buo (see below).

Under one of the desks, a goblin named Buo is sleeping. Even casual inspection shows that he is in bad shape. His naked body is covered in bruises and scratches. His nose is also broken, resulting in a sickeningly wet sound when he breathes. Buo didn’t get out of Svilik’s way quickly enough, resulting in the commander being tripped. Rather than kill Buo outright, Svilik had him stripped of his weapons and armor and gave him to Gr’nk as a plaything. Gr’nk has had a great deal of fun beating on Buo over the past few days.

Buo is essentially a non-combatant. He is too weak and beaten to pose any sort of threat and reacts pitiably if woken up. His attitude begins as unfriendly, but if the PCs bring this to friendly, he will provide information about the tribe’s numbers, the command staff and general information about the keep. If they bring his attitude to helpful, heal him to at least half his hit points and provide him with an adequate weapon, he will happily join them in exterminating his former comrades (and in fact, will latch onto the group like a child, never leaving them or letting them out of his sight). If the PCs convince Buo that they have killed Gr’nk, his attitude immediately improves one step. If the PCs do nothing, Buo will simply continue to cower under the desk until they are gone, at which point he will go back to sleep. Treat Buo as a goblin tribesman (see Appendix), except that he has no weapon, armor or gear and he currently has 1hp. The PCs get no experience points if they kill Buo, but if they successfully treat with him, award them XP for overcoming a CR ½ encounter.

Area 10: NCO Quarters

The reeking stench of unwashed bodies washes over you as the door opens. Five beds stand with their heads against the walls. Each has a footlocker at the foot, though all have been broken. No blankets cover any of the beds, but judging by the grime covering the bare straw mattresses, that doesn’t seem to have stopped something filthy from sleeping in them.

When the PCs enter the room, five goblins are playing a game that seems to involve one goblin being ganged up on by the rest, chased around the room and slapped around, at which point another goblin becomes “it” and the game continues. When they notice the PCs, they attack with gusto, though the two with longswords pilfered from the armory have to retrieve their weapons from the floor near the two beds in the far end of the room first. If any of the goblins are allowed to leave the room, they will run to area 11 to get reinforcements.

2 goblin tribesmen; 5hp, 4hp; (see Appendix), 3 goblins; 4hp, 5hp, 5hp;(use statistics from page 133 of Monster Manual); apply a -4 penalty to any Spot and Listen checks while their loud game is being played.

Treasure:If the PCs search the room, they might find a small leather pouch containing 8sp hidden under some rubble in a corner (DC 15) and a small brass key (which opens the lockbox hidden in area 11) on a leather cord around one goblin tribesman’s neck (DC 20).

Area 11: Barracks

This room is cluttered with bunk beds. None have blankets, and most have their straw mattresses rolled up to one side. Some of the beds have had their mattresses unrolled and are now occupied by goblins. From the looks of things, it would be easier to burn these mattresses than to clean them.

Five goblins lie asleep in random bottom bunks in this room. Two others are playing a dice game in the open area near the door. When they notice the PCs, they shout for their comrades to wake up and they grab their weapons. The sleeping goblins awaken on the round they are shouted for, but only get a standard action this round. If any of the goblins are allowed to leave the room, they will run to area 10 to get reinforcements.

2 goblin tribesmen; 5hp, 4hp; (see Appendix), 5 goblins; 4hp, 5hp, 5hp, 4hp, 4hp;(use statistics from page 133 of Monster Manual).

Treasure:If the PCs search the room, they might find a small wooden lockbox with a decorative carving on the lid, brass hinges and a padlocked brass clasp hidden within one of the rolled up mattresses (DC 20). The lock is small and requires a DC 20 Open Lock check to pick. The key from area 10 opens this lock. Alternately, the box may be smashed open easily (any attack will easily smash the delicate box), but it becomes worthless if this happens. Intact, the decorative box is worth 10gp. Inside is a writing quill made from an eagle’s feather and capped with silver, worth about 25gp. Additionally, the box contains a small leather sack with some marbles made from clear polished quartz, collectively worth 25gp.

