Sunday, March 12, 2017

Side Quest: Kroft, A Fantasy Village

I'm trying something new, a roughly sketched outline for an adventure. Something very much like Knights of the Dinner Table's Hook, Line, and Sinker.

The Set-Up
The characters are moving down the road, surrounded by flourishing farms and nearing a quaint village, when the scent of food (specifically ham or bacon) nearly overwhelms them. 

The Setting
The village of Kroft is comprised of:

The Iron Nail, an Inn owned by the Widow Seera Glenn (31, always wears a scarf that covers her hair). She runs it with her children Curt (15, has a blue and green eye ), Nigel (13, his nose is always running), Robb (11, flaming red hair), Neena (11, dresses like a boy), Tanith (9, bright orange hair), Myron (7, thick spectacles), Moses (5, crazy, unkempt curly hair), Irena (3, stares judgmentally at one of the characters specifically whenever she is in the room with them), and Clem (1, is always smiling) and her brother-in-law, Aron (21, he has a stutter). There is a heavy and strange looking "nail" over the outside of the front door. Only Myron will talk about, saying that fey haunt the entire region and their Mother believes that they cursed their Father (he will not utter his Father's name for any reason, nor will the rest of the family).

Erick's, a feed store that also serves as Kroft's general store. It is run by Kearn Erickson (4th level Champion Fighter, 39, his hair is white and he has a northern accent, he will admit to being a former adventurer  if pressed, who returned home several years ago to retire and take over his father's business; if pressed he brushes over any details about his father). His wife, Madrid (Half-Elf, 22, with eyes the color of almonds and long, golden-blond hair down to her butt), helps run the store part of the time, but focuses on their newborn son, Kotton (6 months, he's deaf, which Madrid accepts, but Kearn refuses to).

The Sterling Note, is owned by Albus Sterling (47, he has a large goiter) and is a well-renowned maker of tonewood instruments he finds in the surrounding forests. He has an apprentice, Yggrette Huren (35, has a prosthetic left hand, has a raunchy sense of humor) and her son, Edgar (15, tall and handsome, but is very protective of his Mother and Albus and can play all of the instruments they make), who has taken over finding the tonewood Albus needs for each project. 
   Albus has a local Baroness, Desdemona von Brom, as a patron and his creations are extremely popular throughout the region. His shop's location in Kroft is the village's primary reason for being on the local trade route.

The Green Place, is a two-story building maintained by Licorice Vernon (3rd level Oath of the Ancients Paladin, 28, dark complexion, large brown eyes, a western accent, she curses in Elven and has no love for Albus Sterling or his patron, but she has a soft spot for Edgar). The first floor is a shrine to Aja, Goddess of the forest, animals, and healers. While the villagers are not necessarily faithful to Aja, they gather here once a week at dawn and dusk due to their fears of the fey in the surrounding forests.
   The second floor is her workspace as a healer, midwife, herbalist, and soothsayer and has a separate entrance in the back of the building.

There are half-a dozen homes (the Von Diehls, Carruthers, Watsons, Brightflames, Whellings, and Jollywalks) in the village proper, as well as four farms (raising crops, cattle, hogs, goats, and chickens) surrounding it for a few miles.

The Twist
Kroft is a literal ghost town. Two summers ago, Howling May (A Green Hag, she refers to everyone as "my child", her eyes burn with orange fire, and her teeth are broken) and her Coven descending onto the village and surrounding farms, murdering it's denizens in a single night and cursing them due to Edgar ignoring Albus' warnings about not selecting tonewoods in certain areas of the forests (he didn't choose to elaborate on a pact he had made with the local fey).

Early indications that things are not quite right will be animals behaving strangel (birds flying into a building, a chicken mooing like a cow), but the longer the characters are in the village things will escalate (exchanges with villagers replaying [deja vu], villagers looking dead out of the corner of a character's eye, cries of pain and hideous laughter in the dead of night. 

If the characters confront any of the above villagers, they will look confused and then begin calling for Licorice. If they characters confront Licorice, she will appear to wake from a stupor and be overwhelmed with grief. She will tell them the whole story and recount Howling May's rampage. Finally, she will ask for their help in freeing the villagers from the curse and move onto what lies next.
   If the characters agree to help her, she will tell them to meet her at an ancient well in the nearby forest at midnight.  When they arrive she will ask them to join her in a ritual, where Licorice will reveal herself as Howling May and have a surprise round to attack them (possibly joined by a satyr and two brown bears). If the group defeats Howling May, they witness the area transform into an abandoned village and unkept farms. Licorice will step out of the well and reveal a secret cache of treasure in the second floor of The Green Place (a ring that grants darkvision, a silver longsword, 35 gold). 
  Finally, an lonely, hermit will approach the characters. He will introduce himself as Erwin Glenn (36, unkept hair and beard with streaks of white, haunted look in his eye) and he was away from Kroft, delivering an instrument to Baroness von Brom for Albus when the Howling May attacked. His red eyes and tear streaked face reveal his deep sorrow, but he thanks the characters for freeing his family from their curse.

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