Posts Tagged ‘The Sink Hole’

Meanwhile, in Rushtu’un…

Saturday, December 26th, 2015

Of course, when Dungeon Mastering for Dungeons & Dragons, there is no need for the Dungeon Master to confine himself (or herself) to only DMing for one party. It is possible to run separate campaigns with different players playing different characters, such as what is related below. As of yet, I have not located Rushtu’un into a particular part of the Wilderlands, but I reckon I will try to make it somewhere near where the other group of adventurers are based.


Day #2-24 (Fireday, 4th Dewsnap, 4333 BCCC) At the same time that Falafela, Lightstep, Opalent, Vandin, Vox, et al were fighting the zombies in the dungeon at Mont du Plat, there were some other adventurers named Atlas and Quodak Windsailor, a human fighter and a human cleric, respectively, who arrived in the village of Rushtu’un around 3 o’clock in the afternoon after a long day’s march. As they came into town from the west, the first buildings they saw were the Traveler’s Place on their left, and the Sheriff’s office on their right. They enquired at the Sheriff’s office first, and spoke with a deputy. The deputy informed Atlas and Quodak that a local villager had disappeared last night, and that the sheriff was out tacking up reward posters for information leading to finding the missing man, Sully Westerbrook.

The duo then went back across the dirt road to the Traveler’s Place where they were greeted by the proprietor, Orek. Orek asked them what they wanted, and served them. Quodak was sated with just a bowl of soup (that was very filling, nonetheless) and a glass of ale, for 3 silver pieces (SP). Atlas ordered a full meal of roast beef, potatoes, and carrots, and washed it down with a mug of mead, all for 1 gold piece (GP) and 5 SP. Bread was also supplied to both. While the party waited for their food, they spoke with Orek who mentioned there had also been some thievery going on lately. Orek was upset because it was bad for business when customers who stayed the night at his place found some of their possessions missing in the morning. He said he believed it was the work of the elf, Jacob, who ran the competing Weary Voyager Lodge in town.

While the duo were speaking with Orek, they were approached by another patron, Edward. Edward said he was planning to collect the reward by trying to find the missing Sully, although he’d like to have some help, and would Atlas and Quodak join him? They all agreed that three searchers were better than just one or two, even if it meant splitting the reward more ways. Quodak also bought a beer for 5 copper pieces (CP) for Edward while they were talking. After their meal was finished, Atlas and Quodak decided they’d like to check out more of the town before booking a room for the night. Edward decided to stay behind, for now. As Atlas and Quodak left, they filled their waterskins from the private well behind Orek’s place.

The duo stopped by Jordy’s Forge, a blacksmith shop, on the south side of the road. Jordy was busy hammering away at some iron on his anvil when the party approached, but he was ready to lay his hammer down for a moment to talk with some newcomers. Jordy didn’t know anything about the disappearance of Sully, but he did mention that he believed there were some humanoid creatures gathering in some woods outside of town, and that those creatures were planning an attack against the village. Jordy also spoke about another relative newcomer to town who ran a school that taught people to be good fighters. He said that new fellow had been a great soldier in a far off city, but for whatever reason had decided to settle in Rushtu’un. Then party then thanked Jordy and his two young apprentices, and moved on.

The next stop was on the north side of the road at Mingo’s Marvelous Maps, et cetera. Quodak bought two maps (at 1 SP each) of the town and of the surrounding area, as well as a leather map case for another 15 SP. Quodak asked how waterproof the leather map case was, and Mingo assured him that it was well-treated leather that would keep his maps dry in everything except total immersion in water. Mingo tried to interest the duo in buying some magic scrolls, but at hundreds of gold pieces for a scroll, the duo just couldn’t afford to buy any scrolls.

Back to the south side of the road the party went, this time stopping at Culain’s Fighting Academy. Culain immediately tried to sign them up to take fighting lessons for 4 GP per week, for two to four weeks in duration, but the party declined, although expressing possible future interest. They then asked Culain if he knew anything of Sully’s disappearance. Culain said that the night before he heard a brief scream that was interrupted, then all was quiet outside again. He said he quickly went outside to look around, but didn’t see anything and that nobody was in sight in any direction. He did say the scream seemed to come from the east of him, though.