Area 12: Cavern Vault

Your footsteps echo lightly as you enter. The stone block walls give way to natural cavern, albeit slightly modified. The broken stumps of old stalagmites are everywhere. The ceiling gets steadily taller as you enter the main chamber, finally rising to a height of about 30 feet. Despite the size of the cavern, you get a cramped feeling, due to all of the lumber, canvas and other random materials that seem to have been stuffed in here.

This room is used as a storehouse for dismantled siege weapons that currently have no use. It’s possible that whoever put this weaponry here has forgotten about it, but whoever the goblin tribe’s benefactor is, he hasn’t. Most of the material is too large to be carried out through the keep, but a hoist operated from the roof can bring the items out slowly through area 7.

If the PCs do any amount of looking around, the only item of interest (aside from the dismantled siege weapons themselves) is a large banded hardwood door on the floor near the far end of the cavern. This door can be slid along a track, exposing a natural opening that leads down to a passage that connects to area 13. The track has not been oiled in years and if this door is opened, it will screech loudly, drawing the rat swarm from area 13 in 1d4 rounds. The floor of the cavern below is 15ft down. A PC that jumps takes no damage, but a PC that falls or is pushed takes 1d6 falling damage. Since the ceiling below funnels upwards, climbing out without a rope is very difficult (Climb DC 25).

Area 13: Armory

Though the walls of this room are made from chiseled stone, the stalactites on the ceiling indicate that this was once a cavern. The doors are made from heavy iron and both stand wide open. Empty weapon racks line the walls. Armor stands have been knocked over, their contents missing. It’s obvious that this room was once a well-stocked armory that held hundreds of weapons and perhaps dozens of suits of armor, but now it lies empty, save for three skeletons near the far door.

This is the Goblinwatch armory. Before the coming of the goblins, this room held over a hundred swords, more than three hundred polearms and three dozen suits of armor, all of the highest quality. What the goblins didn’t take for themselves has made its way to the tribe’s shadowy master. The three skeletons are those of an unlucky goblin, the keep’s second administrator and the ranger Garrett Hendel, who was sent by the village council to investigate the keep. All three have been devoured to the bone by a swarm of rats. Since the goblins closed up both ways in or out of this place (the trap door in area 12 and the secret door in area 8), the rats have managed to get by, but they’re very hungry and attack anything they detect on sight.

Rat swarm; 13hp; (use statistics from page 239 of Monster Manual).

Area 14: Roof

The roof is flat and has a crenellated wall running the entire way around it. Small holes periodically dot this wall, allowing rainwater to run off. From here, you get a grand view to the road below and even into the surrounding forest a bit.

PCs that investigate the roof will notice an iron-banded hardwood trapdoor (which leads down to area 2) and a large opening covered by a pair of doors closer to the center. Large divots have been chiseled into the stone tiling that covers the wooden roof to allow a tripod to be set up. This tripod can then be used to hoist materials into or out of area 7. A chimney also rises from the roof (leading to the fireplace in area 5), acting like one of the many crenels, but is built in such a way that nothing larger than tiny size could even look down into it.

Appendix I: Monster Statistics

Gr’nk
Male bugbear monk 1:
CR 3; Medium humanoid (goblinoid); Hit Dice 4d8+8; 21 hp; Init +1; Spd 30 ft. (6 squares); AC 14 (+1 Dex, +3 Wis), touch 14, flat-footed 13;BAB/Grapple +2/+4; Atk +4 melee (1d6+2, unarmed); Full atk +4 melee (1d6+2, unarmed) or +2 melee (1d6+2, unarmed) and +2 melee (1d6+2, unarmed);SA flurry of blows, unarmed strike; SQ darkvision 60ft, scent; AL CE; SV Fort +5, Reflex +6, Will +3; Str 14, Dex 11, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 16, Cha 8.
Skills and Feats:
Climb +2, Hide +4, Listen +7, Move Silently +5, Spot +7; Alertness, Improved Grapple, Weapon Focus (unarmed)
Languages:
Common, Goblin
Possessions: Winter blanket

Goblin Tribesman
Male goblin warrior 1:
CR 1/3; Small humanoid (goblinoid); Hit Dice 1d8+1; 5 hp; Init +1; Spd 30 ft. (6 squares); AC 14 (+1 Dex, +1 size, +2 armor), touch 12, flat-footed 13; BAB/Grapple +1/-3; Atk +1 melee (1d8, masterwork longsword (medium-sized)); Full atk +1 (1d8, masterwork longsword (medium-sized)); SQ darkvision 60ft; AL NE; SV Fort +3, Reflex +1, Will -1; Str 11, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 6.
Skills and Feats: Hide +5, Listen +2, Move Silently +5, Ride +4, Spot +2; Alertness
Languages: Goblin
Possessions: Leather armor, longsword (masterwork, medium-sized), 2d6cp, 1d4sp.

