The Clockwork Wonders of Brandlehill


An adventure compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game intended for four to five 4th-5th level PCs.


Project Coordinator and Author: Mike Myler
Custom Illustrations: Thom Delair
Page Design (PDF): Chaa Chaladpru
Cartography and Graphic Design: Neil Myler
Playtesters: Richard Carr, Stephanie Connors, Nicholas Geibel, Tim Williams
Special Thanks to Mark Johnson



Compatibility with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game requires the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game from Paizo Publishing, LLC. See for more information on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Paizo Publishing, LLC does not guarantee compatibility, and does not endorse this product.

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Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
System Reference Document. Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. Copyright 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.
The Book of Experimental Might. Copyright 2008, Monte J. Cook. All rights reserved.
Tome of Horrors. Copyright 2002, Necromancer Games, Inc.; Authors: Scott Greene, with Clark Peterson, Erica Balsley, Kevin Baase, Casey Christofferson, Lance Hawvermale, Travis Hawvermale, Patrick Lawinger, and Bill Webb; Based on original content from TSR.

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Adventure Background

Brandlehill is a village of small folk that sits a few miles off of a main trade route near the coast of the Koprik Sea. The town has a burgeoning reputation as a technological wonder due to the ingenious clockwork inventions produced by its predominantly gnome population and available nowhere else. Due to the materials involved in the construction of these mundane wonders most have a finite lifespan and are impossible to recreate. The materials provided by the exotic plant-life found only in the Zeranoth swamps are vital components to all of their designs and form the backbone of the small folk town's newfound wealth.

Mayor Bogden Cutterstein has overseen the recent boom in Brandlehill's economy and its population has experienced rapid growth, facilitated by Trademaster Orin Hardtack. Unfortunately all production and sale of the unique gadgets has come to an abrupt halt; without the taxes provided from that vital trade Brandlehill cannot possibly support itself. The reasons for the sudden disappearance of clockwork wonders is a subject of some considerable debate. Trade relations with nearby settlements are coming under more strain than the Mayor and Trademaster consider acceptable. With Brandlehill in such a precarious economic position, he has tasked local bard Terrence Threncewell to seek out a group of intrepid adventurers to provide a solution to the village's quandary.

Introducing the Adventure

One night while enjoying some well deserved leisure in the Tawdry Lady Tavern the party is treated to an extraordinary sight. Before they retire for the night read the following:

The evening is coming to an end as a handsome, plucky-bearded gnome in a bright red overcoat, inlaid with flourishing golden threadwork, carries a small box with a horn set into the top onto the stage along with an odd lute. The instrument is made of metal instead of wood with a hide strapped across the hard geometry of the circular drum at its base, but really the box is what catches the eye. He turns a small lever on the side of it in a circular motion while announcing to the crowd, "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen! I assure you that although it may seem as though the revelry of this enchanted evening will soon come to a close, it is my utmost pleasure to inform you that this need not be the case, for Terrence Threncewell, performer extraordinaire, has arrived to the stage. Please only give what you have and keep what you can."

GnomeWith a wink and a smile he sets the horned box down and performs, using his banjo to establish melody. The horned box opens up on each side and two diminutive gnome figurines, one with a trumpet and another with a set of drums, bring more musical accompaniment to Terrence's not untalented performance. Shortly after his second song begins the musical box increases in tempo. The gnome keeps pace with the miniature artificial band ending the song in a dextrous flourish before an extremely loud CLANG can be heard from inside the exotic device and a little bit of smoke trails off towards the ceiling. Read the following:

The sounds of a few silver and a shower of copper skipping onto the stage are drowned out by a string of profanities from the gnome that would make even a demon blush in shame. After a few minutes of tinkering at the behest of the remaining patrons of the establishment he throws up his hands in frustration. The bard grabs the box from the stage and leaps down towards your table, motioning to the barmaid to provide another round for everyone.

I don't mean to introduce myself in a fashion that could give you the impression that I'm the sort to judge a tome by its cover," Terrence says with a polite grin, his left hand reaching towards a small-sized mug already being brought over by the server, "but I've come to the conclusion that the remainder of our revellers this evening are commoners and farmhands. You lot however have the look of adventure about you. Perhaps we might trade tales of our daring exploits and achievements, and maybe in the future I might find time during my performances to extend your fame to the establishments so lucky as to have me grace their stage." The rest of the drinks reach your table as his smile broadens and he raises his mug asking, "what say you, travelers?"

While affable, polite, and a genuine pleasure to speak with, Terrence remains reserved, preferring to tell tales that increase in stature but rarely involve his own achievements. After talking to the party for a while and enjoying the finest drinks in the house (courtesy of Terrence) the gnome feels he's taken the measure of them and that they are capable of succeeding at the task he's been commissioned to find adventurers for. Read the following:

"Well it seems your reputation is as good as they come, friends," the affable gnome says with a genuine smile. "To be entirely honest with you, I did not come here simply to ply my trade and have a few *burp* dozen ales with fellow travelers. In fact, I'd heard of your deeds in a nearby town and that you might soon be here." His eyes narrow as they furtively search the room for prying eyes or wandering ears as he leans in and says in a voice less audible than the boisterous tone you've quickly grown accustomed to, "it so happens that I have been commissioned to find a group of intrepid adventurers like yourselves to undertake an important task on behalf of one Mayor Bogden Cutterstein. While I can't say anything more at this particular moment, if you agree to travel with me to the village of Brandlehill I have been given 100 gold to advance, and there is another 500 there should you arrive to speak with him directly."

If the party doesn't agree initially Terrence sweetens the pot by suggesting that it is very likely something far more valuable than the 500 gold pieces could be negotiated for their aid in Brandlehill; an inexhaustible clockwork item from Mayor Cutterstein's personal collection.


The Village of Brandlehill

Brandlehill Cover ArtTerrence collects the party to leave the next day, allowing them a reasonable amount of time to gather provisions for the journey to Brandlehill, a week long endeavor. While you are welcome to insert a random encounter or two, their trip is largely uninterrupted. Read the following:

The weather has been friendly, the wind at your back and most of the time Terrence's songs are catchy enough, lending some spring to your step. Coming over a hill on mid-day after several days of travel you are refreshed by the scent of salt on a fickle breeze. As your eyes rove over the landscape you catch your first sight of Brandlehill.

It is a considerably large settlement for small folk, made up of mostly small houses built from wood both into and against the hillside. Pipes of three different colors jut from every building, two from one side and another from the roof, and several statues of intricate metalwork are placed sporadically throughout streets filled with the sounds of playing children. Getting closer you make out cooking apparati wrought into the elbows of the metal cylinders before they submerge and as you are passing one of the various statues a bell chimes. Gears grind below the platform and the diminutive metal figure at its center stands up from the crouching position it was in and flips backwards before falling back towards its resting state. A fountain of metallic scales below the metallic man oscillate creating the effect of rippling waves at its feet as the bell chimes twice more and the figure somersaults to the melody underscored by the grinding of cogs and gears that drive the spectacle.

While you stop to take in this grandiose automated performance, a dwarf flanked by two swaggering warriors approaches. As obese as he is opulent, the stout fellow is literally bursting out of the ostentatious half-plate strapped across his ample bulk and has a bushy graying beard still flecked throughout with meat. Golden and platinum trinkets adorn his arms and neckline, the rings on his fingers making them seem like sausages. One of these hands rolls open gracefully as he gestures towards the gnome with you. “Ho there Terrence! I believe my man Garret here is owed a debt, is he not? Garret?” The larger of the two burly men nods menacingly and begins walking meaningfully towards the already retreating bard, who disappears down an alley way. “Well, now that we have some privacy, I believe I have something I would very much like to discuss with you. You see I'm the Trademaster of this town, Orin Hardtack. A pleasure, I'm sure.”

dwarf-1While not evil, the dwarf sways farther in that direction than towards the light and wastes no time, immediately telling the party that he wants the town of Togafor removed. Whatever Mayor Bogden has to tell them, Orin doesn't care or enumerate upon the subject, only that if the Glachra were no longer controlling the swamps he could forge a trade route through Zeranoth Swamp and establish a port on the Koprik Sea. Orin is willing to pay handsomely to see it done – a sum of 4,000 gold pieces, which he'll raise to 6,000 gold pieces should the PCss initially refuse his offer. Either way he is terse and talks about little else, leaving them to their own devices after making his offer and rebuffing any discussions about what exactly the mayor wants adventurers for. When their gnome bard guide rejoins the party, he insists that Garret was mistaken and that the debt was certainly paid in full some time ago (which is, of course, not entirely true).

Terrence reappears from behind the corner of a building, clearly relieved and no longer being followed by Orin's bodyguard. The dwarf Trademaster guffaws loudly while proclaiming, “yes friends, this statue truly is a unique product available nowhere else! It is just one of the many spectacles that await you here in Brandlehill!” With a knowing wink and a nod, he gestures towards his remaining protector and they head down the alleyway Terrence first darted into. The gnome eyes you all suspiciously for a brief moment before shaking his head and pulling out the metallic lute, plucking out a tinny tune that delights the denizens you pass while walking up the wide boulevard.

