C03: Sufferhorn Castle

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Sufferhorn orcs, cover art, and inspiration for this adventure by Scott Ackerman

 

The Sufferhorn Orcs

The Sufferhorn Orcs are the ruling clan of all orc, ogre, and troll tribes in Gorrok Empire.  They are led by the War-chief Kronak Butcherblade who raised the Sufferhorn tribes to conquer all those of lesser strength at the legendary Gorrok Point, which is Orcish for "Kill" (Gor) "Pit" (Rok) or  Killpit.  The site of their now mighty empire was dubbed as such after Kronak's unstoppable Sufferhorn clansmen and women slaughtered the leaders and members of those lesser tribal armies before stacking the bodies under a mound they would start to build their empire on. This site acted as a brutal warning to any tribe that would attempt to rise up against Butcherblade and his kin.  That mound is the "Killpit" or Gorrok.  Since then, weaker tribes have been established by lesser known war-chiefs, all of whom pledge loyalty to Kronak.  They do so by backing any campaign he declares and by producing some integral element that strengthens the orc forces.  Two of these lesser tribes are the Grindblok Tribe, which makes some of the best axes in the land, and the Boarhut Tribe, which trains dire boar to be ridden into battle.

The Sufferhorn tribe has now started to invade northern Yolhaven in order to expand its empire.  It has done so by setting up small encampments in mountain caves and other hidden dwellings that slowly allow them to build up supplies and forces until they are ready to launch a guerrilla attack on unsuspecting towns.  The Yols are simple farming folk and are not prepared to deal with heavily-armed orc forces.  A call has gone out to adventurers who would help in a campaign to find these orc warrens, so that people of Yolhaven can live without fear of being attacked.

Sufferhorn Orcs stand taller than an average orc at 2 meters even when hunched over.  Their heavy, compact frames can wield greataxes and troll clubs with ease.  Some can even dual-wield without being slowed down by the nearly double handed size of their weapons.  Sufferhorn Orcs are most well known for their long horns which they only cut when they are defeated in battle, with the length of the horns signifying how long a warrior is undefeated, as well as the higher his or her rank in the tribe.  The Sufferhorn Orcs are the only orcs that are allowed to grow beards and full hair on their heads.  Most orcs keep their hair tied back or rolled in a bone ornament or matted back with bone marrow, leaving their hair glistening as though it were in a clear jelly.   Self scarification is extremely popular and is felt to be the one true way orcs can show their loyalty to the Empire of Gorrok, Kronak and the whole of the Sufferhorn Clan.  This scarification is done in the Orcish language and often reveals pledges to Kronak or the Empire of Gorrok.  Individual pledges are done either through fire branding or by cutting and then sealing the wounds with Jakkor root, which turns a scarred wound dark red - a color that contrasts well with their dark green and grayish-green skin color.

 

 

Adventure Background

A group of war-mongering orcs, ogres, and trolls, led by Dolaken Boarhut, cousin of Kronak Butcherblade, has moved in on the unsuspecting human occupants of the small Mosshammer castle.  Talks of war have been brewing among the orcs for over a year now, and Dolaken hopes to be the catalyst which begins the fire to extinguish the weak "non-green skins".  Dolaken sees this castle as a strategic location and has claimed it as his own. He has also declared himself lord over this castle and the realm, now renamed "Castle Sufferhorn".

 

 

Adventure Synopsis

The PCs are besought by Irnaun Withail to take back Mosshammer Castle from the wretched Boarhut tribe of orcs.  The money he would normally use for payment is in the castle.  He offers the PCs what treasure is left in the castle as payment for their services.

Approaching the castle will force the PCs to confront a group of valiant undead guardians which may be dispatched through combat or diplomatic wisdom.

Nearing the castle, the PCs must take care not to be spotted by the orcs inside.  Either the PCs will be spotted, and the alert sound, or the PCs may sneak in using a number of stealthy methods.

After getting inside the castle the PCs find a burnt and gutted interior guarded by dire boars and ogres.

The PCs battle their way to the top of the castle, fighting the core of the Boarhut orc tribe.

Finally, the PCs confront the leader of the tribe and his brother, both of whom present a significant challenge.

Once cleaned out, the PCs must make certain to secure the castle lest it be retaken by another local enemy. This must be done before handing the keys over to Irnaun Withail back at the local town.

 

 

Adventure Hooks

The party is hired by Irnaun Withail, the former keeper of Mosshammer Castle, now Sufferhorn Castle.  He wishes to return to the castle and restore honor to the Mosshammer name, but the orcs are preventing it.  He will provide the PCs with one item of their choice: a potion of extra healing, a book on the tactics of the Boarhut tribe, or a banner of Castle Mosshammer.  The potion of extra healing may be used as normal, the book of tactics will give any PCs which read it (6 hours) a +2 bonus on initiative in any skirmish with the Boarhut tribe, and the banner will help the PCs bypass the skeletal soldiers barring entry to the castle.  Remember: The PCs may only choose one item; Withail will explain that he needs to keep the other two in case the party fails and he needs to recruit and equip another band of adventurers.

Aside from the main quest to remove the Boarhut Orcs from the castle, the party is also hired privately by Onalit Chetug.  Onalit is an elderly priest who wishes to have a sacred relic from the chapel in Sufferhorn Castle.  In  reality, Onalit Chetug is a con man and rogue, seeking a treasure that is hidden in the chapel that was taken from him and placed there for safe keeping.  He has the key to a box hidden somewhere in the chapel.

 

Sufferhorn Castle

The first floor of the castle is a burnt remnant of what the castle once was.  When the Boarhut orcs attacked the castle, they smashed in the front door and lobbed in glass flasks that they had found during another raid.  When one of the members tried drinking the liquid inside the flask, the rest of the tribe learned that whatever was in the flasks (alchemist fire) burned without end, until it ran out of things to burn.  The human defenders of the castle didn't stand much of a chance.  They were either burned inside or they were slaughtered as they ran out from the burning keep to escape the flames.  Once the conflagration stopped, the orcs went so far as to stab and smash many of the skeletons that remained so that they didn't rise as undead.  Most of the occupants that perished inside the castle are now decorations for the orcs; the burnt, blackened skeletons are pinned to the wall with cruel barbed spikes.  The rest, as well as those that ran outside, are lined up in two rows, remaining the castle's guardians.  The ogres and the troll are content to stay in the burnt out interior of the first floor.

The only significant part of the first floor to escape burning was the chapel.

The second floor was also spared from burning and is now home to Dolaken Boarhut, who resides in room 10.  While the opulence of the original decor is now damaged, the pieces remain.  On the walls of the second floor are painted portraits of the castle's former occupants, but they have been slashed, knocked crooked, and are defaced with various best-not-investigated substances.