Hurn
Male hobgoblin fighter 1:
CR 1; Medium humanoid (goblinoid); Hit Dice 1d10+2; 7 hp; Init +1; Spd 20 ft. (4 squares); AC 15 (+1 Dex, +4 armor), touch 11, flat-footed 14; BAB/Grapple +1/+2; Atk +4 melee (1d8+1, masterwork longsword); Full atk +4 melee (1d8+1, masterwork longsword); SA Power Attack; SQ darkvision 60ft; AL LE; SV Fort +4, Reflex +1, Will -1; Str 13, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 9.
Skills and Feats: Climb +3, Jump +3, Intimidate +3; Power Attack, Weapon Focus (longsword)
Languages: Common, Goblin
Possessions: Longsword (masterwork), potion of cure light wounds, scale mail (masterwork), 12sp, 5gp.
*Hurn suffers a -3 armor check penalty due to wearing masterwork scale mail. This is not factored above.

Sveln
Female goblin rogue 1:
CR 1; Small humanoid (goblinoid); Hit Dice 1d6; 3 hp; Init +2; Spd 30 ft. (6 squares); AC 14 (+1 Dex, +1 Size, +2 armor), touch 12, flat-footed 13; BAB/Grapple +0/-3; Atk +1 melee (1d4+1, punching dagger); Full atk -1 melee (1d4+1, punching dagger) and -1 melee (1d4+1, punching dagger); SA sneak attack +1d6; SQ darkvision 60ft, trapfinding; AL NE; SV Fort +0, Reflex +4, Will +1; Str 12, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 9.
Skills and Feats: Bluff +1, Disable Device +6, Hide +10, Knowledge (local) +2, Listen +4, Move Silently +10, Open Lock +6, Ride +6, Search +3, Spot +4, Tumble +6; Two-Weapon Fighting
Languages: Common, Goblin
Possessions: Leather armor, punch dagger (x2), thunderstone, 6sp, 2gp.

Svilik
Male hobgoblin fighter 2:
CR 2; Medium humanoid (goblinoid); Hit Dice 2d10+2; 15 hp; Init +1; Spd 20 ft. (4 squares); AC 17 (+7 armor), touch 10, flat-footed 17; BAB/Grapple +2/+3; Atk +5 melee (1d10+3, masterwork bastard sword); Full atk +5 melee (1d10+3, masterwork bastard sword); SA Power Attack; SQ darkvision 60ft; AL LE; SV Fort +5, Reflex +0, Will +0; Str 14, Dex 11, Con 14, Int 11, Wis 10, Cha 9.
Skills and Feats:
Appraise +1, Climb +4, Jump +4, Intimidate +3; Power Attack, Toughness, Weapon Focus (bastard sword)
Languages: Common, Goblin
Possessions: Bastard sword (masterwork), potion of cure light wounds, half-plate (masterwork).
*Svilik suffers a -6 armor check penalty due to wearing masterwork half-plate. This is not factored above.

Appendix II: Maps

The maps pictured here have been reduced for formatting. The full-size versions can be downloaded from our Downloads Section.

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Thank You:
I would like to thank the Dungeons and Dragons Archive editors that helped me correct all of my many mistakes and my wonderful wife Soni, who made my ugly maps pretty. I would also like to thank Kenny Laughton, Michael Mallon, Jeff Shelton and Craig Willcutt, the playtesters that made this adventure possible. I would especially like to thank the good people that worked on 3DO’s Might and Magic VI, from which this adventure was shamelessly lifted inspired.