As the PCs crest Brandlehill's central mound and come to the massive oak that dominates the hill, a sizable wooden door at the tree's base opens and a cordially-dressed gnome gentleman steps out with papers in one hand and a watch in the other with a sprite identically dressed halfling woman in tow.

"Terrence!" he yells, throwing all of the remaining stationary into the air and his female companion into a fit. "You've returned! Wonderful! Bring your entourage and follow me." Without a beat he pivots one-hundred and eighty degrees, hops over his assistant, and heads back into the oak tree gesturing for you to enter as he does so. "I am Bogden Cutterstein, head elected official of Brandlehill. This," he says as the halfling woman passes through the entranceway, shutting it closed behind her after you've entered the base of the tree, "is my assistant Roselbeth. Roselbeth, please wait outside."

The mayor grins impishly as his companion turns a bright red and storms from the chamber, slamming the door with impressive strength for so slight a lady. "A little unconventional encouragement can be good for morale," Bogden explains while bowing formally, "and we require privacy. I trust Threncewell here has briefed you about your reward for coming and I assure you that while I will pay you, I would have you hear of our troubles and beseech your aid first."

The gnome takes on a tired expression and sits down on a small but plush armchair set into the bottom of the hearth and gestures for the party to sit along the steps (which suit a normal-sized human with no discomfort). Bogden extends his arm towards the wall and presses a wooden knot, causing panels arrayed on the walls to flip around and display a melange of diminutive figurines waging a mock battle in recycling scene accompanied by a simple melody of strings.

"The fact of the matter is that while the people's election of me to the office of mayor has led to great economic prosperity, it all depends on my clockwork designs. These wonders," he says, gesturing generally about the room, "are only possible because of the rare plants available in the swamps nearby. Normally this isn't a problem, but lately the indifferent grippli tribe that rules Zeranoth has become extremely aggressive and as a result we have had to halt production indefinitely." Tiny gnomish hands clench together as he stares levelly at you all and says, "should you be willing and able to persuade the Glachra tribe to allow us to continue harvesting the plants we need, I am prepared to offer you the sum of 6,000 gold and if that is not enough, I also know of a location in the swamps where you might find a cache of untouched treasures. Both are yours if you help me and my people."

Should the party have an adept diplomat or prod Terrence into negotiating, they can procure an additional 2,000 gold (1,000 for Terrence should he argue on their behalf) and one of Bogden's personal clockwork wonders. After agreeing, the mayor's hyperactive attitude returns and he gives the party the following information in too rapid a fashion for a read passage.

  • The Zeranoth swamps are 7 miles west of Brandlehill, roughly 35 miles long and 20 miles wide, buffering the town from the coast of the Koprik Sea longways.

  • The Glachra Tribe lives in a tree-top village called Togafor generally northwest of Brandlehill (he is not certain of its exact location.)

    • Although Mayor Bogden had worked out a mutually beneficial trade agreement between Brandlehill and Togafor, the tribe has always remained extremely cautious and recently became so aggressive as to kill any trespassers on sight.

  • An encampment of the Mired Infantry Mercenary company about 15 miles west-southwest was abandoned a few decades ago and as far as he knows, no adventurers who have entered the half-sunken fort have been seen again.

  • Rumors of an adept half-orc ranger known for healing the lands through which he travels place him in the region near Brandlehill as of some months ago but no person has sighted him for weeks.

  • The specific components required for Bogden's Clockwork Wonders come from a gum producable only from the rare Pobdibby tree located two miles north of the Mired Infantry's outpost.

    • Of the two dozen or so gatherers, four never returned from the swamps and the remainder refuse to venture out at all. If the PCs decide to seek them out, they explain that what they did understand of the grippli's ramblings, they believe that the halfling's meddling has cursed the swamp and that they overheard the word "Grokarr" several times.
  • If this task is not completed and the Pobdibby gum supply is not renewed within two weeks' time, Bogden fears Brandlehill will become a ghost town.

  • The piping in the town supplies water, heat, and easy waste disposal throughout Brandlehill.

After enumerating these points ask for a DC 22 Perception check. Should everyone fail the check Bogden offers refreshments and asks about the deeds of the party. After allowing a player to extoll their deeds for a moment or two the reverie is interrupted when a chime is heard. The mayor picks up a message scroll out of a tube opening beside his seat before dashing for the door yelling, “We're under attack!”

Act the Part

This is an adventure about small folk, small rivalries, frogs, frog people and even an advanced giant fey half-fiend–yes, frog. Play up the comic relief of this story and don't skimp out on the grotesque moments.

  • Include an extra scene where Roselbeth gets to embarass Mayor Bogden for once.

  • Use exagerrated facial expressions, bulge your eyes and relish the part.

  • Procure a looping background track of chirping crickets for when the party is in the swamp.

  • Don't interject every grippli sentence with a ribbit but remember that a well timed croak can make the moment.



Glachra Raiders!

aaw-website boggard_warrior__forrest_imelThere are two likely ways for this scenario to play out.
A DC 15 Knowledge (history) or Profession (soldier) check reveals that it's likely a flanking maneuver but could just be a hit and run. A check result of 20 or higher gives the definite sense that this is the first part of a converging force, and that the most efficient way to meet them would be to take out the almost certainly approaching sortie from the west and then outflank the raiders still moving through Brandlehill with the town guards sure to be chasing them.

If any party member makes a DC 18 Perception check they realize that the initial raiders are coming sideways across the hill, heading westward. A Perception check result of 24 or higher detects movement from the west coming east, giving them the knowledge that a flanking force is heading in. Should they cut them off, they could be routed before closing in on the remainder of the grippli rampaging through town.

In the event that the party succeeds on these tests, their engagement counts as two Challenge Rating 3 encounters. The village is crowded with buildings (none of which are taller than 20 feet, most being 30 feet across and 40 feet in length) with 5 foot wide alleyways and broad streets ten and fifteen feet across. There is a ladder set against a building on the western side of the map and climbing onto any of the homes (which requires a DC 16 Climb check to accomplish without the ladder) with a steep roof requires an DC 14 Acrobatics check to maintain balance while moving along the tiles. The clotheslines can be used by characters to travel from roof to roof with a successful DC 10 Dexterity check and any creature that travels through or is bull rushed into a square occupied by the pipes adjoining the houses takes 1d6 fire damage from the hot cooking implements.

Read the following before beginning the battle with 30 grippli raiders (only 10 of which engage the party at a time):

Your hunch was good. After a brief jog you come over a rise and see another raiding party attempting to hide in the trench of a valley on the western side of Brandlehill. An exhilirating surge fills your limbs as you make the easy sprint down the hillside to cut them off. So intent are the malevolently eyed, mad-hopping grippli on their objective that they are caught totally unawares as you crash into them from the side and battle is upon you!

Brandlehill MapAfter 3d6+3 rounds of combat, more grippli join the melee from the east (10 of which engage the party.) Read the following:

The few grippli that remain croak loudly as their allies from atop the hill to the west come hopping into sight. A furious reply bellows from their mouths as they brandish their weapons menacingly and jump into the fray!

Optional Rule: Fleghemoth's Arrows

The true evil of the Zeranoth swamps has used its own mixed blood to create an extremely potent (and profane) poison that prevents any magical healing from an attack with a weapon coated by the substance. For every grippli arrow that deals damage to a PCs, roll 1d20. On result of 1 the weapon was coated with the poison and the damage dealt by the arrow can only be healed naturally. Their placement among the quivers of the raiders is random, however, and recovering any is virtually impossible.
Note: This is an extremely dangerous story element to introduce to the combat and you should be careful in how you utilize it if you choose to include it in the adventure. While four or five of these can really ramp up the drama of the rather one-sided situation, too many may prove to be more effective than required.

Should the PCs fail to realize the grippli's plan of attack, they are likely to head to the initial source of consternation, changing direction a few times as they follow the cries of more victims of the assault. Ultimately this last option leaves them flanked on either side by the grippli raiders in the south-central portion of Brandlehill, first engaging the 15 grippli that remain of those who began the attack (this scenario counts as a Challenge Rating 4 Encounter). Read the following:

Swords are drawn as the group rushes eastward towards the sounds of mayhem, following the shrill echoes of small folk screaming and cutting towards the southern district of Brandlehill. A dozen of the town guard join you as you rush into the central thoroughfare between the many houses. Grippli rush toward you from the east, their eyes filled with an unmistakable hatred and baleful malevolence.

After 1d4+3 rounds of combat, another 15 grippli join the melee from the west.

Read the following:

We're being flaaanke—aurghrrrggghle!” screams a town guard as a grippli arrow catches him in his diminutive shoulder. You are shocked to see another full raiding party of grippli hopping into sight from the west, the same gleam of madness in their bulbous eyes. They croak furiously in their strange language as they jump to the attack!

