The Baevonian Mountain range is marked by hill forts, castles, and mountain gate fortresses that enforce borders and laws of the Baevonian people. Baevonian Law allows the region to deal in treaties and skirmishes, rather than survivorship and open war. But for some, the law is oppressive, be it through resource rights, commerce licensing, or travel restrictions. Trella’s Trovers are Baevonians who live at the fringe of Baevonian culture, a semi-organized group of opportunists, tomb raiders, vagabonds, and traders. The descendants of failed or declining Baevonian hill fort tribes, the trovers are wild-eyed warriors, cunning dealmakers, and above all, survivors who rely on no one but themselves.
The trovers live in a cool valley on the outskirts of civilization, just far enough from Baevonia Pass to avoid the notice of the Baevonian military, which permits them to act as they will in the hills and valleys of Baevonia. The “civilized” folk of Baevonia often suspect the trovers of brigandry, but those who live in the villages and towns nestled against the mountain fortresses have long been suspicious of those who make a life roaming the wilds. However, the trovers are loners and adventurers by nature, and accusations of highway robbery seldom stick. The Baevonian royalty pay top coin for most magical treasures recovered from the depths of ancient Grekian ruins, and more mundane goods obtained through plunder serve to fill the inventory of a trover’s other frequent role in the Baevonian mountains: that of traveling merchant.
Throughout the Baevonian Mountains secret grottos the vagabonds collectively call “Troves” serve as places to find respite or a temporary base of operations in an area. Tall sandstone spires hollowed out by human hands, these Troves hold supplies and stores each trover can use to restock and keep valuables safe. Each Trove sits in a valley at the mouth of a stream or river amongst a ravine of sandstone spires, thus each cache is easily disguised. Most troves are simple, one room spires that offer little in the way of protection, but are well disguised enough that trouble simply passes by. But when Trella’s Trovers refer to a place as, “The Trove,” it is a singular spire known to many. If anywhere can be said to be the home of all trovers, it is here.
1 square = 10 feet
1. The Approach
The hard earth of the Baevonian Mountain Pass gives way to a rushing river valley, laden with flora and dominated by stone spires worn by water and time. The heat of the sun fades as you move beneath the canopy of vines and foliage. A small path leads up to the edge of a tall plinth of natural stone (Area 4) hundreds of feet tall.
Trapped Path. Trovers know the way around their Troves well enough to trap the obvious paths they leave behind. Travelers encounter between one and three of these traps on an approach to the Trove. Mechanical bear traps, pit traps, and rope lift traps are all common defenses for a Trove.
2. Vasi’s River of Life
If the characters have not yet completed Rultmoork:
A dry riverbed cuts through the valley here and continues in the direction of former Chonia.
If the characters have completed Rultmoork:
This water is blessed by Vasi herself. It is fed by the elemental Plane of Water itself. 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 the river grants the benefits of a short rest; 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
Trovers seldom settle in one place for long, but at any given time 2d12 trovers can be found at the Trove. At any given time, day or night, there are 1d4+1 scouts and one or two guards hiding in the trees, keeping watch.
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 = Something is amiss, be ready.
Sounded Twice = Attack is imminent or under way!
Sounded Thrice = Empty the Trove, take what you can carry!
Sounded Four Times = Run for your life!
*Reinforcements arrive 1d4 rounds after the horn is sounded via the main entrance to the Trove and include another 1d4+1 scouts and one or two guards.
Development. If the characters are hostile or appear otherwise threatening, the guards and scouts snipe them from the cover of the foliage while the adventurers likely get themselves caught in numerous hidden traps. If the characters seem friendly, the trovers will allow them to approach and make introductions. The question unfamiliar faces, but trovers are the last to begrudge someone wandering in the highlands. So long as everyone checks out, newcomers are led around the hidden traps and admitted to the village via the 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
At first it appears the path ends against a rock wall, overgrown with foliage, but a simple illusion covers the man-made cave mount at the base of this sandstone spire. The trovers walk into—and disappear through—the wall.
Once through, on either side of this entrance wonderful tapestries depicting famous trovers and their adventures. Golka, Landon, Dolm, and Trella herself are spelunking into ancient caverns, fighting giant insects, cephalopods, and crustaceans on cliffside overhangs, deep underground pools, or amongst stone pillars glowing with arcane (Grekian) runes. One scene in particular catches a new visitor’s eye: Trella, her silhouette alone atop the Trove, staring off into the setting sun. She stares out into the K’Naghi Savannah, in the direction of the Shining City and Valindar.
