**Note: the following material is copyright 1998-2002 by Kenneth McDonald. Copying and/or distribution is allowed only on the condition that no part of the material be used or sold for profit. All other rights are reserved by the author. The following is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to real persons or events is purely coincidental.**
Note: the mini-adventures that take place in and around Northpine are linked to this page at the bottom. A map of the village has also been provided at the bottom of this page.
An Introductory D&D adventure setting for first level characters
The village of Northpine is a small adventure setting that I created as a starting point for 1st level characters in my campaign setting, although the village and its surroundings can be easily inserted into an existing campaign. This setting provides few enough NPCs so that the DM is not overtaxed in developing the environment for the players, while offering several brief adventure opportunities. These "mini-adventures" include:
1) Brigand Hunt: unknown raiders are causing difficulties along the tracks
and trails northwest of the town, and the constable needs a group of
adventurers-for-hire to investigate.
2) Recover a Magic Item: a sage has taken up residence in this little village, investigating the ancient history of the region when it was more than a quiet backwater. His research has led him to seek out the location of a long-lost item from that bygone era, a magical lamp that aids divination. Now all he needs is someone to fetch it for him...
3) A "Simple" Survey Mission: the imposing matron of the village's wealthiest family is looking for mercenaries to investigate a run-down, long abandoned mansion a few miles south of the town, and if necessary clear the area of any potential threats. She wants to buy the land and rebuild the estate house, but the villagers are wary of the place, which local rumor holds to be haunted...
Northpine is a small farming community of about 200 people located about 80 miles northeast of the city of Adelmar on the trade route between the inland baronies of the kingdom of Regal and the coast. It is close to the town of Crosspath to the north and many of the villagers have relatives there. The place does not seem particularly impressive at first glance, consisting of only a scattering of simple wooden buildings and farms, with other settlements radiating out up to one mile's distance from the village commons. The village provides rest to travelers and basic services for its residents, containing an inn, smithy, general store, and a small church. Although the villagers owe fealty to the lord of Adelmar, Baron Rothwick, Northpine is far enough away that its people are largely left to their own affairs and taxes are light.
Key Personages in Northpine
Note: unless otherwise noted, villagers are 1st or 2nd level commoners with statistics in the average range (8-12). If necessary, roll d4/level for hit points. Villagers don't ordinarily carry weapons, but all have access to staves, scythes, clubs, etc. if necessary, and adult males will ordinary have a spear or bow and padded armor in their homes, as members of the village militia.
Mayor Greenswald (Com4): Auctorias Greenswald is a retired farmer who has lived in the area for 40 years. Living on a modest pension paid by the village, he believes strongly in the welfare of the community and will do whatever he can to advance it. He presides over the village council, which consists of himself, Derik Anthernorn, the constable, the innkeeper, and priest. He lives in a simple house off the village commons and spends most of his time talking to his constituents or working in the extensive garden behind his house. He has two grown sons who have married and live in Crosspath. Greenswald himself is a widower. The house contains a lot of knicknacks and growing things, but little of value (the village treasury is kept in the constable's office, see below).
Erron Laddrick (Ftr3): Laddrick is the town constable, who was a low-ranking officer in the Baron's forces until his advanced age (he's currently 56) forced his retirement. Unable to advance in the ranks due to his humble background, he was given this post as compensation and has developed a genuine fondness for the town and its occupants. Although age has sapped some of his strength, he's still a competent soldier (Ftr3: AC 13 [studded leather], hp20, Atk sword +6 melee [1d6+1], Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +1, S13, D11, C12, I10, W11, Ch12). He generally carries his masterwork short sword and dagger with him.