After the party thanked Culain, they left him and proceeded towards the east, to the village’s community well. There, Quodak put his forester skills to good use. He was able to discern, amongst other footprints, some horse or mule tracks that came near the well. Then, there seemed to be a disturbance in the tracks, with the tracks sort of shuffling about, before the tracks proceeded onward as before. He also noticed a couple of drag-marks, like boot-heels, being dragged from the site of the disturbance towards the well. The drag marks ended at the well. There were also two weird footprints that sort of looked like they were from a very large duck with webbed feet but with pointed toenails. As it was getting later in the afternoon, it was too dark to see down the well, so the duo tied a torch to some cord, lit the torch, and lowered it down the well. They could sort of see something that looked like a crack in a sidewall of the well, just above the water’s edge, although they could see no sign of Sully in the well itself.

Atlas and Quodak then quickly went back to the sheriff’s office to inform of what they had found. As he had finished his rounds around town, they got to meet Sheriff Hook in person. The sheriff left his deputy behind and accompanied Atlas and Quodak to the well. Along the way, the sheriff mentioned there was another reward for various missing valuables that had recently been stolen. He also mentioned there had been another missing person recently. Two weeks ago, a traveling carpenter had come to town looking for work. He was missing the following morning, but the sheriff (and Orek) thought the carpenter had merely run off to get out of paying his bill. But now the sheriff thinks that disappearance may be related to Sully’s disappearance. After showing the sheriff the tracks at the well, Atlas and Quodak went to Netto’s General Store, which was next to the Sheriff’s office. There, they bought 3 ropes, a couple of iron spikes, and 5 torches (total cost was 12 SP and 6 CP).

The duo then went back to the Traveler’s Place to fetch Edward to join them, and found that someone named Preston Daniel had joined Edward. Well, four might be better than three, they reckoned. Then, when they went outside after Edward and Preston had gathered up their belongings, including their weapons, they met the sheriff again. The sheriff remarked that if they were going to go down the well, they might want to recruit some more folks, so the sheriff led them all to the Weary Voyager Lodge. There, the party got to meet Jacob Lightfeather, the elven competitor to the half-orc Orek. Jacob mentioned that he believed the thefts around town were the work of Orek in an effort to discredit Jacob. While the party briefly spoke with Jacob, the sheriff went around the room, quietly talking with a few folks. Two men then got up from their tables and approached the party. One was a young fellow named Hillman who was quite enthusiastic to join up for adventure. The other, Fineous (nicknamed “Four Fingers” because he was missing the pinky finger on each hand), wanted 200 GP up front to go searching for Sully, so the party declined to have him join them.

Finally, around 6:30 pm, after the sun had just set, the party congregated at the well. They quickly tied a rope around the base of the well, tying a bowline-on-a-bight on the other end to make two loops so party members could sit in the loops and be lowered down the well, one-by-one. They also drove in a couple of spikes to hold the rope down and to keep it from sliding up and over the well walls.

Hillman volunteered to be the first one down the rope into the well, carrying a torch as he went. As he neared the water, he cried out that there was a crack in the wall big enough for a man to crawl into. The other party members followed him down, one by one. The sheriff stationed a deputy at the well to ensure nobody would tamper with the rope while the adventurers were below.

The party entered a narrow passage in which they almost had to crawl through. The floor was very muddy, with a couple of inches of standing water in most places. After mostly crawling for about 40 feet, they finally emerged into an area large enough so they could stand. They also lit a second torch, as the constant dripping of water from overhead seemed likely to extinguish their single torch. There were passages to the left and to the right, and the party started by taking the right tunnel.

After a number of left and right turns in the twisting tunnel, they debouched into a larger area that had some trash in it, things like broken sticks, tree roots, paper and other scraps. When Quodak went to investigate one pile of rubble in a corner of the chamber, he disturbed a nest of giant rats that were hidden in the trash. Suddenly, four giant rats sprang at the party, soon to be joined by two more rats. There was hardly enough room to swing a weapon, but when all was said and done, Hillman had killed three of the rats, Atlas killed two rats, and Edward finished off the last rat. Hillman and Edward used their shields and spears to good effect against the rats. However, party members Atlas, Quodak, and Preston had managed to get bitten by the rats, and trying to clean the wounds in the filthy, damp, chamber was impossible. Quodak finished his interrupted search of the debris, and found a stash of 25 SP that he shared equally with everyone, 5 SP to each party member.