Here’s where, each evening, most of the residents (and nearby neighbors) 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. Those who live within a day’s journey of the Trove will, on occasion, visit the place to peruse wares from their neighbor trovers as well as share drinks and tell stories, sometimes into the wee early hours.
Orbs. Ancient Grekian light orbs float above the chamber, casting a magic blue aura over everyone. Once per week, a character who studies for at least one hour by such light may make a single Intelligence check with advantage.
Drinks. The drink of choice, nightmarket elixir is a potent mix of fermented berries, brewed into an intoxicating cider. A single draught grants a character advantage on Constitution saves for 1 hour, after which Constitution saves are made with disadvantage for up to twelve hours.
Goods. The Nightmarket sells all manner of mundane tools, trade goods, textiles, and frivolities. Many of these wares are artifacts or salvage from expeditions to Grekian ruins, but just as many are the handmade goods of the rural Baevonian people. This is an excellent place to stock up on half priced potions and oils. Though rare to find for sale in a Trove, common magic items, weapons, and armor are sometimes for sale in the Nightmarket.
‘Coves. The Trovers live and sleep in numerous excavated alcoves in the sandstone. Each alcove is part home, part social club, and part storage locker, depending on when it’s being used. From the floor of the spire interior, during Nightmarket, one can look up and see alcove after alcove dug into the stone, each one a small chamber for laughter, song and revelry, and all manner of more quiet pleasures, from gambling to deep, drunken sleep. Grekian light orbs float throughout the hollowed-out plinth, all the way to the ceiling. When not in use, each alcove is hidden by a mundane illusion: a canvas tapestry woven to appear like sandstone.
6. Blood Bath
Carved from the rock itself, this sandstone bowl has a separate, smaller alcove carved beneath it for fire building. A distinctive mineral leaches from the rock when heated, making the water red as blood. Bathing in the blood bath heals sun burn and lends resistance to fire damage for 12 hours. The hot bath doesn’t dye ones skin, but will darken it over time.
7. The Archive / Dolm’s Room
A simple cot stands out amid heaps of ancient tomes, artifacts, scrolls, and tapestries, all of Grekian origin, all a mystery. While the relics here belong to all trovers and are mostly left unguarded, Dolm is their caretaker and quartermaster. In all these years not a single trover has broken this bond of trust, even for those trovers who have left the troving life behind. All are welcome to join and also welcome to go, who hold sacred this trust.
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. He holds whoever has repaired this artifact in the highest of regards and touts them as heroes to all dweorg. He will even lend out the chalice, for the right price.
Chalice of Balir
Wondrous item, legendary
Drinking from this chalice grants the imbiber intricate knowledge of the forge. Once per week after drinking from this chalice, the imbiber is proficient with smithing tools and makes checks to create metalwork with advantage. This boon applies to the crafting of one single item.
Grekian Ore (Material)
Grekian Ore is the common name given to an arcane alloy of adamantine and an unknown, green-tinted metal. Ancient Grekia used Grekian Ore to great effect, crafting weapons, armor, and even warriors from this nearly impervious metal. It is said only dweorg of Stoneholme retain the knowledge of shaping and forging Grekian Ore, those people being the legendary source of ancient Grekia’s metallurgical knowledge. Otherwise, creating this alloy has been lost to the mists of time.
Properties. Grekian Ore is impervious to damage, its hardness comparable to adamantine. Weapons and armor made from Grekian Ore are often enchanted. Regardless of whether they are enchanted, a weapon made from Grekian Ore is treated as silvered and magic. When the wielder of a Grekian weapon rolls a 20 on the attack roll, they destroy one non-Grekian weapon or armor of their choice.
Value. When removed from an item or object, such as with an emulsifying brush, Grekian Ore shapes itslef into a smooth ball. A one-handed weapon yields a ball that weighs 10 lb. and is worth 1,500 gp; a two-handed weapon yields a ball that weighs 20 lb. and is worth 3,000 gp. A Grekian guardian’s metal coating yields a ball that weighs 30 lb. and is worth 4,500 gp.
GM Note. If your game features additional special materials required to bypass the defenses of certain creatures, such as cold iron, Elysian bronze, etc., consider allowing Grekian Ore to function as those materials as well.
8. The Hoard / Golka’s Room
The treasures that frequently fill this room are not hers and she prefers to sleep on the floor atop a giant mammoth fur. 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 march upon the ice and snow.” She remembers him fondly and does not like to talk about what happened and why there is no longer an U’ulk tribe. There is 1d10x1000 GP value of coins, jewelry, and sculptures in this room. Much of the treasure here is Grekian in origin.