Dolaken's brother and lieutenant, Harveken, claimed room 11 for his own.  The rest of the tribe of orcs stays in room 6, the Main Chamber.

 

Map of Sufferhorn Castle

 

1. Path to Castle

A dirt path leads from the lowlands up to Sufferhorn Castle.  As the path crests a rise, it is apparent this castle has recently been host to a siege.  The windows on the first floor are all broken out and black streaks trail up the walls above each window, evidence that a large fire once tore through the interior.  The knights that died protecting this castle are now situated in two large stacks on either side of the path, driven onto two long, sharpened poles by the Boarhut tribe.  Most of the corpses have had their flesh and muscle picked clean by carrion birds.  These skeletons were placed here by Harveken Boarhut, using a scroll he found which contained a spell called placate spirit.  This allowed him to use the undead as guardians for his tribe.  However, the spirits of these guardians are still loyal to Castle Mosshammer.

As the PCs move past, the skeletons on the two poles begin to twitch and struggle, finally breaking free of the poles in 1d2 rounds.  Once free, the skeletons converge on the PCs, clacking their jaws and pulling at the ragged remains of their clothes.  The skeletons are permanently bound to protecting the castle and will not allow anyone to approach any closer.  They are attempting to warn the PCs to stay away, and should a speak with dead spell be cast, the undead will continually scream, "Stay away from Mosshammer Castle!"  They provide no other information and cannot answer the PCs questions.

If the PCs approach the castle doors the mob of skeletal soldiers will attack.  If the banner of Castle Mosshammer is carried, or if the name Irnaun Withail is called out to the skeletal soldiers, they will cease their attack and allow the PCs to pass unharmed.  Irnaun Withail is the former keeper of Mosshammer Castle to which the skeletons owe allegiance.  If a PC both carries the banner and demonstrates allegiance to Irnaun Withail, the skeletons will follow the PCs inside the castle and assist them in combat against the Boarhut tribe.

Mosshammer Castle Skeletal Soldiers (1d8+4)

Tactics: Surround the enemy and seize the strategic advantage.

Mosshammer Skeletal Soldier (3.5)

Mosshammer Skeletal Soldier

Size/Type Medium Undead

Hit Dice 1d12 (7 hp)

Initiative +5

Speed 30 ft.

Armor Class 15 (+1 Dex, +2 heavy shield, +2 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 14

Base Attack/Grapple +0/+1

Attack +2 longsword melee (1d8+1/19-20/x2)

Full Attack +2 longsword melee (1d8+1/19-20/x2)

Space/Reach 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks -

Special Qualities cooperation, undead traits

Saves Fort +0, Ref +1, Will +2

Abilities Str 13, Dex 13, Con -, Int -, Wis 9, Cha 10

Skills -

Feats Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Weapon Focus (longsword)

Challenge Rating 1

Alignment Lawful Neutral

Cooperation +1 Circumstance bonus on attacks and AC for each Soldier Skeleton adjacent to it. If it flanks an opponent, it gains a +1 Circumstance bonus on attacks against that opponent.

2 Skeletal Soldiers Melee +3; AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 15 (+1 Dex, +2 natural, +2 heavy shield, +1 cooperation)

3+ Skeletal Soldiers Melee +4; AC 17, touch 13, flat-footed 16 (+1 Dex, +2 natural, +2 heavy shield, +2 cooperation)

Mosshammer Skeletal Soldiers (Pathfinder)

Mosshammer Skeletal Soldier

CR 1

Human Warrior Skeleton, Soldier

LN Medium Undead
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +0, Spot +0
Languages

AC 15, touch 11, flat-footed 14 (+1 Dex, +2 natural, +2 heavy shield)
hp 6 (1 HD); DR 5/bludgeoning
Immune cold
Fort +0, Ref +1, Will +2

Speed 30 ft.,
Melee Longsword+2 (1d8+1/19-20/x2)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Base Atk +0; Grp +1

Str 13, Dex 13, Con -, Int -, Wis 9, Cha 10
SQ cooperation, undead traits
Feats Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Weapon Focus (longsword)
Skills

Cooperation +1 Circumstance bonus on attacks and AC for each Soldier Skeleton adjacent to it. If it flanks an opponent, it gains a +1 Circumstance bonus on attacks against that opponent.

2 Skeletal Soldiers Melee +3; AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 15 (+1 Dex, +2 natural, +2 heavy shield, +1 cooperation)

3+ Skeletal Soldiers Melee +4; AC 17, touch 13, flat-footed 16 (+1 Dex, +2 natural, +2 heavy shield, +2 cooperation)

 

 

Hiding out

If the PCs wish to do some recon before entering the castle, they may attempt to locate a good hiding place either among some scrub brush in the plains just south of the approaching path, or in the swamp lands to the east of the castle.  Watching the castle for 24 hours reveals that a hunting party leaves the castle a couple hours before sunset and returns at dusk with numerous fresh kills from the nearby swamp.  This hunting party leaves and returns at practically the same time every night and can be ambushed near the swamp without the occupants of the castle becoming immediately aware.  If the PCs are able to kill the orcs and don their equipment they could attempt to sneak into the castle and at least gain the upper-hand in the first combat scenario should they think wisely about it.

Sufferhorn Orc Hunting Party ( 5-8 )

Tactics: The orcs which comprise this party are growing tired of this routine and will look for any way to have fun with the PCs.  If the PCs are spotted trailing the group, the orcs will feign ignorance only to lead the PCs deeper into the dangerous swamp and double back on them when they least expect it.  The Sufferhorn Orcs are quite adept at travel and survival in the swamp and obtain a +2 to Perception, Survival, and Swim checks made whilst traveling here.  They are also able to move at normal movement rates when others are reduced to half due to the swampy terrain.

Sufferhorn Orcs (3.5)

Orc 1st-Level Warrior

Size/Type:  Medium Humanoid (Orc)

Hit Dice:  1d8+2 (8 hp)

Initiative:  +0

Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)

Armor Class:  13 (+3 studded leather armor), touch 10, flat-footed 13

Base Attack/Grapple:  +1/+5

Attack: Battleaxe +5 melee (1d8+4/18–20) or javelin +2 ranged (1d6+4)

Full Attack:  Battleaxe +5 melee (1d8+4/18–20) or javelin +1 ranged (1d6+4)

Space/Reach:  5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks:  —

Special Qualities:  Darkvision 60 ft., light sensitivity

Saves:   Fort +4, Ref +0, Will –2

Abilities:  Str 19, Dex 11, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 7, Cha 6

Skills:  Listen +1, Spot +1

Feats:  Alertness

Challenge Rating:   1

Treasure:  Standard

Alignment:  Neutral evil

An orc’s hair usually is black. It has lupine ears and reddish eyes. Orcs prefer wearing vivid colors that many humans would consider unpleasant, such as blood red, mustard yellow, yellow-green, and deep purple. Their equipment is dirty and unkempt. An adult male orc is a little over 6 feet tall and weighs about 210 pounds.

