Formed 15 years ago from the remnants of two warring Baevonian tribes, Trulla’s Trovers are a semi-chaotic group of opportunists, tomb raiders, and vagabonds.
However, they are not fully chaotic nor evil, there is a structure to their group and a natural order to things that makes leadership and daily life more than palatable in the wilderness, in fact, it has become altogether peaceful for Trulla’s Trovers.
The Trovers, as they sometimes call themselves, live in a cool valley on the outskirts of civilization, just far enough from Baevonia Pass to guarantee their autonomy in day-to-day affairs. The Baevonian military permits them to exist on one condition, that any quality rare finds are brought to them first.
The Baevonians pay top coin for most magical treasures recovered from the depths of ancient Grekian ruins. The rest of the items are either kept by the Trovers to be used in their operations or stockpiled for future sale. The group has a contact in the pass who sells their goods for them, in fact, they work through many channels to move rare items plundered from dusty crypts into the pass and coin back to the group’s semi-secret hideout nicknamed “The Trove”, a tall structure of natural stone containing humanoid-made sandstone caves and concealed by the draping foliage of trees and vines.
The Trove is tucked into a cool valley where a river (or dry riverbed) meanders through the mountains on its way down toward Former Chonia.
“The Trove” pop. 119
Each square = 10 feet
1. The Approach
The dry rocks and sands of the Baevonian Mountains give way to rushing rivers and vegetation-laden valleys and corridors where shelter from the torrid afternoon sun can be found. A small path is spotted with a successful DC 12 Perception check, leading up to the edge of a tall plinth of natural stone (area 4) many hundreds of feet tall.
Bear Traps. There is a cumulative 15% chance of encountering a bear trap buried in the sand for every 10 feet traveled between areas 1 and 4. Trovers know the way around these traps by heart and encourage newcomers to ask for assistance when coming or going. Bear traps cause 2d4 piercing damage when stepped upon and must be pried open using brute strength via a successful DC 20 Strength check or by utilizing a makeshift prying tool and a successful DC 16 Strength check. The traps are magically attached to the bedrock before being covered in sand and cannot be moved; if a character steps on a bear trap they are Restrained until they can open the trap.
2. Vasi’s River of Life
If the characters have not completed the Restoration of Vasi’s Waterclock:
A dry riverbed cuts through the valley here and continues in the direction of former Chonia.
If the characters have completed the trials in the adventure Restoration of Vasi’s Waterclock:
This water is blessed by Vasi herself and emerges via gates from the Elemental Plane of Water into Vasi’s Well, an ancient Vasian temple just a quarter-day’s travel from here. The riverbed was always here but this river seems to have sprung up overnight and the Trovers are quite anxious to meet whoever wields such wondrous power. Water consumed directly from Vasi’s River of Life heals 2d4 HP, the water becomes holy water if removed from the river in small amounts but only lasts for 1d4 hours before becoming normal water.
3. Watchers in the Trees
Defenses. The guards each carry a small war horn at their side, if they come under attack, the horn is sounded as follows:
Sounded Once = Under attack, but reinforcements are not needed.
Sounded Twice = Under attack, reinforcements* are requested.
Sounded Thrice = Under attack or imminent attack, reinforcements* are requested, wake the village, prepare all defenses.
Sounded Four Times = Retreat, abandon the Trove.
*Reinforcements arrive 1d4 rounds after the horn is sounded via the main entrance to the Trove and include another 1d4+1 scouts and 1-2 guards.
If the characters are hostile or appear otherwise threatening, the guards and scouts snipe them from the cover of the foliage and the trees (advantage with ranged attacks or ¾ to total cover, DM’s preference) while the adventurers likely get themselves caught in numerous hidden beartraps.
If the characters spot one of the scouts or guards hiding in the trees with a successful DC 20 Wisdom (Perception) check or anyone approaches the plinth, the Trovers reveal themselves (if the characters seem friendly) and approach the adventurers. The characters are questioned to make sure no one is immediately hostile or has any ill intentions toward Trulla’s Trovers. So long as everyone checks out, they are led around the hidden bear traps (area 1) and admitted to the village via a hidden entrance (area 4). The characters are urged to visit Golka, Landon, or Dolm to announce their arrival and possibly obtain some work. If the adventurers mention they are the ones that restored Vasi’s Waterclock, thereby creating this river, the Trovers immediately escort them into the Trove and introduce them to Golka.