Laddrick is in charge of keeping order and representing the Baron's authority in the town, so he doubles as a tax collector and heads the town militia. The villagers are generally a quiet folk, but there are just enough outsiders traveling through the place to keep Laddrick busy. His office contains a jail cell and a safe that holds the village treasury (50gp, 350sp, 800cp) and tax revenues, shipped south to Adelmar under guard twice a year (the tax shipment generally includes about 100gp value in small coin). Laddrick carries the key to the safe at all times, along with the key to a weapons locker that contains six light crossbows, 80 quarrels, 6 battle axes, and 20 pike heads. He has one full-time deputy, a village man named Herrodin (War1, AC 12 [leather], hp5, Atk +2 melee [1d8+1]), armed with a shortspear and dagger.
Olag Beedlebrim (Exp2): the owner of the Gray Oak Inn does a fair business off the travelers and merchants on the trade road. He rents rooms for 2gp a night (2 beds/room), or if the inn is overcrowded will set up cots in the common room for 2sp/night. His rates for food and drink are reasonable (PH list). He is assisted by his wife and two young sons, and has a seat on the village council.
At any given time during the day, the inn will have 2-8 villagers in the common room, with double that number after 6pm. During the evenings there is also a 30% chance that a group of merchants, wagon drivers, and guards (7-12 total persons) will be at the inn, and a 60% chance that Derik Anthernorn will be present with a group of 3-6 village men (see below). If either group is present, chances are that Erron Laddrick will be there as well, keeping an eye on things.
Sindrix Strongarm (Ftr4): Strongarm runs the village smithy alone, and is the only dwarf in Northpine. He is very skilled (has +8 Craft skill in blacksmithing, armorer, and weaponsmithing), but his rates are somewhat high (monopoly and all), especially for outsiders. He keeps to himself, and although he has lived in the village for 30 years the other residents don't know a lot about him- for example, that he used to be a warrior (Ftr4: AC 12 [leather apron and work-coat], hp27, Atk +6 melee [1d6+3], Fort +5, Ref +1, Will +0, S15, D10, C14, I12, W9, Ch8). He carries a heavy hammer around with him in the course of his work, but hidden in a box under his bed he keeps a suit of dwarf-sized chain mail +1, a heavy crossbow, and a battleaxe.
Sindrix will repair armor or weapons, although he's generally reluctant to make them, unless offered a lot of money (3x PH standard for any item up to 50gp base value).
Bodrim and Irana Kordel (Exp1, Com1): the Kordels run the general store with their teenaged son. They are fair people, and the store is well stocked with common goods and provisions. Armor and weapons, though, are uncommon, and are kept behind the counter in a locked case. The only items available are leather or padded armor, wooden shields, spears, daggers, scythes, short bows and arrows, light crossbows and bolts, hand axes, and slings. All armor and weapons are at 1.5x PH prices.
Comoran (Clr3): the village priest, presiding over the village's small church dedicated to Elisandra, goddess of agriculture. He cares for the spiritual needs of the community with the help of Indel, a young orphan. He leads Northpine in the annual rituals of Midsummer and Spring Planting, and the Harvest Festival. Comoran has six vials of holy water that he will sell to adventurers for a minimum contribution of 40gp each, and if approached by a cleric of another good-aligned deity he will scribe scrolls for them at the prices listed in the Dungeon Master’s Guide. He usually carries the spells 0/Create Water, 0/Cure Minor Wounds, 0/Detect Poison, 0/Purify Food and Water, 1/Detect Evil, 1/Detect Undead, 1/Entangle, 1/Sanctuary, 2/Speak with Animals, 2/Shield Other (spheres: Plant, Protection). (Clr3, AC 10, HD3d8-3, hp11, Atk open hand +1 melee [1d3 subdual], Fort +2, Ref +1, Will +4, S9, D10, C9, I12, W13, Ch13)
Derik Anthernorn (Ari2): the head of the village's richest family and largest landlord. The Anthernorns employ a half-dozen villagers on their estate about a mile east of town and have three other families as tenants on their lands nearer to town. Derik, who came into his inheritance when his father died three years ago, barely lives up to the responsibilities of his position; now thirty, he still spends most of his time riding, hunting, and carousing with his friends at the inn. He's brash and can be abrasive when he has a few pints of ale in him, but is not evil or malicious. He's married to the daughter of a merchant from Crosspath, who is pregnant with their first child.