The party then proceeded into the tunnel at the far side of the giant rat chamber. After more twists and turns of more than 100 feet, they came into a much larger chamber that had a large pool of dark water in it. Atlas and Quodak approached the water’s edge to investigate, especially looking for any human footprints or any of the large, webbed prints they had seen near the well. Suddenly, a large snake-like object flashed out of the water and at Quodak. Fortunately for him, it missed, then withdrew into the water again. Quodak and the others didn’t wait around for a repeat of whatever it was, but instead high-tailed it back into the tunnel they had just come from. They then retraced their footsteps past the rat’s nest area and back to the original junction they first passed through after descending the well.

This time the party took the left passage from the junction. About a hundred feet later, then came upon a four-way intersection. They took the passage to their left. After a 90-degree right-hand turn, they came into a large chamber, about 50 feet by 60 feet in size. They noticed some smaller tunnels that went into the walls of the chamber, but the tunnels were too small for any humans to enter. This chamber also was relatively dry, and unlike most of the rest of the tunnels, this area was devoid of rats, whether of the normal or giant-sized variety. The party they retraced their steps to the four-way intersection.

From the intersection, the party traveled down the path that was straight ahead from their original direction of travel. After more than 200 feet of travel down the dripping, muddy, winding tunnel, the intrepid adventurers emerged into a chamber that was about 70 or so feet long by about 40 feet wide. This chamber had a stench of death about it, and in the chamber the party found a human skeleton, most likely from the missing carpenter, and a partially eaten human corpse that was wearing clothing that matched the description of what Sully Westerbrook was wearing when he was last seen at The Sink Hole the previous evening. The party then started packing the skeleton bones into two large sacks of Quodak’s, and they tied Sully’s body to their 10-foot pole.

Before the party left the chamber, Quodak tossed his torch towards a far corner of the chamber, which was in shadow. This disturbed a creature that was hiding there, and it charged! Unfortunately for Preston, he was the closest to the creature, and he took the brunt of its attack. The humanoid creature was flailing away with both arms at Preston, one hand with claws, the other hand with a sharp, shiny object in it that later proved to be a very fine steel dagger. Preston was felled, and Atlas stepped between Preston and the creature. While Quodak quickly rendered some first aid to Preston to bind his wounds, Hillman joined in the counter-attack against the creature. Eventually, Edward was able to maneuver to in back of the creature, and he dispatched it with two well-placed strikes from behind. Atlas did receive some injury from the creature, but he then cut off the creature’s head and feet and stuffed them into a third large sack to take back to the village as proof of what they had found. They also investigated the chamber more thoroughly, finding a small sack that contained 100 GP, 40 SP, and 50 CP, a plain gold ring, a silver necklace, and a silver cloak clasp (besides the steel dagger the creature was weilding). They also found amongst the carpenter’s bones a small pearl and a bloodstone.

The party now faced a dilemma as they had four relatively able-bodied adventurers available, but they now needed to take two bodies out of the lair, one being the unconscious Preston, the other the dead Sully. They also had a sack of the creature’s head and feet, and a small sack with recovered treasure. As the party prepared to depart for the well entrance, they tied the creature’s treasure sack to Sully’s body, then Edward and Quodak hoisted the 10-foot pole with Sully to their shoulders. Atlas and Hillman were carrying Preston between then, with Atlas also holding the lantern.

Just as the party was getting ready to depart, Hillman expressed his thoughts out loud. He said, “If all four of us are carrying the two bodies, we won’t be in any position to resist any attacks. I think we should re-think this! I believe we should have a guard out in front, then two of us can alternate which body we carry in the middle, followed by a rear-guard. The guard in front can carry a lantern, and the guard in back can carry a torch. Then, when the carriers in the middle get tired, they can switch with the guards.” So that’s what the party changed to. They initially had Atlas leading with the lantern, then Quodak and Edward alternated carrying Preston or Sully’s body in the middle, followed by Hillman as the rear-guard with a torch. The rear guard also carried the sack with the bones of the skeleton they found. Also, just before they departed, Quodak cast a Cure Light Wounds on himself, which cured 2 hit points of damage.