For the Glachra Raider's statistics, use the “Grippli” entry in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary with the following difference: they use shortbows instead of darts [ranged shortbow +5 (1d4, Range 60ft, Crit x3)] and carry 20 arrows each. They lack sound tactics, swarming the party with little direction or reason of any kind. Unlike regular grippli, they also have a unique description:

A red tinge swims along the edges of the frog-like humanoid's bulbous eyes and their movements seem jerky and agitated as they rush towards you. Crude bows fashioned from the black timber of the swamps and arrows covered by sticky virulent sap are the weapons they carry, firing them with surprising accuracy given their exaggerated movements. Strange croaks emit from their mouths as they charge forward in mad leaps and bounds across streets and rooftops alike, seemingly heedless of danger or concern for their own well-being. Their green and tan skins are covered in a moist sheen and the mottled patches of color patterned randomly across their bodies is ringed by the same red tinge that afflicts their eyes.

While both raiding parties are made up of thirty grippli, only 10 from each group engage the PCs in combat. Unless the party is flanked by both sorties, the town guard are busy skirmishing with the remainder. If flanked, consider forty or so grippli to be fully occupied with Brandlehill's protectors and allow 15 to engage the players in combat. Once their numbers have dwindled to seven or less (in total) the grippli flee to the swamps where they can quickly climb into the trees and hide with their phenomenal Stealth checks.

After the raiders have been driven off Bogden orders the guard be doubled and to step up patrols, dispatching his men (and women) to tend to the wounded. Fortunately no children were among the casualties but six of the town watch and three citizens are in critical condition. A strange black sap on some of the arrows used by the Glachra prevents the use of all but the most powerful healing magics, leaving the attack to cast an even darker pall over Brandlehill.




Ralka the Ranger

Bald_Cypress_swamp_and_Spanish_MossWhether the party gives chase immediately or not the grippli are gone. The malevelont hopping swamp dwellers move quickly and once they hit the wood or swamp line disperse and disappear. After they spend some time searching the area read the following:

The Zeranoth swamps are not an inviting place. The tracks of the raiders have quickly been covered up by the inky black waters and innumerable smaller reptiles that live there. It isn't a pleasant environment to begin with and the unmistakable sensation that you are being watched has gnawed at you like the countless insects that float through the bog in clouds. After a fruitless search you're beginning to feel that maybe after a night in the tavern a renewed investigation could yield results. As you turn back towards Brandlehill a small arrow with a note attached strikes a tree limb a few feet away. Whoever fired it remains concealed but it is not followed by any more missiles. It reads:

Ralka is not bad. Swamp is poison. Ralka needs help. Ralka is friend. If you are friend say so. Ralka can help.

What the party does with this note is up to them, but should they yell out to Ralka they may make a DC 10 Diplomacy check (+4 bonus if the character is a grippli.) If they fail and leave the swamps, movement in the trees gives them a DC 14 Perception check (Ralka wants to be seen and find out of they open fire on him) and another opportunity for a DC 10 Diplomacy check to engage the grippli ranger in conversation.

You Ralka, I Ralka, We all Ralka

If the PCs fail to make peaceful contact with the ranger or choose to ignore him entirely, the only way to locate Togafor village is with divination magic or superior tracking skills; three Survival checks DC 20, DC 23 and DC 26) that can be reduced by -3 each with accompanying successful DC 20 Knowledge (geography) checks are sufficient to locate Togafor. The PCs may take 20 on these Survival checks. When they reach the village unannounced their welcome is even less polite than the one below and a DC 23 Diplomacy check is the only way to approach directly and avoid a conflict. If the party finds Togafor before Ralka, see the Alternative Solutions sidebar.

Once the party has succeeded in gaining Ralka's trust he leaps from the treetops above, banking off of another's trunk and landing in front of the party. Fortunately he is a more eloquent speaker of Common than writer and has a Friendly disposition to the party. His thorough knowledge of the swamp, plant life, his clan, and Togafor are at the party's disposal. While happy to provide whatever knowledge the PCs requests, he is most interested in discussing the following:

  • Recently his tribe has adopted odd behavior that he cannot account for, becoming overly aggressive and sometimes even killing for sport.
  • The tribal chieftain, an old grippli druid named Threnta, has been sick for some time and he fears that soon the elder will perish. None of the healing magics at their disposal have cured him.
  • Grokarr, Threnta's apprentice, has been making decisions prematurely with authority only granted to their tribal leader.
    • Grokarr ordered the raid on Brandlehill, claiming that the sickness infesting the Zeranoth Swamps is caused by the gnome town's harvesting of the Pobdibby tree.
    • Ralka is in a unique position to observe the gnome gatherers from his home in the far southern region of the swamps. He harbors doubts about Grokarr's claims.
  • The half-orc ranger, should they ask about him, was seen by Ralka entering the abandoned Mired Infantry outpost but the legends surrounding the sunken fortifications kept him from searching.
    • If they don't ask about him, Ralka mentions that the only other foreigner to have set foot into the swamps was a half-orc woodsman that disappeared in the cursed fort to the south.

The party has a decision before theminvestigate the last known whereabouts of the half-orc ranger and the abandoned mercenary outpost or be guided by Ralka to the treetop village of Togafor.

Ralka's Treehouse

Before and perhaps after entering the abandoned Fort of the Mired Infantry outpost, the grippli ranger offers the party rest in his sanctuary in the grove by the Pobdibby tree. When they reach Ralka's home away from Togafor, read the following:

The grippli ranger's home sits in a grove a few miles north of the Mired Infantry outpost. The Pobdibby tree dominates the crest, crowded in on all sides by huge weeping willows. It is forty feet tall and a man's armspan in width, fed by a stabbing ray of sunlight that cuts through the foliage far above. Broad purple and red leaves with deep colors and swirling patterns sag heavily on the bent boughs, hundreds of small bulbous pouches of dark purple hanging off the smallest of the branches. A gust of wind blows through and one of the strange ornaments falls to the ground, splashing a thick vermillion liquid rife with seeds across the tufts of long green grass.

Ralka's treehouse abode is a modest one but offers enough room for everyone to rest comfortably. The hut is well hidden from the nocturnal predators that stalk the swamps, built into a patch of mingling boughs and trunks suspended forty feet above the hilly grove. There is even a contraption of leaves, sticks, and pobdibby gum that catches rainfall to keep a batch of fresh water similar to the one that sustains Togafor. Before hopping into a hammock just under the vaulted ceiling of thatch he peeks his head over the cloth saying, “Don't worry, nobody ever looks all the way up here and I've never been bothered while resting. I suppose I spend more time here than Togafor! So sleep easy, friends.”

The Treetop Village of Togafor

Togafor Village MapTraveling to the suspended town takes several hours and requires an overnight stay in the swamp (roll on the appropriate random encounters table located in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary.) The next morning read the following:

After the harrowing disruption last night breaking camp is a welcome relief. The sense that you are being watched has renewed but Ralka seems to be largely unconcerned. After several more hours trudging through the vermin-infested swamplands the small grippli raises one arm as he slowly comes to a halt.

At this point the party may make a DC 25 Perception check to notice grippli warriors in the trees above, some with weapons readied. After traveling for another half hour through the muggy swamp they reach the perimeter of Togafor. Read the following:

Ralka croaks something loudly while gesturing towards you with his upraised arm. After a few minutes of silence that feel like hours, a response in the same strange language comes from above as ten grippli warriors leap from the trees and surround the party. Their eyes and skin have the same red tinge as the raiders and their movements are just as exaggerated. Ralka raises one eye suspiciously high as he looks back at you, a clear and stark contrast from his affected counterparts. With a nod and a prod, he begins walking again and you follow suit. After another few minutes you come to a grove of willow trees in the bog and interspersped between them a few stories in the air are bridges connecting tree to tree. One of the larger willow trunks has steps jutting out from its base and middle as it deciduates through some magical craft into a platform of perhaps twenty feet in diameter. Grippli elders and children, all bearing the same signs of sickness as the raiders, shamble to and fro on the bridges interconnecting their houses, glaring towards you indignantly. While created for small folk, the walkways are sturdy enough as you and your allies step onto the worn wood surfaces. The bridges sway slightly but hold.

Ralka brings the party first, under an escort of a dozen grippli warriors, to the hut of his family. Inside is an aging grandmother, two children and the ranger's middle-aged parents; all show the same signs of sickness as the rest of the village, save the old crone. They are curt, speaking plainly (in the case of the grandmother, not at all) and insist that their son is misguided. Truly Grokarr, with all the knowledge imparted to him by the venerable Threnta, is in the right and the interference of Brandlehill has cursed the swamp. The children playfully insult the PCss whether they are prompted to or not.

Granny Grippli

With a DC 23 Diplomacy check the old grippli agrees to answer questions she is asked, but only with nods of “yes” and “no” (should the PCs have access to detect thoughts or a similar means of telepathy, this scenario can be shortened exponentially).

  • Her tongue was lost in a terrible accident years ago (an opportunity to let your imagination run wild) and her old, grippli fingers are arthritic, making writing a difficult prospect even if she were literate.
  • Granny's always collected her own water since childhood and believes Grokarr is doing something foul to influence Togafor, and doing it through the water.
    • She has seen the apprentice's animal companion, thought long gone. It has become a twisted parody of what it once was, a reflection of the corruption in its master's soul.
    • Whatever the apprentice is doing it affects the minds of the townfolk in a malicious fashion.
  • The trouble began about two months ago and has continued to deteriorate. The only other grippli she knows that are not nearly-mad from the curse is her grandson, Ralka, and the chieftain, Threnta, although she suspects he too is beginning to succumb.