Luckily for the future of his family, Derik's mother, Althera (Ari4), is driven, intelligent, and a check on her son's behavior. She intends her grandchildren to inherit a larger estate despite Derik's spendthrift habits. She makes sure that the Anthernorn voice on the village council is heard, and is currently planning to purchase land south of the village to expand the family holdings (and perhaps the size of the village as well; Althera has big plans for Northpine).
The family's retainers include a full-time guard, Colum (War2, AC 15 [chain shirt, buckler], hp15, Atk masterwork longsword +6 melee [1d8+3], Fort +5, Ref +0, Will +0, S17, D10, C14, I9, W10, Ch11) who is absolutely loyal to the family (Althera's a good judge of character), two domestic servants, and three farm laborers. The house is full of fairly valuable items (20 items worth 10-40gp each), and a locked safe hidden in Althera's room contains 12 50gp gems, 350gp, 1400sp, and a potion of cure moderate wounds. The family has several thousand gold pieces tied up in merchant interests in Crosspath and Adelmar as well.
Nordrum (Div4): a sage who came to Northpine for a "temporary" stay two years ago, Nordrum lives in a small house on the east side of the village. He specializes in history of this region, with a particular emphasis on legends, folklore, and ancient magic. He is also a 4th level diviner, but rarely uses his magical talents and none of the villagers know that he is more than a solitary old scholar. He has a very large dog as a pet and guardian. Nordrum is working on behalf of a group of magi in Adelmar, who are seeking information about lost magical treasures from an empire that once held sway in this region some thousand years past. He has recently found clues that indicate that one such item, a magical lamp, may be located in an old ruin nearby.
Nordrum's house has only two rooms and is cluttered with disorganized stacks of books and scrolls scattered along the walls and piled on the furniture. A wagon, still containing a few unpacked items (mostly books and clothes), stands next to the house, covered by a heavy tarp. A simple, unlocked chest under some old cloaks and a few open scrolls contains 800gp in eight small sacks, a potion of levitation, a wooden tube containing two scrolls (a magic-user scroll with 1/spider climb and 1/obscuring mist, and a cleric scroll with 1/cure light wounds, 0/create water, and 1/protection from evil), and a flask of curses (the person who opens this small metal bottle will be briefly surrounded by a haze of white smoke; his/her skin will turn a pale white and will suffer a -1 to all attack rolls/saving throws until a remove curse spells is cast). Nordrum's spellbook is sitting on a table in plain view, jumbled in with a pile of other books. It is protected by exploding runes on the first page, and contains the spells listed below, plus all cantrips, 1/detect secret doors, 1/identify, 2/know alignment, and 2/see invisibility.
He often forgets to memorize spells but usually carries 0/detect magic, 1/comprehend languages, 1/sleep, 2/detect thoughts, 2/mirror image. He doesn't carry any weapons but does keep a potion of gaseous form that he will try to use to escape if he is attacked. If he is harmed, friends of his in Adelmar will hear and will not be pleased (the DM may create a group hired to track down the offenders, if desired).
Nordrum: Human Diviner 4, CR4, AC9, HD4d4, hp13, Atk staff +1 melee, D 1d6-1, Fort +1, Ref +0, Will +4, S8, D9, C11, I16, W12, Ch10, Concentration +3, Knowledge (arcana) +10, Knowledge (history) +10, Knowledge (nature) +10, Sense Motive +3, Spellcraft +10.
Growl: Medium-size animal, CR1, AC16, HD2d8+4, hp15, A bite +3 melee, D1d6+3, Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +1, Str 15, Dex 15, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6, Listen +5, Spot +5, Swim +5
Adventures in Northpine