4. Entrance to the Trove
What appears to be a flat rock face is actually an illusion and once revealed to the adventurers may be entered normally. Those that cannot see through the illusion and are not being escorted through the entrance are at risk (DC 18 Dexterity Save) of stepping on one of many (obvious) beartraps which cause 2d4 piercing damage when stepped upon (see area 1, bear traps). The traps are easily avoided if one is able to see through the illusory entrance with a DC 22 Intelligence (Arcana) check.
The walls on either side of this entrance have wonderful murals painted upon them, depicting Golka, Landon, Dolm, and Trulla herself on various local adventures and delves into Grekian ruins. In some scenes, they are spelunking into ancient caverns, and in others, fighting giant beasts deep underground, surrounded by Grekian pillars glowing with arcane runes. One scene, in particular, catches a new visitor’s eye: Trulla, just her silhouette standing alone atop the Trove, staring off in the distance as the sun sets. She stares out into the K’Naghi Savannah, in the direction of the Shining City and Valindar.
5. Nightmarket/Trovers’ Quarters
Here’s where, each evening, most of the residents visit the Nightmarket, a beautifully sewn-together patchwork of wooden crates, makeshift stands, and small push-wagons exude truly rustic charm and an almost carnival-like atmosphere. Travelers, locals, and residents visit each night to peruse wares from their fellow Trovers as well as share drinks and tell stories, sometimes into the wee early hours.
Light Orbs. Ancient Grekian light orbs float above the chamber, casting a magic blue aura over everyone and also, unbeknownst to the Trovers, causing all Intelligence (Arcana) checks to be made with advantage.
Nightmarket Elixir. The drink of choice, nightmarket elixir is a highly alcoholic mix of local berries and Baevonian ale fermented into a potent and intoxicating formula. Consuming one such beverage gives a character +1 to Strength, -1 to Constitution, and 10 temporary HP for one hour; when two drinks (or more) are consumed, all attack rolls and physical skill checks and saves are made with disadvantage for 1 hour per drink consumed.
Magic Goods. The Nightmarket sells whatever goods Golka has decided aren’t worth selling or saving plus an array of local handmade goods, produce, and used expedition wares. This is an excellent place to stock up on half priced potions and oils. Some traveling adventurers make it a point to stop by and stock up before they undertake a dangerous journey or adversary. Very basic and rudimentary magic items, weapons, and armor can also be found here 33% of the time.
Residents. The Trovers live and sleep in various excavated holes in the sandstone. As one gazes up, their breath is whisked away, hole after hole dug into the stone lead to different caverns where people laugh, talk, visit, and sleep. Grekian light orbs float throughout the hollowed-out plinth, all the way to the ceiling. Each cavern has an independent rope ladder that can be pulled up in the event of an attack. Over one-hundred archers with their own hidey-holes up above their prey have quite the advantage, yet another reason Baevonia chooses to ignore the existence of this village of outsiders.
6. Blood Bath
An indentation in the rock holds enough space for water and area beneath and to the side, enough space for fire-making under a naturally formed bathtub. The water eats away at the rock when heating, bringing a red mineral out and into the water. This mineral, when put in contact with the skin prevents sun burns and even makes one resistant to fire and radiant damage but only for a single attack within the next 24 hours. Upper portions of this room are used for the storage of basic supplies.
Landon typically sleeps outside in the wilderness where he feels more at home but if there is a chance of attack at the Trove, Landon finds a spot near the fire to put down his bedroll and stay for the night.
7. Dolm’s Room
Dolm sleeps amid heaps ancient tomes and Grekian artifacts, spoils from various delves which were unwanted by the Baevonians and/or coveted by Dolm for the lore, stories, and mysteries they may contain. While the relics are mostly left unguarded; the Trovers have a loyalty to their brethren and leaders unheard of in most of Aventyr. It is an unspoken agreement that Trulla’s Trovers exist only because each person wills it so and thus, they are here. The moment the trust is broken, the entire group and everything they have achieved will be for naught. In all these years not a single Trover has broken this bond of trust although there are those who left the group to go their own way or for opposing views. All are welcome to join and also welcome to go. Almost everyone finds it a lucrative profession and one where each person can be their own boss. A broken dwarven chalice sits on a bedside table, the pieces appear to be carefully laid out as if on display. This is a chalice rumored to have been drunk from by the great dwarven god Balir himself, before he was a god. Dolm has been planning on reassembling the chalice but procrastinated for years, worrying he may foul something up and further damage the ancient artifact. If a simple mending spell is cast upon the chalice, it becomes whole again: The Chalice of Balir, Master of the First Forge. At the sight of this, Dolm nearly passes out from joy and excitement (10% chance). He holds whoever has repaired this artifact in the highest of regards and touts them as heroes to all dweorg (dwarves) of Aventyr. He even lets them borrow the chalice but only if they are extremely careful with it and bring it back within one week.