After navigating the suspensions of the swamp village you are led to a grand stage atop and against a massive set of boulders at rest in the bog. An ancient grippli druid sits tucked against the back wall of the area in a throne made from the skull of some long-dead swamp beast. His eyes are ringed by the same malevolence and his grayed skin has numerous scabs and wounds of unknown origin. A younger shaman whispers something into his ear as you approach and you realize this must be the Grokarr that Ralka spoke of. While the same red tinge appears in his bulbous countenance and in the patterns of his body, he does not seem to share the feverish symptoms that afflict his kin. Above and beside the throne of bone are large, broad forest leaves gathered together with sticks and gums to create a sluice that feeds into a water tower set inside a depression between boulders. While simply constructed, it is an ingenious way to catch freshwater and a renewed respect for these denizens of the swamp comes to mind as the tribal chief gestures towards you to speak.

At this point the party is welcome to attempt Diplomacy however they like but there is no chance for success against Grokarr's influence while lacking hard evidence of the apprentice's trickery. All of their attempts to negotiate a peace or end hostilities are rebuffed by Grokarr who claims that it is only more gnomish trickery to weaken the Glachra tribe, accusing the party of being meddling foreigners with evil intentions. A detect magic spell reveals that the entire village is under some sort of insidious enchantment magic, including the water tower (4 rounds of observation reveal the corrupted leaves for what they are.) Any attempt to dispel or remove the enchantment is interrupted by Grokarr, who employs Thleggy if absolutely necessary to prevent disruption of the enchantment he has cast over the town, claiming that the spell was another outlander trick and that now even his precious companion has been cursed by their perplexing hexes. If asked about the strange sap that prevents the wounded in Brandlehill from receiving magical healing, Grokarr claims it is a substance new to the Glachra, derived from the very same tree the gnomes have befouled (this is, of course, a lie.)

No matter the outcome of that interaction Grokarr rallies the clan into a frenzy, ready to attack the party. Threnta ultimately sends them away upon pain of death after reproving his apprentice and re-establishing his authority over the Glachra. Any character larger than small-sized taking more than half movement across the suspension bridges requires a DC 12 Acrobatics check to avoid falling off the side and falling twenty feet into the bog, which counts as difficult terrain.
As the party leaves (or flees) Togafor, Ralka joins them and swears to save his village. If the party discusses the enchantment and water tower, Ralka supports the theory (as he rarely drinks from the town's water anyway given he has a home outside of Togafor) and argues on behalf of any nonviolent solutions.

Alternative Solutions

If your players have figured out the leaf-fed fresh water tower is the source of the curse afflicting the Glachra, they may decide to deal with it using less traditional methods.

Sneaking into Togafor to replace the corrupting leaves and cleanse the water wouldn't be easy but it's possible. The village is on a war footing and at any given time there are a dozen guards patrolling the area around Togafor in a half mile radius. Each leaves a distinct mark along the bark of specific trees along the route and a PC stalking one may notice the individualized symbols with a Perception check (DC 25; DC 15 with darkvision, DC 20 with low-light vision). Should any guard notice the appropriate marking is not there the entire village goes on alert. Inside of the town itself four grippli patrol the area in a clockwise route. Removing the correct leaves requires three separate DC 17 Stealth checks. Throughout the entire affair Grokarr stirs restlessly, always troubled by insomnia and receives two opposed Perception checks to notice the PCs tampering with his carefully laid plans.

Destroying the water tower itself and routing the village is also an option, but certainly not a good-aligned one, and it pits the PCss against a staggering force of Glachra warriors, along with Grokarr, Thleggy and Threnta. As mentioned above the guards are constantly on patrol and alert the town immediately upon encountering hostile forces. Their leaders gather two groups of twenty warriors each and flank the party while they are still engaged with an initial force of fifteen grippli.




Fort of the Mired Infantry Mercenary Company

Fort of the Mired Infantry MapTravel to the abandoned encampment takes more than a day but the PCss are not harried or attacked during their passage. Once the party reaches the southern portion of the Zeranoth swamps read the following:

Sunken grey stone fortifications come into view through the gnarled upraised roots of the swamp and the truth of its abandonement is immediately evident. Only the northwest of the four towers remains where it was originally constructed, peaking just above the treeline, whereas its counterpart across the simple square structure is almost entirely submerged. Only one entrance remains above the bog and it is a foreboding one. The skeletons of small humanoids are scattered about the dark opening, completely devoid of any decomposing flesh. The swamplife itself avoids the area and the backdrop of buzzing insects dissipates as you near the tunnel entrance that leads into the Fort of the Mired Infantry Mercenary Company.

The party may make a DC 14 Knowledge (nature) check to identify the skeletons near the 10 foot wide entrance as goblins. A result of 22 or above indicates that the skeletons are not at the correct stage of decomposition, meaning that whatever removed the flesh from their bones was not entirely natural. The first 45 feet inside of the structure is submerged under viscous uninviting 'water' (and counts as difficult terrain, requiring a DC 17 Acrobatics check for any character taking more than half their movement to avoid tripping) or crumbling apart, forcing the party to take the only hallway available (which splits after 65 feet).

After walking 30 feet inside they are attacked by an Advanced Ochre Jelly (it has a -3 Stealth penalty but makes the check with a +10 bonus if submerged.) Its statistics and description can be found in the NPC Index.


MIMC_Abandoned_Fort_GMguide_v2 copyWhile most of the passages are safe to travel through a number of traps left by the mercenaries are still active; inside of the Armory room there is a green slime hazard (which if your party is having trouble with can quickly be removed via the Head Magician's doorway's fireball trap) and the Quartermaster's doorway has an electricity arc trap. The last unsubmerged room was for storage of durable goods and is where the party finds the ranger's skeleton (after disarming or being attacked by a Wall Scythe Trap recently placed just outside of the room). Descriptions for each room are below.

Armory (Southwest room, 23 feet x 14 feet)

As you make your way down the tunnel, the first doorway leads up some steps over the rotten wooden remains of a door frame. In the far corner water seeps from the rocks below, rusted swords scattered within. Ages old stands of long-defunct armor occupy the only dry corner, covered by countless layers of dust. A small necklace dangles from one of them, glittering silver catching your eye.

Quartermaster's Lodgings (Southeast room, 20 feet x 15 feet)

This room is a sparse one with only a spartan bed, emptied dresser, and thrown-over desk in the corner. The rotten wood of the old bureau reveals a previously hidden compartment in the back containing a pouch of one hundred gold pieces and a leather bound sheaf of documents detailing the Mired Infantry's doings.

Captain's Room (West room, 20 feet x 14 feet)

These must have been the captain's quarters as he's still here, or what's left of him is. A skull lolls on the side of the bed, its skeleton wearing ornate masterworked full plate. Rusted swords are hung on the walls but it seems that whatever treasures he last had were spent on the dozens of emptied liquor bottles scattered across the floor.

Head Magician's Quarters (East room, 15 feet x 10 feet)

Numerous flasks and vials filled with minerals and liquids of dubious concotion line the far wall of this room, sharing the space with a deflated feather down bed, a large wooden trunk at its base. Inside of the unlocked chest are numerous withered robes, and tucked beneath them is a small brass ring, conspicuously bereft of any decay (it is a ring of sustenance.)

Once they finally reach the end of the easily-accessible areas of the fort the party finds Phot Fangjaw's remains in the northeastern chamber (15 feet x 17 feet); the northwestern chamber is submerged and blocked by rubble.

The skeleton of an extremely large humanoid with diminutive tusks jutting from the jaws is propped against the wall in the corner of this dry, small storage area. An opened pack lays beside the perfectly cleaned corpse but unlike the diminutive deceased outside, this man's left femur is infused with an unnatural purple rot. A crystalline spear peeks out of a scabbard on his back and a masterworked shortsword from the sheathe on his right side. The leather cover of a book inside the dead half-orc's backpack catches your eye.

The corpse is the half-orc ranger the party heard of earlier, a woodsman named Phot. The journal explains his travels across the Koprik Sea in search of the spawn of a demon he knew as Grualroth, a particularly wicked outsider who has created many spawn throughout the realms using ancient magics to further empower his “children.” The strange weapon on his back was sought out and purchased for use against these evil offspring and is known as a mirrored spear (it has 10 charges remaining on it, making its magical enhancement +1.) The children of Grualroth are as varied in type as they are numerous, spreading their disease and evils through nature, attempting to affect the largest areas possible.

The journal also speaks of a demonic rot that Phot acquired in his last bout with Grualroth and the ignored advice of his companions to seek out healing magics to cure the supernatural disease before continuing his quest. After locating this spawn (a wicked toad of mixed heritage) in a cave to the north near the swamp's edge, he came here to recuperate before felling the beast.
After disturbing the half-orc's remains and looting his belongings, the ghost of Phot is disturbed. It begins screaming in torment and approaches the party from the submerged tunnel leading farther into the fort. Read the following:

A strange howl from down the hallway reaches your ears, growing in volume as it does in anguish. Emerging from the far pool of murky water leading farther into the fort is a ghost of impressive size, a half-orc with skin half-eaten away, that moans in torment. The spirit's wail is a chilling dirge that haunts your very soul as it floats towards you, ethereal arms outspread. It is the sound of a lunatic consumed by deranged madness.