Females are slightly smaller.

The language an orc speaks varies slightly from tribe to tribe, but any orc is understandable by someone else who speaks Orc. Some orcs know Goblin or Giant as well.

Light Sensitivity (Ex): Orcs are dazzled in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.

Sufferhorn Orcs (Pathfinder)

Orc         CR 1/3

XP 135

Orc warrior 1

NE Medium humanoid

Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception –1

Weakness light sensitivity

 

DEFENSE

AC 13, touch 10, flat-footed 13 (+3 armor)

hp 8 (1d10+2)

Fort +4, Ref +0, Will –1

Defensive Abilities ferocity

 

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft.

Melee Battleaxe +6 (1d8+4/18–20)

Ranged javelin +1 (1d6+4)

 

TACTICS

Before Combat Orcs make few preparations before combat, preferring to charge headlong at any foe that presents itself.

During Combat The Sufferhorn Orcs have perfected the craft of fighting in small spaces, so they use large one-handed weapons instead of two-handed weapons like regular orcs.  While the Sufferhorn Orcs inflict as much suffering on their opponents as possible, the know to follow Dolaken's orders.  These orcs fight in an organized fashion, using ranged weapons first, if possible, before closing into melee.  They use flanking as much as possible if they have sufficient numbers.  They will also protect Dolaken and Harveken to the best of their abilities in combat.

Morale Sufferhorn Orcs are a determinedly loyal lot, mostly out of fear.  They will not flee combat unless directed to do so by Dolaken or Harveken.

 

STATISTICS

Str 19, Dex 11, Con 14, Int 7, Wis 8, Cha 6

Base Atk +1; CMB +5; CMD 15

Feats Weapon Focus (falchion)

Skills Intimidate +2

Languages Common, Orc

SQ weapon familiarity

 

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Ferocity (Ex)

An orc remains conscious and can continue fighting even if its hit point total is below 0. It is still staggered and loses 1 hit point each round. A creature with ferocity still dies when its hit point total reaches a negative amount equal to its Constitution score.

 

Spotted by the Orcs

If the PCs are engaged in combat in area 1 the orcs hear the commotion and become alerted to their presence.  Within 2 rounds, 1d4+8 orcs begin to fire arrows from the windows (area 7) on level two of the castle and the balcony (level 5) gaining a +2 to hit due to their vantage point and higher ground on the PCs.  The rest of the orcs will be alerted and prepare for the arrival of the PCs, which will make for a difficult assault on the interior of the castle.

If the PCs remain in area 1 for more than five minutes, there is a 80% chance they will be spotted during the daytime and a 40% chance they will be spotted at night.  These checks increase cumulatively by 10% for every additional minute the PCs remain in area 1.

Castle Doors

The castle is protected by two sets of wooden double doors.  One allows entry directly to the charred Great Hall of the first floor (area 2), the other enters the Chapel (area 2B).  All of the doors are twice the standard thickness as well as enhanced by magic for an extra layer of protection.  A huge orcish waraxe now hangs above the main entry doors (to 2A) and is poised to fall should anyone attempt to touch the door.  When an orc warrior chooses to leave the castle he holds a shield above his head to block the falling axe and then carefully replaces it upon re-entry.

Sufferhorn Castle Double Doors (2 sets, 1 per wall)

Magically reinforced wood

Hardness 6
hp 40
Break DC 30

Swinging Axe Trap

CR 1

XP 400

Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 20

EFFECTS
Trigger location; Reset manual

Effect Atk +10 melee (axe; 1d8+1/×3); multiple targets (all targets in a 10-ft. line)

 

 

 

 

2A.  Front Door

One ogre out of the three will always be on guard here.  If he hears the skeletons outside the door, he will use a sliding plate to look outside and see what is causing the commotion.  If he sees trouble coming, he will warn the other two ogres.  Any sounds of combat will bring the nearest orcs, who will appear in 1d4 rounds.

Ogres (3)

Tactics: Ogres favor overwhelming odds, sneak attacks, and ambushes over a fair fight.  They are intelligent enough to fire ranged weapons first to soften up their foes before closing, but ogre gangs and bands fight as unorganized individuals.

Ogre (3.5)

Ogre

Size/Type Large Giant

Hit Dice 4d8+11 (29 hp)

Initiative -1

Speed 30 ft. (base speed 40 ft.)

Armor Class 16 (-1 size, -1 Dex, +5 natural, +3 hide armor), touch 8, flat-footed 16

Base Attack/Grapple +3/+12

Attack greatclub +8 melee (2d8+7) or javelin +1 ranged (1d8+5)

Full Attack greatclub +8 melee (2d8+7) or javelin +1 ranged (1d8+5)

Space/Reach 10 ft./10 ft.

Special Attacks -

Special Qualities darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision

Saves Fort +6, Ref +0, Will +1

Abilities Str 21, Dex 8, Con 15, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 7

Skills Climb +5, Listen +2, Spot +2

Feats Toughness, Weapon Focus (greatclub)

Challenge Rating 3

Alignment Neutral Evil

Ogre (Pathfinder)

Ogre

CR 3

XP 800

NE Large Humanoid (giant)

Init -1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +5

 

DEFENSE

AC17, touch 8, flat-footed 17  (+4 armor, -1 Dex, +5 natural, -1 size)

hp 30 (4d8+12)

Fort +6, Ref +0, Will +3

 

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft. (40 ft. base)

Melee greatclub +7 (2d8+7)

Ranged javelin +1 (1d8+5)

Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.

 

TACTICS

Before Combat Ogres rarely lay ambushes, and when they do, it's not so much because they are crafty as they are lazy.  If they can kill a man with a well-thrown javelin, they don't have to fight or chase him down.

During Combat Once battle is joined, ogres wade into the thick of melee, swinging their clubs at any target that presents itself.

Morale When prey turns out to be more dangerous than they thought, the rare moment of good sense seizes the ogres; they flee if reduced to less than 5 hp.