About halfway back to the well, shortly before they reached the four-way intersection, the guards and carriers switched places. Now Edward was in the lead with the lantern, then Atlas and Hillman were carrying the bodies, then Quodak brought up the rear with a torch.

When the party finally reached the well, Edward called out “Hello, up top!” A deputy sheriff leaned over the edge of the well, holding a lantern to cast some light down the well, as night had fallen over the village. The deputy replied, “You are all back already?” “Yes,” Edward called back, “and we have a person who is seriously injured, and will need help hoisting him up the well!” The guard then called for help at the well, and within a few minutes a number of additional villagers appeared topside at the well, including Orek, Jacob Lightfeather, and Sheriff Hook. When it became apparent that more ropes were needed, the Sheriff sent the deputy to Netto’s General Store to requisition a couple more ropes. With the additional ropes lowered down the well, Quodak used his old forester skills to tie a bowline on a bight knot in each rope, so then each additional rope had two large loops that would not tighten.

Preston was placed into the loops, with one loop tied around his knees and the other loop under his armpits. They tied his arms to the rope to keep his unconscious form from slipping out of the loops as he was raised to the surface by the people above. As soon as Preston reached the surface, Jacob said to take Preston to the Weary Voyager Lodge for better care for his wounds. Next, the ropes were lowered and the pole that Sully was lashed to was itself lashed to the loops, and his body was raised to the top. Next up were the sacks containing the skeletal bones, and the recovered treasure. Then, the party went up in the order of Atlas, Edward, Quodak, then Hillman. Hillman said since he was the first one down that he should be the last one up.

Once Preston arrived at the Lodge, he was bathed and his wounds were stitched up by some of Jacob’s staff. The others followed Sheriff Hook to his office, where the loot was displayed. Of the 100 GP recovered, the Sheriff mentioned that the party had earned the 50 GP reward for finding the missing Sully Westerbrook. The Sheriff mentioned that he would have to bring Sully’s wife into town the next day for positive ID, but that was just a formality, as the Sheriff was certain that it was Sully who had been found. The Sheriff, while uncertain that the recovered bones were those of the missing carpenter, decided they probably were of the carpenter as they looked fairly fresh, and no other persons had been reported missing recently. So, the Sheriff said the party had earned the additional 25 GP reward for finding the carpenter, or at least what was left of him. The Sheriff then stated that he would like to give the remaining 25 GP, plus the 40 SP and 50 CP to Sully’s widow, and the party agreed to that.

The Sheriff declared that the gold ring matched the description of a missing ring of Jacob Lightfeather’s, so the ring would be returned to Jacob. The shiny steel dagger matched a dagger that had been stolen from the dwarf Shilton Nimrod, an employee of Jacob’s. The silver necklace belonged to Jazzmin Nightwind, an out of work teamster who was hanging around town. But the Silver Cloak Clasp, and the pearl and bloodstone did not appear on any lists of missing items, so the Sheriff said they were for the party. Of course, there would have to be some way to split the monetary value from those items. In any event, the Sheriff kept all of the money and other items for safekeeping overnight, and said everyone could retrieve the items the next day.

After that, Hillman departed for the Weary Voyager Lodge to spend the night, while Atlas, Edward, and Quodak retired to the Traveler’s Place. Orek said he would provide two nights of free lodging, plus free meals, for the trio, although, Orek did say they would all have to bathe before they could spend the night as they all stunk from the dungeon they had been in. After bathing, the party retired for the night.

— The Dungeon Master

DM note: As one can see from reading  the tags to this post (and other posts), one can weave quite a setting in the fantasy world of D&D. Besides the main player-characters (PCs), there are plenty of non-player characters (NPCs) for the PCs to interact with. Plus, lots of place names, for villages, businesses, geographical locations, etc.