There is no exit from the outpost that will allow the party to avoid the dead ranger's spirit and when a PCs is within 30 feet of Phot's ghost they must succeed at a DC 18 Will save or be panicked for 2d4 rounds. Phot's statistics are located in the NPC Index.

Phot's Journal

The half-orc ranger's journal is an opportunity to create or connect disparate plot points in your campaign. Maybe you aren't sure how to introduce the next element of your story or what sort of environment your players are keen to roleplay in. This is your chance to find out. Here are some of the suggested plot points that game masters can use, expanding on background stories already present within this module.

  • While procuring the sword to combat this demon's spawn, Phot heard rumors of its origins and discovered that there are others similar to it throughout the realm, with strange and wondrous powers all the same. No person knows for certain, but theories abound of what these weapons might do when brought together.
  • Grualroth is still wrecking havoc across the land, leaving demonic spawn to bring further ruin to wherever he travels. After defeating this monster, Phot was to head to the northeast into the Baranthar mountains where one of the demon's manifestation sites was said to be hidden in the third highest peak.

Return to the village with the evidence or confront the spawn in Harhoa cave, a place the grippli ranger can direct them towards. The decision is up to the party, but whatever they do (warn Togafor or head to the spawn's nest), Ralka heads off to perform the other task.
Should they return to the village it is a harrying battle but after felling a half dozen of Togafor's warriors (use the Glachra Raiders in the NPC Index) Threnta calls for a peace and hears their plea. Once the party has succeeded on a DC 22 Diplomacy check (keep throwing squads of eight raiders at the party until they succeed on this check) the old chieftain casts detect magic and the battle ends when he realizes that the party speaks the truth about his wayward apprentice. Several strategically placed and magically enchanted leaves that catch rainwater are feeding the corruption into Togafor's water tower and 3d6 minutes after their removal (there are some inside the bottom of the container as well) the treetop town's water loses its evil qualities. Grokarr has been aloof as of late, and was last seen leaving Togafor several hours ago–heading north.

Green Slime

Hazard CR 4 – This slime hangs over half the ceiling of the armory, dripping onto any unsuspecting explorer and dealing 1d6 points of Constitution damage per round while it devours flesh. On round one of contact, it can be scraped off (destroying the scraping device) but after that it must be frozen, burned, or cut away (dealing damage to the victim as well). Anything that deals cold or fire damage, sunlight, or a remove disease spell destroys a patch of green slime. Against wood or metal, it deals 2d6 points of damage per round, ignoring metal's hardness but not that of wood. It does not harm stone. A DC 18 Perception check informs party members that the green slime coats the ceiling there, but any PCs that collects the (50 gold piece value) necklace steps into a pile of the dropping hazardous material that coats the floor immediately in front of the forgotten armaments.

Electricity Arc Trap     CR 4
Type mechanical; Perception DC 25; Disable Device DC 20
Trigger touch; Reset none
Effect electricity arc (4d6 electricity damage, DC 20 Reflex save for half damage); multiple targets (all targets in a 30ft line)

Fireball Trap     CR 5
Type magic; Perception DC 28; Disable Device DC 28
Trigger proximity (alarm); Reset none
Effect spell effect (fireball, 6d6 fire damage, DC 14 Reflex save for half); multiple targets (all targets in a 20ft radius burst).

Wall Scythe Trap     CR 4
Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 20
Trigger location; Reset automatic reset
Effect Attack +20 melee (scythe, 2d4+6/x4)




Harhoa Cave

After a day's travel north the mountains come into view and the swamp runs right up to the beginning of its majestic slopes. A new and odd odor appears as the party nears the cave. Read the following:

A pervasive and odd smell of decay joins the complex bouquet of scents that blankets the swamps as the cave first comes into view. The thicket of leaves and vines above you blocks out any sunlight and once again you get the feeling that something is not right as the backround buzzing of vermin becomes less prevalent. A popping bubble from the bog catches your attention as you approach the ten foot wide entrance and once again the sensation that you are being watched makes the hairs on your arms and legs stand on end.

Dire FrogThe corrupted apprentice Grokarr is inside with Fleghemoth but left his animal companion Thleggy to guard the entrance, using foul ritual magics to further enhance the beast. The fiendish giant toad attacks anyone entering the cave, prefering to swallow whole any small intruders first. After losing 3/4 of his hit points Thleggy flees to the southeast. Once the animal companion has been defeated, read the following:

The flayed skins of gnomes, halflings, goblins, grippli, and even a few humans are pinned randomly against the rock walls with pitons. As you continue on the remains get fresher and less offensive to the nose but are soon complemented by strange symbols. They hurt the eyes to gaze upon, drawn seemingly without any discernible pattern and in the blood of numerous species.

The grisly display requires a DC 14 Fortitude save or the character is sickened for 1 round. After entering 40 feet into the tunnel the party encounters an insanity mist trap before beginning a 130 foot ascent. At the top of the steep hill there is a troll wig (flaming net) trap immediately followed by a lesser rolling boulder trap before a gradual descent of 200 feet into Fleghemoth's chamber (which is 110 feet wide and 85 feet long).
Once they've reached the bottom read the following:

The sounds of liquid popping and bubbling echo from the massive chamber at the bottom of the tunnel, and once you near the entrance the reflection of unnatural lights casts a baleful red and orange glow onto the walls. A large foul amphibious creature sits in a pit of skulls and bones in various states of decay, emanating a scent of rot and refuse that rivals the most populous city sewer systems.
Giant frogs have razor-sharp teeth lining their mouths and are 6 feet long, weighing perhaps 200 pounds. Every adventurer has heard of them. Fleghemoth the Longuetongue is 9 feet long and weighs 465 pounds. Its massive maw is filled with row upon row of jagged black teeth that seem to move independently of the mouth, and its skin is a cracking chitinous carapace, nearly the same color and texture as the grotesque tongue that lolls out of either side, but lacks the blood red quality granted from constant serration. Strange markings pulse with an ethereal light all along the massive amphibian, but as you focus on them a malevolent strain overcomes your senses and you are forced to avert your gaze, looking instead upon its face. A fierce intelligence can be seen in the massive eyes which follow your movement between wet slapping blinks that punctuate the moment; you know without a doubt that this thing is as unnatural as it is unsettling.

Fleghemoth briefly engages the party in discussion and attempts to get them to work on his behalf, promising dark secrets and forbidden powers should they agree. If they do, he asks that they drink some enchanted water from one of the pools in his chamber. A Sense Motive check against Fleghemoth's Bluff check reveals this as a ruse but any character that drinks from the water must succeed on a DC 14 Will save or be under the effects of a suggestion spell, the wording of which is up to the game master.

Harhoa Cave MapThere are 6 pools of murky liquid that run along the inside border of the cave, leaving a 30 foot wide unobstructed path between the entrance to the chamber and Fleghemoth's pit of bones, and movement through the water (which counts as difficult terrain) requires a DC 11 Acrobatics check to avoid tripping on the rocky floor of the shallow basins.

If the party see through his deceit or refuses to speak with the Longuetongue, combat ensues. Grokarr is hiding in one of the pools using wild shape and reverts to his original form (similar to the Glachra Raiders but festooned with tiny skulls) while attacking the party, providing Fleghemoth with magical support and healing. Both of their statistics can be found in the NPC index. When calculating experience points, count both of these non-PCss separately with individual Challenge Ratings as they are fighting in a place of their choosing and are tactically sound. They also fight to the last, eschewing any opportunities to beg for mercy.
After combat has ended the party finds two random minor magical wondrous items, two 3rd-level divine scrolls (determined randomly), and 1,000 gp in gems and jewelry among the bones and corpses of Fleghemoth's bedding.

Bramble HillWhether the party went back to Togafor before fighting Fleghemoth or not, when they return they are met by applauding grippli. Ralka and Threnta greet them in the central area and invite them to enjoy a feast prepared in their honor (the party may not want to do so – the vast majority of dishes are vermin.) They also reward the party with a +1 shortbow (small sized), a pair of boots of friendly terrain (Swamp), and a 20 pound bag of Pobdibby gum, telling the party that Brandlehill is welcome to take what they wish from the Zeranoth swamps so long as they continue to respect nature when doing so.

Insanity Mist Trap     CR 5
Type mechanical; Perception DC 15; Disable Device DC 15
Trigger location; Reset repair
Effect poison gas (insanity mist), never miss, multiple targets (persists for 1 round); Onset delay (1 round)

Troll Wig Trap     CR 3
Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 18
Trigger location; Reset manual
Effect Attack +20 ranged (net, fire damage 1d6); Onset immediate; single target. Reflex DC 17 to put out fire after ending entangled effect. Can be immediately doused via magical means. Statistics for the troll wig are listed in the Index.