 

STATICS

Str 21, Dex 8, Con 15,  Int 6, Wis 10,  Cha 7

Base Atk +3; CMB +9; CMD 18

Feats Iron Will, Toughness

Skills Climb +7, Perception +5

Languages Giant

 

 

2B. Former Chapel

The remains of the chapel are damaged, both from the orcs and ogres, not to mention the dire boars.  The boars have been here for several weeks, leaving the room smelling like the very worst pig droppings.  The odour is foul in the enclosed room, requiring a DC 18 Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1d4 minutes.

Nauseated: Creatures with the nauseated condition experience stomach distress. Nauseated creatures are unable to attack, cast spells, concentrate on spells, or do anything else requiring attention. The only action such a character can take is a single move actions per turn.

Upon the dais, under where the pulpit used to be, is a small wooden case hidden in the floor.  A DC 20 Perception/Search check is required to find the box among the debris from the pulpit.  The box is locked and Onalit has the key.  A DC 25 Perception/Spot check will notice that the box is trapped.

The exterior door to what used to be the castle's chapel has been barred from the inside and is blocked with the remnants of pews piled up against the door.   This is to keep the chapel's new residents, a small herd of dire boars, from getting out.

The door to the chapel from the inside of the castle is barred from the outside, to keep the boars in.  Next to this interior door, a once beautiful cabinet has been damaged and is leaning against the wall on three legs.  The shelves of the cabinet hold half a dozen stoppered, liquid-filled bottles.  If these bottles are opened, the smell is salty and musky.  Each bottle has a label.  If any of the party members reads Orcish, the label reads "pig sweat."

These bottles are used to make the male boars more aggressive, as the smell of the sweat brings out the territorial nature of the boars.  When thrown on a target, the boars will attack that specific target.

 

Dire Boars ( 4 )

Tactics: Dire boars are simple but aggressive.  A dire boar charges its opponent, trying to rip the target open with its tusks.

Dire Boar (3.5)

DIRE BOAR

Size/Type:  Large Animal

Hit Dice:  7d8+21 (52 hp)

Initiative:  +0

Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)

Armor Class:  15 (–1 size, +6 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 15

Base Attack/Grapple:  +5/+17

Attack: Gore +12 melee (1d8+12)

Full Attack:  Gore +12 melee (1d8+12)

Space/Reach:  10 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks:  Ferocity

Special Qualities:  Low-light vision, scent

SavesFort +8, Ref +5, Will +8

AbilitiesStr 27, Dex 10, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 8

Skills:  Listen +8, Spot +8

Feats:  Alertness, Endurance, Iron Will

Challenge Rating:  4

Treasure:  None

Alignment:  Always neutral

 

Dire boars are omnivorous and spend most of their time rooting around, much as ordinary pigs do. They viciously attack anything that approaches them, however.

Dire boars grow up to 12 feet long and weigh as much as 2,000 pounds.

 

COMBAT

A dire boar charges its opponent, trying to rip the target open with its tusks.

Ferocity (Ex): A dire boar is such a tenacious combatant that it continues to fight without penalty even while disabled or dying.

Dire Boar (Pathfinder)

Dire Boar (Daeodon)       CR 4

XP 1,200

N Large animal

Init +4; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +12

 

DEFENSE

AC 15, touch 9, flat-footed 15 (+6 natural, –1 size)

hp 42 (5d8+20)

Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +2

Defensive Abilities ferocity

 

OFFENSE

Speed 40 ft.

Melee gore +8 melee (2d6+9)

 

STATISTICS

Str 23, Dex 10, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 8

Base Atk +3; CMB +10; CMD 20

Feats Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Perception), Toughness

Skills Perception +12

 

 2.  Burnt and Gutted Interior

The four ogres that venerate Dolaken Boarhut live on the ground floor of the castle in what was once the Great Hall.  Mattress and piles of straw litter the floor along with the remains of food and drink.  These ogres follow the lead of Dolaken Boarhut not out of respect, but out of fear of Dolaken's brother, Harveken, who has a mystical control over them.

Side Quest: Reward for the Romantic

Side Quest: Reward for the Romantic

The main fireplace is located in the center of the room against the back wall.  This fireplace holds a morbid secret found only by PCs which climb into and peer up into the chimney (also succeeding on a Spot/Perception DC 15).  For within this chimney rests the body of a man who died in an attempt to escape the castle during the orc attack.  He survived long enough to make it halfway to the next level of the castle before the smoke from the castle fire overtook him.  His skeletal and shrunken remains still tightly clutch the inside of the chimney, preserved from the smoke.  If a PC attempts to climb up and inspect the body, he or she may notice (Spot/Perception DC 20/DC 15 with light or low-light vision) a small scroll sticking out of his mouth.  The scroll is wound tightly and bound with horse hair (Knowledge: Nature DC 12).

The horse hair is wound so tightly and singed from the hot smoke it must be cut to unfurl the scroll.  Attempts to slide it off will rip the already delicate parchment.

My Dearest Carolyn,

A terrible tragedy hath befallen the castle.

A force of monstrous humanoids doth assault us as I write this.

I will attempt to find a way out of the castle so the two of us may be together again, but I fear I may not make it, thus I write this letter.

If I perish, please know that my heart beats for no other.

Yours forever,

Stephen

The letter also includes directions to "Carolyn's" home in the nearby city as well as an advanced thank you from "Stephen" for delivering the letter.

PCs which take on this small quest after the adventure has concluded will be rewarded by Carolyn (who hats already grieved when the castle was besieged and no survivors emerged).  She will grant them 10 silver pieces and an old treasure map that her grandfather gave her.  She has never heard of the locations on the map, but perhaps the PCs have.

If the PCs don't find the letter in the fireplace you may alternatively have Carolyn hire them once word spreads of the reclamation of Mosshammer Castle.  She gives them the 10 sp and also offers the treasure map once they find and return the body of her lover who must be among the dead, somewhere in the castle.

Side Quest: Buried Treasure

Side Quest: Buried Treasure

Rumors (Gather Information DC 15): The Dark Wood is supposedly haunted by malicious spirits of the Vikmordere, a tribal people with strong ties to nature.

GM Information & Ideas:

Cursed Creek is a foul disease filled water source which gurgles its way out of Dark Wood.  Infected by devil spawn, the water is not safe to drink.  If one consumes any of the water from Cursed Creek they will suffer the effects of poison, disease, and a horrible curse (all effects up to the GM).

A halfling named Garnid (N Halfling Rogue 3, AC 15, hp 14, Shortsword+2, Backstab, Dodge, Bluff+7, Sleight of Hand +5) has been tricking travelers at Little Crags Pass into paying a toll in order to proceed.  He has strategically stacked rocks and debris upon a hill in the shape of tall men holding bows.  When the sun shines just right they appear to be shadowy figures upon the distant hillside.  The PCs will have to use Sense Motive or pay a hefty toll of 20 gold to pass (the halfling determines his price based on his victim’s appearance.  If the PCs appear well off he will up this toll to 10 gold per person in the party.)

