Defenders of Romney's Glen
A D&D style one-off (?) that User:Johnm created in summer of 2019.
Our scene opens around mid-day hovering over a broad expanse of crops, workers with broad-brimmed hats harvesting yellow melons and loading them into carts. Insects hum in the golden light.
A boy of perhaps nine years trundles into the scene, and we follow him as he follows the path of a colorful curved piece of wood he has just thrown. The wooden toy catches the wind and curves like a hawk on a draft, leading the boy out of the field and into the adjacent wooded area.
He picks it up and throws it again, and twists this way and that, between trees and deeper into the woods.
The boy stops, and our camera zooms in on his face. First interest, curiosity. Then, recognition. He breaks into a run and the object of his gaze is revealed - a white shirt, crumpled at the foot of a big dead tree. He picks it up. It's bloody, and torn to ribbons.
His eyes fill with tears, he turns back towards the fields, and runs, calling for his mama.
Romney's Glen, a pastoral village of around 1000 souls, 50 miles up the Wild River from the grand city of Argyle. Some forested hills, broad river valleys, most of which are seasonal wetlands or ponds or dangerous canyons as the unpredictable torrent expresses itself. Summers are warm, and you get a little snow in the winter.
You have lived here for more than 10 years -- some of you were born here.
The village is growing! Last year, through the help of labor supplied by Baron Dietrich, the southern wetlands were diked and drained and crops planted. Now it's mid-summer and the first harvest season for the melons and beans that were planted this spring.
This afternoon, you have been summoned by the village leader, Mayor Simpson. Mayor is kind, a little weak and doddering in his 70s, long golden hair and a wispy beard, wearing farmer's clothes like always.
As you enter the Great Hall, a 1000sq ft low-ceilinged stone building with thatched roof. It's hot and dimly lit, flies buzz, chickens cluck, and a baby's crying outside.
You are acquainted with the others that have been summoned:
- Garl Stoneblood, a foul-tempered dwarven blacksmith who arrived 20 years ago to forge parts for the town's communal grain mill, and just never left.
- Maximus Pugnicus, born here almost 50 years ago, went off to become a soldier and returned a few years ago to care for his aging mother
- Tiriana Holalee (stayed behind), the town's only elf, discovered as a child wandering in the woods, raised here by surrogate parents, now deceased. She has recently returned from two years of schooling in the towers of the grand city of mages, Argyle.
- Skibby Ribbard, born here, a wily, risk-taking hunter, rarely s
- Garrison Holyoak, born here, the village's spiritual leader, storyteller, healer
- Rolo Gronk, the butcher's son, a musclebound brawler, almost always shirtless. He is not kind and is not well-liked, and so when he left for a year to try out pit-fighting in a big city up north, everyone was relieved. He returned last year as a laborer in the swamp-draining project and now is sticking around again, works odd jobs.
The Mayor's Speech:
- We are blessed with good weather, good citizens, good land, good luck - mostly
- The new crops are doing great and will yield a great bounty for us all at market
- Jean-Jacques Dubleaux (a crop-picker you know of) went missing two days ago. His wife Claudette is beside herself, of course
- And, Henry Cydesdale went missing yesterday. And today... his son Pierre... found this: [bloody shirt in tatters]
- Something awful is happening in the southern cropland. We don't know if it's man or beast.. Or worse.
- And so we send our best. Our stoutest warriors. Our luckiest hunter. Our... only mage. And our spiritual healer to provide leadership, solace and.... comfort when things get rough.
- The citizens refuse to harvest. We must eliminate this threat.
Mayor Simpson has exhausted his favors with the Baron, so we must figure this out on our own.
The party trekked into the woods, relying on Gibby's tracking skills.
Eventually, Rolo fell in a pit trap -- which also rang a bell.
The bell attracted 6 spear-wielding goblins, 5 of which were slain as they retreated by Gibby and Rolo.
Gibby became obsessed with tracking the goblins -- instead of the beast -- and so the party trekked east.
Whilst sleeping around the coals of their campfire, the goblin horde advances. A battle ensues, and injuries are suffered.
But then, the beast attacks! It's an OWLBEAR.
Rolo, Garl, and Gibby deal the thing terrible blows, and the shirtless Rolo is almost gutted by the thing. Finally, it is Maximus that lays the beast to rest.
A celebration follows.