Lesser Rolling Boulder Trap     CR 3
Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 20
Trigger location (5 round delay); Reset automatic
Effect rolling boulders (4d6 bludgeoning damage; DC 22 Reflex save for half); multiple targets (all targets on the second half of the tunnel)




Brandlehill's Rewards

Upon returning to Brandlehill the guard is still doubling its efforts. Upon hearing that the party has returned, Roselbeth immediately comes out to meet them and leads the PCs to the central tree. Once the party reveals that their success, Mayor Bogden tells his halfling assistant to announce publicly that the troubles of Brandlehill have been solved, cutting her off soon after she begins, only to announce it himself (much to her consternation). A huge feast is held in the party's honor and fortunately the cuisine is far more palatable than what the Glachra had to offer.

Before the night is out Trademaster Orin Hardtack approaches the party for the second and final time, accompanied by a retinue of 8 thugs (Warriors 2). Should Togafor be destroyed or the Glachra Tribe driven from the swamps he discreetly hands the party 3,000 gold and if pressed, publicly denies that any such trade was meant to occur. (If the PCs demand the full amount, he threatens to make a scene and botch the party's reputation in the town.) If the grippli tribe was dealt with peacefully, he tells them they were fools for passing up such a bargain and that Brandlehill will never be anything more than a tourist attraction, thanks to them.

The next day a hungover Mayor Bogden arrives with the party's gold and three clockwork wonders, of which the party may choose one. Each is a mundane item and operates normally inside of an anti-magic field (even the Phonomono), but cannot be reconstructed without an abundance of Pobdibby gum and design plans, which are always well-hidden in a pack underneath Bogden's undershirt. A sufficiently intelligent character with the Craft (construct) skill can deconstruct any of these devices and make designs from the effort, which takes no less than a week's time. Afterward they can craft the device (DC 25) so long as they have at least 5 pounds of Pobdibby gum, but after two months the material dries and the item ceases to function.

Price 4,000 gp; Type exotic
This strange device resembles a crossbow loaded with a fat, blunt-ended harpoon. Two hands are required for it to function properly and large sized characters cannot manipulate the device. It fires a piton and tanglefoot bag attached to a sixty foot silk rope, to be used by falling characters to stop their descent. It must be manually reset (three full rounds that include the use of 6 pitons and a tanglefoot bag) and cannot support more than 300 pounds. Firing it requires an attack roll and to arrest a fall the AC is 10 + the attacker's armor check penalty (further modified as the GM sees fit). When used as a weapon it deals 1d8+2 blunt damage plus the grab ability. It has a hardness of 6, 14 hit points and a range increment of fifty feet. The rope retracts manually by means of a crank in its side, requiring a Strength check to ascend (DC 10 for a character with a light load, DC 13 for a medium load and 16 for a heavy load).

Price 3,500 gp; Type exotic
Vaguely shaped like a repeating crossbow, the slot for the bolts is hidden by polished oak with a latched opening and three holes on its unfriendly end. Reloading this exotic weapon is a swift action thanks to the specialized ammunition cases, which require a Craft (weapons) DC 24 check to replicate. When firing (always a full-round action that requires both hands) the attacker suffers a -3 penalty to armor class but makes an additional two attacks that round, suffering a -2 to all of their attacks until the beginning of their next turn. This item does not function with Rapid Shot or any other feats that grant additional attacks. Each time the weapon is fired it consumes one cartridge of ammunition. Bogden's Tripleshot Crossbow is a tiny mundane object with a hardness of 5 and 12 hit points, but otherwise functions like a heavy crossbow made for a small-sized character.

The mayor supplies ten ammunition cartridges. Each costs 20 gold in materials to produce.

Price 6,000 gp; Weight 4 lbs.
Once per day this simple wooden box can be activated to provide the benefits of a bardic performance to allied characters within 30 feet for 6 continuous rounds to inspire courage or inspire competence as though performed by a 3rd level bard. The music box plays a ballad by Terrence Threncewell, expounding the deeds of an adventuring party on behalf of the town of Brandlehill. It is a mundane diminutive object with a hardness of 4 and 10 hit points that requires 2 full rounds of winding (an action requiring two hands) per round of bardic performance to be restored.




What Now?

The party has finished the primary quest, saved Brandlehill and now count a unique clockwork device among their arsenal of adventuring gear. If the PCs are unsure of what they'd like to do next, consider the following options for where the story can go.

  • The Murky Pool in the Fort of the Mired Infantry – With Fleghemoth dead the party is able to explore this sunken room. Were the remains of the mercenaries the cache of treasure Bogden spoke of?

How much of the structure is accessible and how hard it is to get inside are up to you, but should require a DC 16 Knowledge (dungeoneering) or Knowledge (engineering) check and several DC 15 Strength checks to excavate and get inside.

  • Nobody likes getting stiffed and even if the PCs rebuffed Orin Hardtack's offer there may be some enmity between them. While the party remains in town he keeps all 8 of his bodyguards with him at all times and will flee the village if sufficiently harrassed or intimidated.





mirrored spearCyrekksi's Mirrored Spear

Aura moderate illusion; CL 8th
Slot none; Price 22,230 gp; Weight 4 lbs.

This +2 spear looks as though it is made of quartz or another hyaline substance, reflecting light at an indeterminable number of angles. Once per day when the wielder rolls a natural 1 on an attack roll with the spear a piece of the reflective surface cracks off. Upon striking the ground the shard creates 1d4+2 duplicates of the wielder as per the mirror image spell that do not dissipate for eight minutes or until they are struck. The spear activates this ability automatically and has 26 effective charges, each use of the ability expending one charge. After thirteen charges have been expended it loses some of its magical potency and the enhancement bonus is reduced to +1 but the spear now qualifies as a cold iron weapon for purposes of overcoming damage reduction. After all twenty six charges have been expended it becomes a masterwork cold iron spear.

Cyrekksi was a potent magician in his own right but always seemed to begin on the wrong foot, leading his grip with the off hand or otherwise getting in the way of himself. During one particularly difficult battle, Cyrekksi lost his nerve and removed himself from the conflict with perhaps too much haste after exhausting nearly all of his spellcasting abilities. In a frantic moment of peril he teleported himself away from the fray but in his anxiousness to escape the last syllable of the incantation fumbled out of his lips, landing him in a cave of ogres waking up for their morning hunt. Unfortunately without his spells, the sorcerer warrior was quickly routed by those he trespassed against and a few centuries later copies of his mirrored spear began to appear throughout the land.

Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, mirror image; Cost 12,555 gp

Troll Wig

Aura faint abjuration; CL 3rd
Slot none; Price 8,280 gp; Weight 6 lbs.

This masterwork net is festooned with pebble sized ornaments that tie together thick cords of spider's silk. Most of these trinkets are blank pieces of bone but some appear burned, and bear effigies of troll skulls in painful grimaces. When soaked in oil the net becomes an applicable target of the spark spell or may be lit on fire (before or after an attack with it, requiring a swift action) with mundane sources, dealing 1d6 fire damage to any creature entangled by it (the oil burns away and the net extinguishes after 5 rounds). The troll wig has a range of ten feet, 12 hit points, a hardness of 6 and can be burst with a DC 27 Strength check but operates exactly as a net in all other ways. Should the troll wig be used to kill a troll, one of the thirty white bone trinkets changes into a burned miniature troll skull. When all thirty of these charms have been transformed the troll wig deals an additional +1 fire damage to entangled targets. The unique abjuration enchantment placed on the net does not qualify it as a magic weapon for the purposes of construction and it grants no magical bonus to attack or damage.

Gnomes are often credited as the original designers of the Troll Wig, given its specialized set of qualities, but grippli are the true creators of this unique net. With their extraordinary ability to climb and natural proficiency with the weapon, one clever shaman in the first days of the ancient Glachra clan used this subtle device to swiftly defeat the leader of an imposing band of trolls. Since then they have appeared in the hands of cautious small folk from coast to coast, all with varying numbers of burned skulls.

Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, reinforced armaments, resist energy (fire), 200 ft spider's silk; Cost 4,140 gp