The “Vikmordere Spirits” are actually a group of Vikmordere hunters that was violently slain within Dark Wood and the members of which have risen as undead.  For these “spirits” you may use Skeletons or Ghouls.  The PCs will be attacked as they pass through Dark Wood.  Should the PCs enter the woodland area with great care they may be able to get a jump on the undead before they are spotted.

The Twin Spruce Trees hold no event, but if you want to make things interesting you could introduce a lost Pixie from West Wood who has a broken wing and is looking for a free lift home.  (XP bonus for good characters).

The Huge Round Stone is covered in the language of the Ancestor People (runic).  A wizard or historian may be interested in these runes and would be willing to pay up to 30 gold for a rough hand drawn copy.  The PCs may also attempt to decipher the runes.  What could they possibly reveal?  The location of a burial site?  Treasure?  An entrance to an underground city?

The Cave in the Hillside is home to a Bugbear with a couple goblin minions, or if the party is a bit stronger a Basilisk.  According to the map the treasure is buried at the entrance to the cave.  The PCs may have to put up with one of the above creatures before they are able to locate and dig up the treasure.

The treasure chest which was buried here contains 600 gp, a silver and gold necklace (100 gp value), 2 small rubies (30 gp each), and a Wand of Magic Missiles (30 charges).

Carolyn's Treasure Map

 

 

3.  Stairs

These spiral stairs are wide enough to allow two humans or one orc or one ogre to move up or down.  The stairs themselves are chipped in places and are scored in others.  There is nothing unusual about these stairs.  The top of these stairs is out of view of the ogre at the entry to the Great Hall.

 

 

4.  Entry to the Great Hall

The lone ogre that guards this area is more alert than his kin at the front door of the castle due to the proximity of Harveken Boarhut.  He stands facing the stairs.  He uses the hallway from the stairs as a choke point to hold off invaders.  If combat ensues, he will bellow and the archer(s) from 11 will join in the defense of the Great Hall.  Harveken will join in 2 rounds and Dolaken will join in 4 rounds.

Ogre

Tactics: Ogres favor overwhelming odds, sneak attacks, and ambushes over a fair fight.  They are intelligent enough to fire ranged weapons first to soften up their foes before closing, but ogre gangs and bands fight as unorganized individuals.

 

Ogre (3.5)

OGRE

Size/Type:  Large Giant

Hit Dice:  4d8+11 (29 hp)

Initiative:  –1

Speed: 30 ft. in hide armor (6 squares); base speed 40 ft.

Armor Class:  16 (–1 size, –1 Dex, +5 natural, +3 hide armor), touch 8, flat-footed 16

Base Attack/Grapple:  +3/+12

Attack: greatclub +8 melee (2d8+7) or javelin +1 ranged (1d8+5)

Full Attack:  greatclub +8 melee (2d8+7) or javelin +1 ranged (1d8+5)

Space/Reach:  10 ft./10 ft.

Special Attacks:  —

Special Qualities:  Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision

Saves:   Fort +6, Ref +0, Will +1

AbilitiesStr 21, Dex 8, Con 15, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 7

Skills:  Climb +5, Listen +2, Spot +2

Feats:  Toughness, Weapon Focus (greatclub)

Environment:  Temperate hills

Organization:  Solitary, pair, gang (3–4), or band (5–8)

Challenge Rating:  3

Treasure:  Standard

Alignment:  Usually chaotic evil

Adult ogres stand 9 to 10 feet tall and weigh 600 to 650 pounds. Their skin color ranges from dull yellow to dull brown. Their clothing consists of poorly cured furs and hides, which add to their naturally repellent odor.

Ogres speak Giant, and those specimens who boast Intelligence scores of at least 10 also speak Common.

COMBAT

Ogres favor overwhelming odds, sneak attacks, and ambushes over a fair fight. They are intelligent enough to fire ranged weapons first to soften up their foes before closing, but ogre gangs and bands fight as unorganized individuals.

Ogre (Pathfinder)

Ogre      CR 3

XP 800

CE Large humanoid (giant)

Init –1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +5

 

DEFENSE

AC 17, touch 8, flat-footed 17 (+4 armor, –1 Dex, +5 natural, –1 size)

hp 30 (4d8+12)

Fort +6, Ref +0, Will +3

 

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft. (40 ft. base)

Melee greatclub +7 (2d8+7)

Ranged javelin +1 (1d8+5)

Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.

 

TACTICS

Before Combat Ogres rarely lay ambushes, and when they do, it’s not so much because they are crafty as because they are lazy. If they can kill a man with a well-thrown javelin, they don’t have to fight or chase him down.

During Combat Once battle is joined, ogres wade into the thick of melee, swinging their clubs at any target that presents itself.

Morale When their prey turns out to be more dangerous than they thought, the rare moment of good sense seizes ogres; they flee if reduced to less than 5 hp.

 

STATISTICS

Str 21, Dex 8, Con 15, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 7

Base Atk +3; CMB +9; CMD 18

Feats Iron Will, Toughness

Skills Climb +7, Perception +5

Languages Giant

 

5.  Balcony

The balcony is a place of punishment for the orcs.  Those that are caught shirking duty, not displaying orc-like behavior, running from the "demon sheep" (see room 9), or simply by Dolaken's whim, are sent to the balcony, where they must stand guard in the sun, without food or water,  for one full day.   As the balcony is, at most, 30 feet wide on one side, this job is boring, even without the withholding of food.

Treat any guards on the balcony as having a -1 penalty to Initiative, Perception/Spot checks, and attack rolls.

 

 

6.  The Great Hall

The Great Hall is a majestic sight to behold.  Careful consideration was taken to construct this room as the focal point of the castle.  The room itself is built from stone, but an old, partially burnt walkway skirts the wall about fifteen feet above the floor.  Fine works of art decorate the walkway and are in each of the four corners, one has been spoiled with Orcish graffiti scrawled in blood and only legible to those well versed in the language.  The words "ALL HUMANZ R DIEZ" have been written by one of the more learned of the group.  The walkway is very unstable and the stairs which once led there have been burnt in a fire and destroyed.  There are no other visible ways to reach the walkway.

A grand fireplace takes center stage in the room, large enough to use as a great oven.  There are still some chairs set up facing the fireplace where the adults once told the children stories before bed.  There are blood stains on the ground where the former occupants of this castle were slain when the orc troops stormed in.  It is quite apparent that the orcs spared nothing and no-one.  The pelts of the family dogs, beloved of the children, hang to dry near the fireplace whilst filthy and stinking orcs rock in rocking chairs, warming themselves and laughing next to the fire.