9. “Trella’s Trove” Private Quarters
Trella is rarely home. A simple cot against one wall, with a writing desk beside, is the only indication this room is a bedchamber. Trella is rarely home. As the first trover, she wanders the Baevonian mountains more than any other. Her bedchamber serves also as the Trove’s main gathering place. Her journal, in which she writes first thing upon returning to the Trove, sits open on the writing desk for anyone to peruse.
Trella’s Journal Entries
- Follow the Klavekian wizard and find out what she’s doing in Baevonia
- Spy on Waychon (Chonian)
- Obtain information on the Baevonian general
- Visit the grotto (May’al)
- Locate ancient gateways in tunnels beneath the “Great Wall” (a mighty 100’ tall wall that connects all the fortresses at Baevonia Pass)
- Restore Vasi’s Fountain at the Gate of Bones
- Spy on High Priest Katorn of the Axiomatic General
If the adventurers ask where Trella is when she is away, she says “What does a trella do?”; a riddle as “trella” 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 Trella’s alcove 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 carefully hidden near her bed or desk. Like the archives and the horde, Trella trusts that her trovers will not steal from her, and those who do are outcast.
Joining Trella’s Trovers
Anyone is welcome to join Trella’s Trovers so long as they adhere to a few simple rules.
- Avoid the Baevonian military or government. Obey their rules when you must, avoid them at every turn.
- Let no harm come to any trover, either by action or inaction.
- All wealth is shared. All knowledge is shared. All bargains are true.
The benefits of being a trover are as follows:
- All trovers help each other out. Each member added gets a cut of the loot recovered.
- The Trove retains a small amount of magical gear which they will lend out to assist other trovers in discovering and retrieving treasure.
- Everyone recognizes a trover. Even if a village guard or a gated knight is initially suspicious of a lone trover, their sense of pluck and adventure, as well as the silver tongue of trade, keeps them out of travel troubles.
Golka the Legless
A green-skinned orcish crone with a peg-leg, Golka is still a formidable warrior but has trouble making her climbs into the mountains like she once did. Her face is eternally baked into a scrunched up half-grin, her skin is cracked and mottled and thick from age, speckled like the shell of a tortoise. She cackles and chuckles frequently, sauntering wildly as if she could fall at any moment but somehow always managing to stay upright. If one gets on Golka’s bad side, she won’t be outright wicked, but she becomes terse and sharp, and adjusts her prices and bargaining tactics accordingly. She pokes fun and frequently tosses insults and half-grins at anyone she is fond of.
Trovers still recount the tale of how Golka lost her leg, in a battle royale against a mother roc whilst trying to steal a roc egg from her nest. She had been hired to do the job but actually intended on keeping the egg to see if it would hatch and the hatchling trained, but the mother roc wasn’t having any of that and proceeded to tear off Golka’s leg! Nearly bleeding to death, Golka used a Grekian Firewand to cauterize the wound and somehow managed to grab the mother roc as she attacked and climb onto the beast. A spectacular battle took place, one that people still recount today where, after suffering countless injuries, Golka felled the great beast before it crashed to the ground and she was thrown from the bird. Trella, who was with Golka when it happened, tended to her wounds and settled in to live here in the mountains. It took months before Golka was up and about again and even though she was moving quite well, it wasn’t good enough to make the trek out of the mountains so Trella chose to remain here, teach the locals her trade, and look over her close friend.
Golka welcomes any newcomers into the community suspiciously. She believes that humans use a lot of words but only actions mean anything in this world and thus, she judges a creature only by its actions and never the blathering nonsense spewing from the rambling mouth.
If the group wishes to join Trella’s Trovers and takes the pledge, Golka provides them with a plethora of dangerous quests to ruins peppered throughout the mountains and far beyond, some as far away as Valindar.
- Herb Gathering – The first quest Golka sends anyone on (to find out if they are trustworthy) is a dangerous climb up a steep mountain frequented by territorial monsters in order to gather some leaves off a specific bush. He insists that the trovers are in dire need of these herbs found only on this one bush. As soon as the group returns with the herbs, Golka takes them, rips up the leaves, throws them into a pot of hot water and makes tea, offering some to the adventurers.
- Kobold Quarry – Kobolds living in old tunnels beneath one of the nearby mountains are sitting on a figurative gold mine of Grekian artifacts. According to an old map retained by Dolm, just beneath the kobold tunnels is a ruin site. When the adventurers arrive and breakthrough into the site, they find powerful slumbering undead and something quite… unexpected.