Terrence Threncewell     CR 2

XP 600
Male gnome bard 3
NG Small humanoid (gnome)
Init +2; Senses low-light vision; Perception +6
AC 18 touch 13, flat-footed 15 (+4 armor, +2 Dex, +1 shield, +1 size)
hp 28 (20+2d8)
Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +3
Speed 20 ft.
Melee mwk banjo with retractable mwk bayonette +4 (1d4-2)
Ranged mwk shortbow +6 (1d4, Crit x3, Range 60 ft.)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 3rd; concentration +8)
1/day—dancing lights (DC 13), ghost sound (DC 13), prestidigitation (DC 13), speak with animals (DC 14)
Spells Known (CL 3rd; concentration +8)
0th (at will)daze (DC 15), detect magic, mending, mage hand (DC 15)
1st (5/day)charm person (DC 16), comprehend languages (DC 16), cure light wounds (DC 16), expeditious retreat
Terrence isn't built to rumble and he knows it, keeping his distance while aiding whatever allies he has with his Bardic Song and magic. When cornered and alone he attempts to Charm and Fascinate his way out of any scraps with his banjo, always saving one expeditious retreat to flee with.
Str 7, Dex 15, Con 17, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 20
Base Atk +2; CMB -1; CMD 11
Feats Lingering Performance, Spellsong
Skills Acrobatics +6, Appraise +5, Bluff +9, Climb +2, Diplomacy +9, Knowledge (local) +5, Perception +6, Perform (banjo, storytelling) +10, Profession (musician) +2, Sense Motive +4, Sleight of Hand +6, Spellcraft +5, Stealth +10, Use Magic Device +9; Armor Check Penalty -2
Languages Common, Elven, Gnome, Sylvan
SQ Bardic knowledge, bardic performance, cantrips, countersong, distraction, fascinate, gnome racial traits, inspire courage +1, inspire competence +2, versatile performance, well-versed
Gear masterwork buckler, masterwork chain shirt, masterwork banjo, masterwork banjo bayonette, adventurer's pack (+1 to Strength for carrying capacity: scroll of identify, potion of cure moderate wounds, 10 days rations, 5 days water, climbing gear), quiver with 30 arrows, Bogden's Miraculous Musical Box
Ostentation is the first thought that comes to mind when someone looks upon Terrence Threncewell (which is without a doubt his intent.) Long blonde hair is tied into a ponytail which complements the embroidered gold designs trimming his bright red overcoat and were it not for his handsome features and bright blue eyes, it would just be too much. The bushy straggly beard that sprouts from his chin does not do the rest of his ensemble credit. An odd silver lute of unique design is strapped across the gnome's back, and among the many rings on his diminutive fingers you can see small detachable pieces of flat silver in a triangular shape unlike any coin with which you are familiar.



Orin Hardtack     CR 3

XP 800
Male human aristocrat 4
CN medium humanoid (dwarf)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +1
AC 20, touch 10, flat-footed 18 (+8 armor, +2 shield)
hp 26 (4d8+8)
Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +5; +2 vs magic, poisons
Speed 20 ft.
Melee +2 mwk longsword (1d8-1, Crit 19-20/x2)
Ranged +3 mwk heavy crossbow (1d10, range 120 ft., Crit 19-20/x2)
Orin is a coward and flees at the first sign of combat, taking one of his bodyguards with him and leaving the remainder to cover his escape. They are only paid thugs however, and won't risk their lives for the Trademaster, making just enough of a hassle to ensure his safety and before retreating.
Str 8, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 14
Base Atk +3; CMB +2; CMD 14
Feats Improved Initiative, Run
Skills Appraise +9 (+11 gold and gems), Bluff +9, Diplomacy +9, Profession (merchant) +9, Sense Motive +8, Sleight of Hand +6
Languages Common, Dwarven, Gnome and Halfling
SQ Dwarven racial traits
Gear masterwork half-plate, masterwork heavy shield, masterwork heavy crossbow, 20 bolts, masterwork longsword, 500 gold in jewelry, 500 gold pieces in various pouches and pockets


Mayor Bogden Cutterstein     CR 1

XP 400
Male gnome expert 2
NG small humanoid (gnome)
Init +1; Senses low-light vision; Perception +7
AC 16 touch 12, flat-footed 15 (+4 armor, +1 Dex, +1 size)
hp 16(12+1d8)
Fort +2, Ref +1, Will +3
Speed 20 ft.
Melee dagger +1 (1d3-1, Crit 19-20/x2)
Ranged Bogden's Triple Shot Crossbow +1/+1/+1 (1d8, Crit 19-20/x2, range 120 ft., Swift Action to reload, -3 to AC after Triple Shot until the beginning of your next turn)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 2nd; concentration +5)
1/day—dancing lights (DC 13), ghost sound (DC 13), prestidigitation (DC 13), and speak with animals (DC 14)
The mayor knows the best way to serve Brandlehill is to stay alive, and acts accordingly. Unless a citizen is in the direct line of fire or otherwise in imminent danger, the gnome tinkerer does his best to stay behind cover while directing the town guard, taking the occasional salvo of shots with his unique weapon when the opportunity presents itself.
Str 8, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 15, Wis 10, Cha 16
Base Atk +1; CMB -1; CMD 10
Feats Skill Focus: Craft (clockworks)
Skills Appraise +7, Bluff +7, Craft (clockworks) +12, Craft (weapon) +7, Diplomacy +7, Disable Device +6, Knowledge (engineering) +7, Knowledge (nature) +7, Perception +7, Sense Motive +5, Stealth +3
Languages Common, Gnome, Sylvan, Elven, Draconic
SQ Gnome racial traits
Gear chain shirt, Bogden's Tripleshot Crossbow (mw heavy clockwork crossbow)
Short by even gnomish standards, the mayor of Brandlehill tries to hide his diminished stature with a tall black top hat. Brown curls of hair spill out from the sides of it, falling behind a pair of oversized silver and glass goggles. The gnome's bright blue eyes move quickly as he scans and assesses you in turn, but his smile is pleasant (if a little shiny because of a few golden teeth) and his demeanor genuine as he bows politely in a royal blue overcoat and black trousers. A distinctly out-of-place pair of leather boots, steel covering the toes, peek out from under the worn cuffs.


Ralka     CR 2

XP 600
Male grippli ranger 3
NG small humanoid (grippli)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +9
AC 19 touch 15, flat-footed 15 (+4 armor, +4 Dex, +1 size)
hp 26 (16+2d10)
Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +4
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee mwk shortspear +5 (1d4+1)
Ranged mwk composite (+1) longbow +8 or +6/+6 (1d6+1, Crit x3, range 100 ft.)
Ralka never engages the PCss in combat directly, and will flee if zealously attacked. Should he be in the company of the party when combat ensues he attempts to calm his fellow grippli or if fighting against a monstrous target takes shots with his arrows and heals PCss who lose more than half their hit points, freely sharing his healing potions.
Str 13, Dex 18, Con 15, Int 15, Wis 17, Cha 11
Base Atk +3; CMB +3; CMD 18
Feats Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot
Skills Climb +13, Craft (trap) +8, Handle Animal +4, Heal +7, Knowledge (geography, nature) +8, Perception +9, Stealth +14 (+20 swamp, +18 forest), Survival +9, Swim +7; Armor Check Penalty -1
SQ Combat style feat (Rapid Shot), Endurance, favored enemy (vermin), favored terrain (swamp), track, wild empathy
Gear masterwork chain shirt, masterwork short spear, masterwork composite (+1) longbow, quiver with 40 arrows, adventurer's pack (2 potions of cure light wounds, potion of cure moderate wounds, potion of remove disease, 2 potions of lesser restoration, 5 days water, 5 days food rations)


Threnta     CR 5

XP 1,600
Old male grippli druid 6
NG (NE) small humanoid (grippli)
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +13
AC 16 touch 12, flat-footed 15 (+1 size, +1 Dex, +4 armor)
hp 40 (20+5d8)
Fort +5, Ref +3, Will +9
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee quarterstaff +3 (1d4-1)
Ranged +6 ranged
Special Attacks storm burst (standard action 7/day, 30 feet ranged touch attack, 1d6+3 nonlethal, target takes -2 to attacks for 1 round)
Druid Spells Prepared (CL 6th; concentration +7)
0thcreate water, detect magic, detect poison, guidance, stabilize
1stcalm animals, cure light wounds, entangle x2
2ndbarkskin, heat metal, lesser restoration, wood shape
3rdcall lightning, cure moderate wounds, plant growth
The chief of the Glachra avoids combat when possible but if forced to defend his tribe he uses his spells to hamper and dissuade the PCs from attacking, trying to drive them off. He is completely unwilling to strike an unconscious target, and orders his fellow grippli to show mercy and not to deal any killing blows (although they may choose not to heed this command). While corrupted by the tainted water, he still knows that killing adventurers in Togafor will only lead to more coming this way and that eventually it would mean the end of his people. Only when Threnta feels that his tribe is truly in danger will he use call lightning and spontaneously summon animal allies.
Str 6, Dex 12, Con 10, Int 14, Wis 18, Cha 12
Base Atk +4; CMB +1; CMD 12
Feats Toughness, Extend Spell, Natural Spell
Skills Climb +10, Diplomacy +7, Fly +5, Handle Animal +5, Knowledge (nature) +11, Perception +13, Sense Motive +10, Spellcraft +11, Stealth +7 (+11 in forest or swamp), Survival +13, Swim +2; Armor Check penalty -2
Languages Common, Grippli, Gnome and Halfling
SQ Grippli racial traits, nature bond (Weather domain), nature sense, orisons, resist nature's lure, trackless step, wild empathy, wild shape (2/day), woodland stride
Gear masterwork hide, +1 quarterstaff, 2 potions of cure light wounds