A grand dining table nearby has become a dumping ground for half eaten food, gore-stained weapons, and empty flagons.  Two barrels of ale rest nearby, completely emptied of their contents.

The orcs in this room are the primary force holding the castle.  They have consumed much of the food and all of the ale and now grow restless, prepared to move on and loot the next human settlement.  Their leader, however, has sternly reminded them who is in charge and declared that they are to remain here and hold this castle for the time being.  Whilst none of the orcs actually dares to confront their leader, none of them are happy about the arrangement either.  A couple more weeks here and the tribe just may turn on their leader and his capable brother.

Sufferhorn Orcs ( 6 )

Tactics: The Sufferhorn Orcs have perfected the craft of fighting in small spaces, so they use large one-handed weapons instead of two-handed weapons like regular orcs.  While the Sufferhorn Orcs inflict as much suffering on their opponents as possible, the know to follow Dolaken's orders.  These orcs fight in an organized fashion, using ranged weapons first, if possible, before closing into melee.  They use flanking as much as possible if they have sufficient numbers.  They will also protect Dolaken and Harveken to the best of their abilities in combat.

Sufferhorn Orcs (3.5)

Orc 1st-Level Warrior

Size/Type:  Medium Humanoid (Orc)

Hit Dice:  1d8+2 (8 hp)

Initiative:  +0

Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)

Armor Class:  13 (+3 studded leather armor), touch 10, flat-footed 13

Base Attack/Grapple:  +1/+5

Attack: Battleaxe +5 melee (1d8+4/18–20) or javelin +2 ranged (1d6+4)

Full Attack:  Battleaxe +5 melee (1d8+4/18–20) or javelin +1 ranged (1d6+4)

Space/Reach:  5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks:  —

Special Qualities:  Darkvision 60 ft., light sensitivity

Saves:   Fort +4, Ref +0, Will –2

AbilitiesStr 19, Dex 11, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 7, Cha 6

Skills:  Listen +1, Spot +1

Feats:  Alertness

Challenge Rating:   1

Treasure:  Standard

Alignment:  Neutral evil

An orc’s hair usually is black. It has lupine ears and reddish eyes. Orcs prefer wearing vivid colors that many humans would consider unpleasant, such as blood red, mustard yellow, yellow-green, and deep purple. Their equipment is dirty and unkempt. An adult male orc is a little over 6 feet tall and weighs about 210 pounds.

Females are slightly smaller.

The language an orc speaks varies slightly from tribe to tribe, but any orc is understandable by someone else who speaks Orc. Some orcs know Goblin or Giant as well.

Light Sensitivity (Ex): Orcs are dazzled in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.

Sufferhorn Orcs (Pathfinder)

Orc         CR 1/3

XP 135

Orc warrior 1

NE Medium humanoid

Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception –1

Weakness light sensitivity

 

DEFENSE

AC 13, touch 10, flat-footed 13 (+3 armor)

hp 8 (1d10+2)

Fort +4, Ref +0, Will –1

Defensive Abilities ferocity

 

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft.

Melee Battleaxe +6 (1d8+4/18–20)

Ranged javelin +1 (1d6+4)

 

TACTICS

Before Combat Orcs make few preparations before combat, preferring to charge headlong at any foe that presents itself.

During Combat The Sufferhorn Orcs have perfected the craft of fighting in small spaces, so they use large one-handed weapons instead of two-handed weapons like regular orcs.  While the Sufferhorn Orcs inflict as much suffering on their opponents as possible, the know to follow Dolaken's orders.  These orcs fight in an organized fashion, using ranged weapons first, if possible, before closing into melee.  They use flanking as much as possible if they have sufficient numbers.  They will also protect Dolaken and Harveken to the best of their abilities in combat.

Morale Sufferhorn Orcs are a determinedly loyal lot, mostly out of fear.  They will not leave combat unless directed to do so by Dolaken or Harveken.

 

STATISTICS

Str 19, Dex 11, Con 14, Int 7, Wis 8, Cha 6

Base Atk +1; CMB +5; CMD 15

Feats Weapon Focus (falchion)

Skills Intimidate +2

Languages Common, Orc

SQ weapon familiarity

 

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Ferocity (Ex)

An orc remains conscious and can continue fighting even if its hit point total is below 0. It is still staggered and loses 1 hit point each round. A creature with ferocity still dies when its hit point total reaches a negative amount equal to its Constitution score.

 

 

7.  Archer's Aerie

This room is used in defense of the castle during times of combat.

There is always one orc stationed here, with room for a second archer if needed.  From outside the castle, it is difficult to see the orc through the narrow arrow slits.  The orc(s) in this room will fire arrows at targets they can see while shouting a warning to the rest of the guards.  Once the targets have passed where the archers can attack with bows, they will drop their ranged weapons and move to room 4 to help guard Stairwell 3.

So far, the orcs are unaware of the secret door that leads to the former armory.

One of the bricks of the north wall, when pushed inward, releases a latch for the secret door, allowing access to the armory.  The lower half of the wall is covered in green moss, with the secret brick covered in a slightly different colored fake moss.   A DC 25 Perception/Search check is required to see the difference in color.

 

 

8.  Former armoury

This room was used by the archers from room 7 when their normal missiles seemed to be ineffective against attackers. Inside the secret door is a small pool of dried blood.  The door itself has a version of the arcane eye spell cast upon it to allow someone inside this room to see room 7.

The former armory used to contain several quivers of +1 arrows and several +1 bows of distance, as well as a rack magical swords and hooks for magical shields.  The small closest held half a dozen suits of +1 leather armor.  Sadly, most of these items were used up in defense of the castle or damaged and not repaired before the Sufferhorn Orcs assaulted the castle.

Now, there is only one quiver of 12 +1 arrows.  Two bows might still be of use, but they have been broken and repaired, so they are no longer magical.  The magical swords are in disrepair, but one shield still retains its magical properties.  This is a shield of arrow deflection.

In the closest, there are suits of leather armor in various states of disrepair.  One suit, however, is intact enough to retain its +1 bonus.

In the bottom of the closest is a skeleton dressed in a ruined suit of leather armor, sitting in broken glass, dried blood and an odd colored liquid stain.  A DC 15 Heal check shows that the collarbone and the top two ribs are broken by a large, sharp bladed weapon.  This skeleton is one of the former interior defenders of the castle.  Upon taking what he knew was a mortal blow, he retreated into the secret room and closed the door to hide.  A second DC 15 Heal check or a DC 15 Knowledge (arcana) check will discover that the odd colored liquid is a spoiled healing potion.