- Visit Rultmoork – The ancient Grekian fort has long been abandoned. The trovers have long been aware of the place, but it is remote and what dangers lurk there are unknown. An old entry in Trella’s journal says of the place: “May’al says it was a hope, destroyed and lost. I’m not so sure.”
- Enter the Sasquatch Cave – A hairy beast that eyewitnesses claim to be 20 feet tall lives in a cave beneath a waterfall. Golka wants the adventurers to check out the cave and see if there are any entrances to Grekian ruins there, her maps seem to indicate an important site to the Grekians somewhere in that area but no one will enter the cave out of fear for the sasquatch.
- New Path to Baevonia Pass – Rumor has it that after a recent earthquake, a new way to Baevonia Pass has opened up and will shave hours off the trover merchant’s usual runs. But first, they need the adventurers to investigate and clear the area of any dangers. Golka is wise in doing so, an orc tribe has already claimed the new pass and is constructing a hill fort to threaten both Baevonia Pass and the Trove.
Originally hailing from the Underworld, this dweorg dwarf fighter is first and foremost an expert on Grekian coins, jewelry, and magic. He is quick to inform newcomers that he is an appraiser and a loremaster, his estimates typically fall within 10-15% in regards to accuracy e.g. a Grekian mace he appraised last week for 1300 gp recently sold to a shopkeep in Baevonia Pass for 500 gp and then the shopkeeper sold it to their customer for 1100 gp, and with accuracy like that, he should be appraising the King’s vault!
Trella, the group’s leader, is an elusive woman, rarely ever seen or spoken to. There are actually some low-ranking trovers who question if the woman truly exists but dare not do so in front of the others who are fervent followers, following as if they believe Trella is some kind of god or divinely blessed being. While it is true that Trella has brought life and prosperity back to those who have been discarded or walked away from society, she is no god. She is, however, a skilled rogue who has no equal in Baevonia or former Chonia. She is only seen when she wants to be and has the ability to slip magically out of any bonds or cells that would hold her; she disappears as if the darkness itself had wrapped her in its ethereal embrace. While away quite often, it is unknown what Trella is doing when she is away but the Trovers never ask and she never tells.
Trella supports all who would leave the militaristic structure of Baevonian society and join her, but she asks that no negative actions or attacks are ever made, under any circumstances, against the Baevonian military or government. Even though she and her trovers are wily with plenty of guile and could present a significant challenge to the Baevonians, she prefers things the way they are: a semi-symbiotic relationship for mutual gain and nothing more, nothing less.
Landon the Scout
Aside from Trella, Landon is the most traveled of the trovers, and the most likely trover one might encounter in the Baevonian Mountains. Once a scout for the Gate of Bones, his story of joining the trovers involves an orc raid, a roc hatchling, a three-tailed fox, and innumerable fantastic feats, tall tales, and impossible miracles.
As you round another strenuous bend in the path, you happen upon a small camp. A man with an eager smile and a fully packed donkey gives pleasant greeting, one hand cautiously on his bow. He wears on his collar a spade-shaped crest, the handle of which forms a prominent “T” brand.
This is Landon the Scout, a member of Trella’s Trovers, a small outfit of outlaw treasure hunters and traders. Landon refuses to get close to the cursed spire of Rultmoork—and thus knows little of it—but he travels the Baevonian Mountain regularly. His trusty donkey sidekick, Isidore, is ever at his side, laden with wares and ears perked against danger.
Landon offers to take orders for supplies both mundane and magical. He can procure any mundane item and any magic item of common or uncommon rarity, for the right price. All items are priced for a seller’s market, with half paid in advance. Landon reliably returns with the requested items in 1d4 +2 days.
*Landon will sell anything he doesn’t require for his own survival, but when he’s down to the last of a thing his prices go up accordingly—sometimes double or triple his already inflated rate.
|Landon’s Provisions On Hand|
|dominate beast spell scroll||700 gp||—||1|
|grappling hook||5 gp||4 lb.||1|
|herbalism kit||10 gp||3 lb.||1|
|ivory goat (traveling)||1,300 gp||—||1|
|lantern, hooded||10 gp||2 lb.||1|
|oil (flask)||5 sp||1 lb.||5|
|rations (1/day)||1 gp||2 lb.||14|
|rope, silk (50 feet)||20 gp||5||1|
|spikes, iron (10)||20 gp||1 lb.||1|
|tinderbox||1 gp||1 lb.||2|
|ring of warmth||1,250 gp||—||1|
|potion of superior healing||500 gp||1/2 lb.||2|
Let us know what you think! How will you use Trella’s Trovers in your game? Join the Discord or get in the comments to give us your thoughts!