A bead of sweat appeared on Lev’s brow as the towering half-orc leaned in, its breath heavy with garlic. “Boss says, time to pay soon mulebrains!. You better come up with his gold next time he sends me around.”
Lev Valiery is an animal breeder and occasional trader undergoing hard times. His recent investment in a mill was lost when the building caught fire. The mill itself suffered minor damage, but the grain store next door was totally consumed. Only the knowledge that his mules will be in demand in a few short weeks (for sale to caravan masters) has kept his creditors at bay. Valiery hopes that salvaging any intact machinery may provide some relief to his current pecuniary plight.
PCs learn of Valiery’s plight when they gather information on entry to Cherr’s Landing with a DC 23 Knowledge (local) check, or if they discover his agenda when they interview potential caravan masters (Encounter 8-D Hiring the Caravan).
If you want all of the bonus content for Twin Crossings in one shot search for the tags “Lost Battalion” and “Burned Mill”, and you will find them all here on the AaWBlog!
The Burned Mill (CR 5)
Read the following aloud as the PCs travel down the road
A few hours march upriver stands an abandoned mill. Minor fire damage is visible on the tower structure of the mill; the outbuildings have been completely destroyed. The charred stumps of timber framing claw desperately at the sky. Holes where vertical timbers and fence posts once stood riddle the yard.
The mill’s site suffers from an infestation of fire beetles and arson beetles (a variation on the bombardier beetle that shoots fire instead of acid). The holes in the yard warn of a possible vermin infestation with a DC 12 Knowledge (nature) check.
Trap: The gearing and machinery inside the mill tower are salvageable. Some of the connections were damaged in the fire—the assembly is unstable.
Falling Machinery Trap CR 3
Type mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 20
Trigger location; Reset none
Effect Atk +15 melee (2d4+6)
Creatures: The trap takes 5 rounds to disarm. The fire beetles scurry up out of cracks in the floor 2 rounds after someone begins tinkering with the trap (or sets it off). Once the beetles appear, it is impossible to take 10 on the trap, requiring anyone already doing so to roll theirDisable Device check or disengage—disengaging from disarming the trap (for any reason) sets it off. The arson beetle appears 2 rounds after the fire beetles, punching up through fire weakened floor beams.
Arson Beetle CR 2 (Pathfinder)
N medium vermin
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +0
AC 18, touch 11, flat-footed 18 (+1 Dex, +8 natural)
hp 13 (2d8+4)
Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +1
Immune mind-affecting effects
Speed 20 ft., fly 20 ft. (poor)
Melee bite +5 (1d6+6)
Special Attacks fire spray
Str 19, Dex 12, Con 15, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 9
Base Atk+1; CMB +5; CMD 6 (14 vs. trip)
Skills Fly –6
Arson Beetle (CR 2) This giant stag beetle has only 2 hit dice and is Medium sized, but can spray fire once per round in a 10-foot cone. Those in the cone must make a DC 11 Fortitude save or take 1d4+2 points of fire damage. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Development Safely disarming the trap allows all of the machinery to be salvaged, earning the PCs 1,500 gp (or 2 profit points). Otherwise the intact bits are worth only 750 gp (1 profit point).
Next Time: Hear the tale of the Lost Battalion, a side quest in five posts that follows the trail of a mage-engineer and her company of special troops into a hidden vale deep inside the mountains, rife with danger.