 

 

9.  Slaughterhouse

(Former bathhouse)

The stench of blood and the buzzing of numerous flies fills this room.  What used to be the bath has been turned into a blood drain as animals and enemies are brought here to be slaughtered.  Hooks that used to hold towels and robes now hold knives and axes of various sizes and shapes.  The two doors on the north wall have nothing of any significance hanging on them.  The closet to the right houses primitive sharpening tools and leftover towels used to wipe blades clean.

There are stories that circulate around the orcs that the spirits of goats and sheep that have been slaughtered haunt this room and more than one orc that has gone into the room to butcher the day's kills has coming screaming out of the room, babbling about "herds of demon sheep."  Dolaken and Harveken have never seen this so they do not believe it and any orc that behaves in this manner is publicly humiliated by being sent to the balcony.

Demon Sheep (3.5)

Demon Sheep

Size/Type Medium undead (incorporeal)

Hit Dice 2d12 (13 hp)

Initiative +0

Speed fly 30 ft. (perfect)

Armor Class 12 (+1 Charisma, +1 Dex), touch 12, flat-footed 11

Base Attack/Grapple +1/-

Attack -

Full Attack -

Space/Reach 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks frightful moan (Will DC 12)

Special Qualities darkvision 60 ft., incorporeal traits, low-light vision, manifestation, rejuvenation, turn resistance +4, undead traits

Saves Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +0

Abilities Str -, Dex 13, Con -, Int 1, Wis 11, Cha 11

Skills Listen +12, Spot +15

Feat Skill Focus (spot)

Challenge Rating 2

Alignment Neutral

Languages -

Demon Sheep (Pathfinder)

Demon Sheep

CR 2

XP 600

Neutral Medium Undead (incorporeal)

Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +16

 

DEFENSE

AC12, touch 12, flat-footed 11  (+1 Charisma, +1 Dex))

hp 10 (2d8+1)

Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +0

Defensive AbilitiesChannel resistance +4, incorporeal traits, Rejuvenation, undead traits

 

OFFENSE

Speed fly 30 ft. (perfect)

Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.

Special Attacks frightful moan (Will DC 12)

 

STATICS

Str -, Dex 13, Con -,  Int 1, Wis 11,  Cha 11

Base Atk +5; CMB -; CMD -

Feats Skill Focus (Perception)

Skills Perception +17

Languages -

 

 

9a.  Closet

The odour in this room is retch-inducing.  This closet is lined with chunks of meat cut off of numerous animals and various enemies.  Some have been here long enough to rot and mold.

 

 

10.  Dolaken's Chamber

What was once a ruler's bedroom has become a pit of sloth.  The king-sized feather bed remains in the room, but the frame has been broken and the mattress lay in the ruins.  An armoire that used to hold regal finery is now beaten up and has large chunks missing out of it, with the former clothes scattered around the room, dirty and worthless.  Bones and rotting animal parts have been tossed haphazardly around the room, creating an unpleasant aroma.

Not much of value is kept in this room because Dolaken, being marginally intelligent, knows that his room would be where someone seeking riches would look.  Instead, he keeps the riches of the tribe in room 11a.

Tactics Dolaken will engage the closest, most obvious melee opponent to prove his strength.  He is smart enough to use his superior reach and to make attacks of opportunity.  If a strong opponent gets inside the reach of his club, Dolaken will drop the club and grapple with the opponent.  Should the opponent begin besting Dolaken, he will begin fighting defensively and start looking for a way out.

Dolaken Boarhut (3.5)

Dolaken Boarhut

Level 2 Fighter

Size/Type Medium Humanoid (orc)

Hit Dice 4d8 plus 2d10+11 (41 hp)

Initiative +3

Speed 30 ft. (base speed 40 ft.)

Armor Class 18 (-1 size, -1 Dex, +5 natural, +3 +2 hide armor), touch 8, flat-footed 16

Base Attack/Grapple +5/+13

Attack greataxe +13 melee (1d12+12) or javelin +4 ranged (1d8+8)

Full Attack greataxe +13 melee (1d12+12) or javelin +4 ranged (1d8+8)

Space/Reach 10 ft./10 ft.

Special Attacks -

Special Qualities darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision

Saves Fort +11, Ref +0, Will +1

Abilities Str 26, Dex 8, Con 15, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 14

Skills Climb +8, Listen +3, Spot +3

Feats Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Toughness, Weapon Focus (greatclub)

Challenge Rating 5

Alignment Lawful Evil

Languages Common, Orc

Dolaken Boarhut (Pathfinder)

Dolaken Boarhut

Level 2 Fighter

CR 5

XP 1,600

LE medium humanoid

Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +5

 

DEFENSE

AC17, touch 8, flat-footed 17  (+4 armor, -1 Dex, +5 natural, -1 size)

hp41 (4d8 plus 2d10+12)

Fort +11, Ref +0, Will +3

 

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft. (40 ft. base)

Melee greataxe +13 (1d12+12)

Ranged javelin +4 (1d8+8)

Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.

 

STATISTICS

Str 26, Dex 8, Con 18,  Int 8, Wis 10,  Cha 14

Base Atk +5; CMB +11; CMD 20

Feats Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Power Attack, Toughness, Weapon Focus (greatclub)

Skills Climb +10, Perception +6

Languages Common, Orc

 

 

11.  Harveken's Chamber

Harveken Boarhut is a strange orc.  While most take to combat with ease, Harveken found his way into magic.  However, being an orc, he uses his magical abilities to bully others.  Currently, Dolaken has his brother using his magic to keep the ogres in line.  Harveken relishes in this, because the ogres are much bigger than he is, but they do what he says.

Harveken thinks that because of his innate magical abilities he is superior to the average orc.  Because of his superiority, he shows that he is above the wanton destruction of that same average orc.  His bedroom is still mostly intact from when he took it over.  The bed still sits on its frame, even if the frame creaks when he lay down on it.  The dresser is mostly intact (he is still an orc after all), holding the finery of the previous inhabitant.  On top of the dresser, Harveken keeps a small collection of skulls of those that he has defeated in magical combat.

Tactics Harveken Boarhut dislikes physical combat because he's not very good at it.  His magical abilities have been used to bully around the ogres, but he hasn't had many real chances to try his powers against enemy combatants.  Harveken will begin combat by trying to hypnotise a foe and then use magic missile as many times as he can.  When he runs out of useful spells, he will use his falchion to defend himself while trying to stay out of melee combat.