Grokarr     CR 5 Encounter: Harhoa Cave

XP 1,600
Male grippli druid 4/rogue 2
NE small humanoid (grippli)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +11
AC 17 touch 13, flat-footed 15 (+4 armor, +2 Dex, +1 size)
hp 28 (8+5d8)
Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +8
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee spear +2 (1d6-2)
Ranged sling +6 or +4/+4 (1d3, range 50 ft.)
Special Attack sneak attack +1d6
Druid Spells Prepared Spells (CL 4th; concentration +7)
0thdetect magic, flare, guidance, read magic
1stcure light wounds x2, produce flame x2
2ndbarkskin, flaming sphere, heat metal
The corrupt apprentice keeps a safe distance when possible, hampering the party with Heat Metal before casting flaming sphere and produce flame. If encountered in Harhoa Cave he remains hidden beneath a pool of water until called for by the Longuetongue.
Str 6, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 18, Wis 18, Cha 16
Base Atk +4; CMB +1; CMD 14
Feats Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Craft Wondrous Item
Skills Acrobatics +7, Bluff +10, Climb +13, Diplomacy +8, Disable Device +9, Escape Artist +7, Fly +9, Handle Animal +10, Heal +11, Intimidate +8, Knowledge (local) +9, Knowledge (nature) +11, Perception +11, Sense Motive +9, Sleight of Hand +7, Spellcraft +11, Stealth +11 (+15 swamp or forest), Survival +11, Swim +5, Use Magic Device +8; Armor Check penalty -3
Languages Common, Grippli, Draconic, Abyssal, Sylvan and Elven
SQ Evasion, nature bond (Thleggy, fiendish giant toad animal companion), nature sense, orisons, resist nature's lure, rogue talent (fast stealth), trackless step, trapfinding, wild empathy, wild shape 1/day, woodland stride
Gear spear, sling, thirty +2 bullets, masterwork hide, various charms and trinkets of little value


Thleggy      CR 3 Encounter: Harhoa Cave

XP 800
Fiendish giant toad animal companion
CE medium outsider (evil)
Init +3; Senses low-light vision, darkvision 60 ft., scent; Perception -1
AC 16 touch 13 flat-footed 13 (+3 Dex, +3 natural)
hp 32 (20+3d8)
Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +0
Resist cold 5, fire; SR 8; evasion
Speed 30 ft., swim 30 ft.
Melee bite +7 (1d6+6 plus grab)
Special Attacks smite good 1/day (swift action, +4 damage); tongue (15-ft. reach, grab on hit), pull (any creature grabbed by Thleggy's tongue is automatically moved 5 feet towards him), swallow whole (1d4 bludgeoning damage, AC 11, 3 hp)
Thleggy has been trained to stalk, sneak and ultimately swallow prey. He also continues to fight until he is dead or commanded by Grokarr to stop and when fighting alone flees after losing ¾ his total Hit Points.
Str 18, Dex 16, Con 16, Int 1, Wis 9, Cha 6
Base Atk +3; CMB +7; CMD 20 (24 vs trip)
Feats Skill Focus (Stealth), Stealthy
Skills Acrobatics +13 (+17 jumping), Stealth +17; Racial Modifiers: +4 Acrobatics (+8 jumping), +4 Stealth
Tongue (Ex) Thleggy's tongue is his primary attack and has a normal reach of 15 ft., 30 ft. if enlarged. It deals no damage on a hit, but may be used to grab. Using his tongue this way does not give Thleggy the grappled condition.

WITH ABJURATIONS (outside Harhoa Cave only)
CE large outsider (evil)
AC 20, touch 17, flat-footed 15 (+2 deflection +5 Dex, +3 natural)
hp 40
Fort +9, Ref +8, Will +2
melee bite +9 (1d8+11 magical plus grab)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
CMB +10; CMD 25
Acrobatics +15 (+19 jumping), Stealth +13


Advanced Ochre Jelly     CR 6 Encounter: Fort of the Mired Infantry

XP 2,400
N large ooze
Init -3; Senses blindsight 60 ft.; Perception -3
AC 8, touch 6, flat-footed 8 (–3 Dex, –1 size, +2 natural armor)
hp 75 (6d8+48)
Fort +10, Ref –1, Will –1
Immune piercing, slashing, ooze traits; split
Speed 10 ft., climb 10 ft.
Melee slam +7 (2d4+6 plus 1d4 acid plus grab)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks constrict (2d4+3 plus 1d4 acid)
Lacking any intelligence, the jelly attacks any life forms that move in the space adjacent to it, slamming and attempting to constrict (and dissolve) its target.
Str 18, Dex 5, Con 26, Int , Wis 5, Cha 5
Base Atk +4; CMB +9 (+13 grapple); CMD 16 (can't be tripped)
Skills Climb +12
Acid (Ex) An ochre jelly secretes a digestive acid that dissolves only flesh (not bone) when it strikes a foe.
Split (Ex) Slashing weapons, piercing weapons, and electricity attacks deal no damage to an ochre jelly. Instead the creature splits into two identical jellies, each with half of the original creature's current hit point total, rounded down. A jelly with 10 hit points or less cannot be further split and dies if reduced to 0 hit points.

Phot Fangjaw     CR 8 Encounter: Fort of the Mired Infantry

XP 4,800
Male ghost half-orc ranger 8
NG medium undead (ghost)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +21
AC 18, touch 18, flat-footed 14 (+4 deflection, +3 Dex, +1 dodge)
hp 68 (8d8+32)
Fort +6, Ref +9, Will +4
Immune undead traits; channel resistance +4, incorporeal, rejuvenation
Speed fly 30 ft. (perfect)
Melee corrupting touch +11 (8d6, Fort DC 18 half)
Special Attacks frightful moan (DC 18)
Prepared Ranger Spells (CL 8th; concentration +6)
1st—entangle x2 (DC 13)
2nd—snare (DC 14), summon nature's ally II (DC 14)
Str —, Dex 16, Con —, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 18
Base Atk +8; CMB +11; CMD 21
Still mad with pain from his agonizing death, the ranger simply wants to scare the intruders away but will defend itself if brought below 1/3 its total hit points, unwilling to kill helpless targets.
Feats Dodge, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Spring Attack
Skills Fly +3, Intimidate +15, Knowledge (arcana) +7, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +6, Knowledge (geography) +10, Knowledge (nature) +10, Knowledge (planes) +7, Perception +21, Spellcraft +7, Stealth +20, Survival +11 (+15 track); Racial Modifiers +8 Perception, +8 Stealth
Languages Common, Orc and Draconic
SQ Combat style (two-weapon fighting, improved two-weapon fighting), Endurance, favored enemies (outsider (evil) +2, outsider (chaotic) +1), favored terrains (forests +4, underground +2), hunter's bond (deceased animal companion), swift tracker, track, wild empathy, woodland stride
Rejuvenation (Su) When “destroyed” Phot restores himself in 2d4 days. The only way to permanently destroy him is to finish the quest written of in his journal.
Frightful Moan(Su) Phot died consumed by agony from the demonic affliction bestowed upon him by Grualroth. He can emit a frightful moan as a standard action. All living creatures within a 30-foot spread must succeed on a Will save DC 18 or become panicked for 2d4 rounds. This is a sonic mind-affecting fear effect. A creature that successfully saves against the moan cannot be affected by Phot's moan for 24 hours.
NOTE: Unless his temporary form is destroyed, treat Phot's ghost as a CR 3 creature worth 800 experience points. To allow his spirit to have its final rest, the party must destroy Fleghemoth and swear to fell the last beast the ranger was aware of, hidden in the peaks of the Baranthar mountains.


Fleghemoth the Longuetongue      CR 5 Encounter: Harhoa Cave

XP 1,600
Advanced half-fiend fey giant toad
CE large fey outsider (native)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., scent; Perception +11
AC 21, touch 15, flat-footed 15 (+6 Dex, +6 natural, -1 size)
hp 30 (3d8+12)
Fort +9, Ref +11, Will +4; +4 vs. mind-affecting effects
DR 5/cold iron and magic; Immune poison; Resist acid 10, cold 10, electricity 10, fire 10; SR 16
Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft. (good), swim 15 ft.
Melee bite +7 (1d8+6 plus grab, Crit x2), 2 claws +7 (1d6+6, Crit x2)
Special Attacks tongue (reach 30ft), pull (10 ft.) swallow whole (1d4 bludgeoning damage, AC 13, 3 hp), smite good 1/day (swift action; +3 to attack, +2 to damage)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 3rd; concentration +6)
3/day—dancing lights
1/day—entangle (DC 14), faerie fire, glitterdust (DC 15), vanish (3 rounds/day)
As soon as combat begins, Fleghemoth uses vanish before attempting to swallow whole the most physically formidable PCs, repeating the tactic until he runs out of uses of that spell-like ability for the day. Should he swallow a good aligned target, the Longuetongue uses his Smite Good special attack to inflict additional damage. When reduced to 8 hit points or less, Fleghemoth attempts to flee up the tunnel.
Str 23, Dex 23, Con 22, Int 11, Wis 16, Cha 16
Base Atk +2; CMB +9 (+13 grapple); CMD 25 (29 vs. trip)
Feats Lightning Reflexes, Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills Acrobatics +12 (+16 when jumping), Fly +10, Linguistics +2 (Common, Grippli), Perception +11, Sense Motive +4 Stealth +9, Swim +12; Racial Modifiers +4 Acrobatics (+8 when jumping), +4 Stealth
Languages Sylvan, Common and Grippli
Poison Skin (Ex) contact; save Fort DC 17; frequency 1/round for 4 rounds; effect 1d2 Wisdom damage; cure 1 save






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System Reference Document Copyright 2000-2003, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Rich Baker, Andy Collins, David Noonan, Rich Redman, Bruce R. Cordell, John D. Rateliff, Thomas Reid, James Wyatt, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.