8. Golka’s Room/The Hoard
Golka the Legless sleeps in chambers fit for a queen but she doesn’t necessarily like it this way. The treasures that frequently fill this room are not hers and she prefers to sleep on the floor atop a giant mammoth fur that she’s had since she was a child. Her father, the former chieftain of the U’ulk Tribe gave her the fur as a gift upon returning from a great three-year-long journey to a distant land called “Klavek” where “soldiers made of metal, march upon the ice and snow”. She remembers him fondly and does not like to talk about what happened and why she is no longer with the tribe. It involves a dispute, the death of her father, and her fleeing her pursuers until she made a new friend and settled in here. About 25% of the time, there is 1d10x1000 GP value of Grekian coins and magic items in this room, they are protected with numerous magic wards and traps laid there by a Trover who is a skilled wizard (but you’d never guess it by his appearance). The hoard’s value can vary wildly depending upon how much has been moved to Baevonia Pass or if any recent hauls have arrived from diligent Trovers.
9. “Trulla’s Trove” Private Quarters
While Trulla is rarely home (15% chance per day), this is where she rests her head when present. Spending ninety-percent of the time in this room sleeping whilst here leaves her followers wondering what it is that she does when away. A successful DC 18 Intelligence (Investigation) check reveals a small journal hidden beneath Trulla’s straw mattress. The journal is written in ancient arcane runes with hidden Grekian symbols which can be translated into words and eventually to the common tongue if one is well versed in both arcana and ancient Grekian and a successful DC 25 Intelligence (Arcana) check is made (if failed cannot try again). The journal details Trulla’s activities, but for who? She has recorded the following missions but each entry is only a few words once translated (redact whatever you wish):
If the adventurers ask where Trulla is when she is away, she says “What does a trulla do?”; a riddle as “trulla” in the ancient Grekian language is “shovel” or “spade”, i.e. she is alluding to the fact she’s “unearthing things” perhaps literally or metaphorically. Other items hidden in Trulla’s room include a pair of sending stones each looking like a small spherical head of a balding priest, a scroll of carnivorous mushroom, and a deck of illusions, each requiring a successful DC 22 Intelligence (Investigation) check to locate. A small coin pouch is hidden inside the heel of a boot and can be found with a successful DC 25 Intelligence (Investigation) check. The pouch contains over 3,000 GP worth of small gems and jewels and a few Grekian coins so rare they are valued at 10,000 GP apiece. If Trulla catches anyone stealing her things or finds out about it, she follows from afar and then attempt to put the party to sleep with sleeping gas then kill everyone as they slumber away.
Joining Trulla’s Trovers
Anyone is welcome to join Trulla’s Trovers so long as they adhere to a few simple rules.
- Do not publicly speak poorly of or assault a member of the Baevonian military or government.
- Do not harm another Trover unless that Trover has broken one of the three rules.
- All treasures will be brought to Golka and Dolm to appraise. The appraised value is cut in half, then 20% of that value is kept by Trulla’s Trovers to cover operational expenses.
The benefits of being a Trover are as follows:
- All Trovers help each other out. If one is in a bind, they may request the help of any number of others to come to their aid so long as the matter involves retrieving loot from ruins. Each member added gets a cut of the loot recovered.
- The Trovers retain a small amount of magical gear which they will lend out to assist other trovers in discovering and retrieving treasure.
- If a unique and powerful magic item or artifact is sought on a mission, sometimes Trulla will approve sending one of her main operatives: Landon, Dolm, or Golka and provide funding in the form of cold hard coin and a smattering of minor magic items.
Writing by Jonathan G. Nelson
Artwork by Dean Spencer & Mates Laurentiu
Cartography by Justin Andrew Mason