In attempting to re-envision the Forgotten Realms before the official campaign setting is released, this series has looked at the advantages of DMs putting their own touch to the setting, using the town of Fallcrest from the Dungeon Master’s Guide, and providing a tour of how Mystra’s fall changed the politics and power structure of the North.
To close out the series, let’s have a look at some of the adventures that might await enterprising and courageous player characters.
Justice will be done
Bartest Yavenport, an official in the court of Crattius Arcarlomahn, baron of Silverymoon, is making an annual visit to Fallcrest. The stated reason for his journey is to rule in the baron’s name on cases that are either being appealed, or more likely, outside the lord warden’s authority for one reason or another. His main goal, however, is to ensure that the Markelhay family continues its support of Arcarlomahn. To that end he will also inspect Moonstone Keep and the readiness of its 60 men-at-arms, should the baron ever have need of them.
Human Berserkers, secretly in the employ of the Red Lion, Baronness d’Vinter, have intercepted Yavenport’s party on the road outside of Everlund and is holding the hostages in a cave in the foothills of the Nether Mountains. A message from Yrek Bloodfist, leader of the Berserkers, to the lord warden says Yavenport will be released if a a ransom of 1,000 gold pieces is paid before the next full moon.Â
This is not the first time outlaws have thought to use the caves as a defensive position. The lord warden believes Nimozaran, the self-styled “high septarch of Fallcrest,” has a map of the cave network that can be used to sneak in and possibly free Yavenport and the other hostages from their captors. Nimorzaran, should he cooperate, warns that the caves are reportedly infested with goblin cutters, orc raiders and kruthik hatchlings.Â
Nimozaran’s apprentice is the halfing mage Tobolar Quickfoot. Tobolar’s cousin (twice removed on his father’s side) is Notch Quickfoot, a halfling ranger who operates along the northern boundaries of the High Forest.Â
Notch has been on the trail of the elusive Dusk Unicorn. He believes there is a herd of the magical beasts roaming the northwest corner of the High Forest, centered around a place known locally as the Ghostly Vale. Either through Tobolar or directly, Notch hopes to recruit the PCs for an expedition he’s planning. He has no interest in harming any of the dusk unicorn herd, only to track them down as a test of his abilities and confirm the beast’s existence.Â
There’s safety in numbers, Notch says, explaining why he needs help on this one. There is a tribe of hobgoblins (archers, soldiers and warcasters) making forays into the area.Â Tracks along game trails indicate there are spitting drakes who hunt along the perimeter of the vale.
The First Snow
In mid-autumn, a calvary unit bearing the banner of the rearing white lion of Baron DuShay, rides down the Rauvin and makes camp at the Nentir Inn on the west bank of the river.Â
The unit is under the command of Dragoon leader Wil VanLasterschoon, who doesn’t have authority to bring his troops into Fallcrest. But he does have permission of the baron of Silverymoon to recruit any able-bodied male or female not serving in the Fallcrest Guard to serve a short period supplementing the regular troops at the Narrows Bridge.
The enlistment period lasts until the winter solstice, a few weeks at most, and recruits will be free to return to Fallcrest the day after the solstice. VanLasterschoon is authorized to pay recruits 1 silver piece per day, unless the applicant is clearly a professional warrior or adventurer, and merits a mercenary’s pay of 1 gold piece per day.
The Dragoon leader is keeping to himself the real reason for the recruiting drive (although other calvary troopers might be willing to talk). Since the construction of the Narrows, the first snow has brought an unusual visitor down from the Nether Mountains. A young white dragon has been “attacking” the north tower during the first snow of each year for the last 12 years.Â
But while seeing the young dragon make harmless attacks against the fortification was at first amusing to the soldiers, concern is growing. The young dragon is growing up, and the baron fears that when the dragon comes into his own it will attack with greater fury and power.
Nice start– I can see these being perfect side quests for a module based campaign [and a good way to shake up the expectations of the group]. I particularly like the Quickfoot Expedition… though I wonder what his real reason is for seeking the unicorns.
Notch’s real reason is left up to the DM. Though I’m sure unicorn horns are sought after as a magical component.
One of my favorite things about the original FR boxed set was the Current Clack section, which was full of rumors GMs could follow up on to create adventures (or use to make the world seem more alive). These adventure seeds remind me of those Clack entries, only more fleshed out — good stuff, in other words. Thanks, Troy!
I think a nudge, the hint of an adventure, even a tasty morsel of a rumor is the kind of thing that gets a DM rollin’. How often have we sat there, trying to come up with “the best adventure ever,” when what we really need to do is just take the flicker of an idea, play with it a little, ask a question like Scott did, and start filling in the blanks.
Pretty soon you’ll not only have the outline for a night’s worth of adventure, you’ll probably have more than enough material for a month’s worth.