Harveken Boarhut (3.5)

Harveken Boarhut

Level 2 Sorcerer

Size/Type Medium Humanoid (orc)

Hit Dice 4d8 plus 2d4+11 (34 hp)

Initiative -1

Speed 30 ft. (base speed 40 ft.)

Armor Class 16 (-1 size, -1 Dex, +5 natural, +3 hide armor), touch 8, flat-footed 16

Base Attack/Grapple +4/+7

Attack falchion +9 melee (2d4+6) or javelin +2 ranged (1d8+4)

Full Attack falchion +9 melee (2d4+6) or javelin +2 ranged (1d8+4)

Space/Reach 10 ft./10 ft.

Special Attacks Spells

Special Qualities darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision

Saves Fort +6, Ref +0, Will +4

Abilities Str 18, Dex 8, Con 15, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 14

Skills Climb +5, Intimidate +3, Listen +2, Spot +2

Feats Combat Casting, Toughness, Weapon Focus (greatclub)

Challenge Rating 5

Alignment Neutral Evil

Languages Common, Orc

Spells

(Spells per day/Spells known)

0 - 6/5

daze, detect magic, flare, ghost sound, mage hand

1 - 5/2

hypnotism, magic missile

Harveken Boarhut (Pathfinder)

Harveken Boarhut

CR 5

Level 2 Sorcerer

XP 1,600

NE Medium Humanoid

Init -1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +5

 

DEFENSE

AC17, touch 8, flat-footed 17  (+4 armor, -1 Dex, +5 natural, -1 size)

hp 37 (4d8 plus 2d6+12)

Fort +6, Ref +0, Will +6

 

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft. (40 ft. base)

Melee falchion +7 (2d4+6)

Ranged javelin +1 (1d8+5)

Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.

Special Attacks Claws (1d4+4/5 rounds per day), Spells

 

STATISTICS

Str 18, Dex 8, Con 15,  Int 8, Wis 10,  Cha 14

Base Atk +4; CMB +8; CMD 18

Feats Eschew Materials, Iron Will, Toughness

Skills Climb +7, Intimidate +3, Perception +5

Languages Common, Orc

Bloodline Draconic (red)

Bloodline Power Claws

Spells

(Spells per day/Spells known)

0 - 6/5

daze, detect magic, flare, ghost sound, mage hand

1 - 5/2

hypnotism, magic missile

 

 

 

11a.  Harveken's Retreat

This room contains three treasure chests, each is trapped and holds treasure.

 

CHEST ONE

Rot Grub Chest

CR 4

A sturdy, iron bound chest is on the floor.

Type mechanical; Perception DC 19; Disable Device 19

EFFECTS
Trigger touch; Reset None

The lock of the chest (DC 22 Open Lock) contains a rot grub. Rot Grubs (DC 18 Reflex avoids; 1d2 Con damage per round, DC 17 Will Save negates).

Book of Striking Good Looks (cursed)

This magical book promises a permanent change to improve ones appearance to those that would take the time to read the book (52 hours within a 2 week period).  The true powers of the book are revealed upon completion.  The reader is granted the face of the person who previously read the book.  The effects are irreversible by any known means other than a wish spell.

 

CHEST TWO

Spiked Chest

The middle chest is big and iron bound.

Type mechanical; Perception DC 24; Disable Device 24

Trigger location; Reset None

EFFECT

The chest is packed with hundreds of small iron spikes and is under pressure. If it is unlatched, it explodes into a shower of spikes, iron and wood. Chest Explosion (3d6 damage; DC 18 Reflex save for half damage); multiple targets (all targets in 10′ radius)

A vial of Malyass Root Paste poison with (5) doses left.

Malyass Root Paste

Type poison (contact); Save Fortitude DC 16

Onset 1 minute; Frequency 1/minute for 6 minutes

Effect 1d2 Dex damage; Cure 1 save

 

CHEST THREE

This chest was already here when the orcs seized Mosshammer Castle.  None of the orcs have been brave enough to open the chest, but Harveken has spent some time observing the portrait on the wall, and the chest in an attempt to understand the purpose of the magic behind this trap and how to disable it.

Portrait Chest

A portrait of an old crone, magically animated to wag her finger, is on the wall behind the chest.

Type magical; Perception DC 27; Disable Device DC 27

Trigger touch; Reset 1 day

EFFECT

When the chest is touched, the old crone comes to life, spouting off a string of insults that mimics the Blistering Invective (Ultimate Combat) spell. Crone’s Insults (Intimidate +7, Reflex Save DC 14)

Inside the treasure chest is a small box containing three wands.

The first is a wand of detect secret doors with (15) charges, but is disguised as a simple wooden pipe which smells of tobacco and has burn marks along the inside of the bowl.

The second is a wand of detect magic with (20) charges, but is disguised as a plain and heavily used quill stained at the tip with blue ink.

The third is a wand of knock with (30) charges, but is disguised as a long slender skeleton key made of brass.

 

 

11b.  Harvenken's Rescue

This door has a mechanism which locks and bars the door with a single swift action once inside the room.  Harvenken keeps this room stocked with protective and healing potions and oils he has found in his travels.  As a last resort, Harvenken will retreat here if failing in combat.

Treasure

Potion of Protection from Arrows (smells of cedar wood)

Oil of Remove Fear (scent of lavender)

(2) Potion of Cure Serious Wounds (bluish-purple elixir in a tall, slender bottle)

 

 

Conclusion

When the party has managed to either kill or run off this section of the Boathut Tribe, they can report back to Irnaun Withail, who will lead a team to Mosshammer Castle to reclaim it.  Any treasure that is found is the PCs to keep, and they will always be welcome at Mosshammer if they ever need a place to make camp.

If the PCs have bargained with Onalit Chetug and have returned with the chest, he pays them a fee of 20 silver pieces each, but refuses to say what the relic is inside the case.

If the PCs have bargained with Onalit Chetug and have returned without the chest, he thanks them for doing their best, pay them 5 silver pieces apiece, and mumbles about finding "better adventurers next time."

If the PCs found the note in the chimney and return it to Carolyn, the will receive 10 silver pieces and a treasure map.

 

Leaving the Castle Unattended

If the party chooses to leave Mosshammer Castle without leaving anyone to safeguard it, there is always the chance that another group of orcs (or enemy of the GM's choice) could taken possession of the castle in their absence.  This act of poor judgement on the PC's part could jeopardize their reward and cause further hardship and discontent in the region.  A shift of power could be inevitable and the PCs may be to blame.  If both the orcs and the townsfolk are against the PCs, where will they turn?

 

 

Player Map

click to enlarge