Shrine of the Joyous Tears

Some three days' journey into an old-growth forest, there is reputed to be an abandoned shrine to the spirits of the wood, guarded by an extremely old and wise dryad mage whose tree was planted centuries upon centuries ago in the holy grounds. Legend has it that within the shrine bubbles a healing spring, the waters of which possess curative powers the likes of which cannot be duplicated by mortal magic. Despite these legends, most people who go in search of the temple do not find it.

Brotherhood of Prophecy

In an effort to get more adventure reviews written for the D&D Archive, I bought a stack of adventures on eBay. This one was the first I picked up and read through, since it was short and had an interesting cover. According to the module, the adventure is suitable for 5-6 PCs of 1st-3rd level.

The adventure concept is little bit clichéd, though there’s a lot to be said for classic ideas. A city on the outskirts of civilization is about to come under attack by an army of goblins and orcs, and the nearby monastery has already fallen. The PCs are hired to investigate what happened to the monastery. As I said, there’s nothing wrong with a classic idea, but the timeline for this adventure is pretty confusing. The monastery fell six months ago and the scouts originally sent to find out what happened disappeared three months ago. The attackers want to take the city, but haven’t, despite the fact that it’s only a two or three day journey.

Egyptian Adventures: Hamunaptra

Anicent Lands of Mystery!

Towering pyramids rise from the sands, speaking of the glory of kings long gone. Three mighty pharaohs, kings and gods, rule over a land divided – over nations hovering on the brink of war. Priests of mighty deities guide the lives of peasants and nobles alike, as all struggle to make the most of the fertile lands lining the mighty river Yor. All around, the desert grows, encroaching nearer each day to the last remaining refuge of a once mighty civilization. Welcome to Egyptian Adventures: Hamunaptra

In August of 2008 I found myself at GENCON. It turned out to be a good time to make my first expedition. With the release of 4th edition I found exceedingly good bargains. Visiting the Green Ronin booth I picked up Egyptian Adventures: Hamunaptra for $5. After reading The Samarkand Solution and The Annubis Murders by Gary Gygax, I was thinking of possibly running something set in an Egyptian-themed setting. At that price, I figured I could afford to be disappointed.

Beyond the Towers

After reading the first adventure in the Bleeding Edge series, Mansion of Shadows, I immediately picked up the second, titled Beyond the Towers. The title is a bit of a misnomer. There aren’t any towers involved; the title is in reference to the name of a mountain range featured in Mansion of Shadows.

The prime story of this adventure centers on a researcher that has invested significant resources toward uncovering information about a small culture called the Hetepkans that died out thousands of years ago. An academic rival of his has not only paid a reptilian bandit to steal his findings and destroy his base of operations, but also convinced his lab assistant to sabotage his efforts as well. Enter the PCs.

Mansion of Shadows

It’s been a long time since I wrote an adventure review. Well… to be fair, this is a re-write of a review. I read this adventure last year and wrote a review for it, but lost that when my hard drive died. I think that reading it through a second time before my final review was actually beneficial. So let’s get to it, then.

This is the first adventure in a short series of adventures published by Green Ronin Publishing under the title Bleeding Edge. These adventures are only loosely connected by the fact that they all take place in the campaign setting of Freeport. Mansion of Shadows did a fine job of pointing out that playing in the Freeport world is not required so long as some strides are made to keep the local geography roughly the game. Mansion of Shadows is suitable for four to six characters of 1st to 3rd level.

I5 Lost Tomb of Martek (TSR 1983)

By Tracy Hickman

AD&D adventure for characters levels 7-9

One thousand years ago, the wizard Martek knew that you would come to find his Sphere of Power. Now, one of his glowing Star Gems shows you the way. The starlight, reflected in the glass beneath you, flickers peacefully.

Martek's prophesy spoke of heroes, tests and dangers. Are you the heroes? What are the tests? What dangers and riches lie ahead?

The Apocalypse Stone

By Jason Carl and Chris Pramas
D&D 2.0 edition for 4-6 characters of 15th level and above

The end times approach…
To everything there is a season. Every campaign has to come to an end sometime, so why not go out with a bang? The Apocalypse Stone is an epic adventure to challenge high-level characters, but beware—it will destroy your world!

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