Farm Encounter

Description

The goal of this quest is to introduce the players to the cult working for Pho'Fu'Saq. We will introduce them via low level cultists right now.
The current cultist goal is to prepare a portal site. They do not contain a portal "gem"/body part right now as a higher level cultist is going to arrive with that in the very near future. These cultists are simply to clear the farm and guard it until their superior arrives.

Perhaps this particular farm was targeted because of a relative who happens to know stuff about other realities?

Details

0. Getting the quest

As you are relaxing in the main hall of the castle you hear frantic banging on the doors.  

Some farmers from the farm a few km or so out have made the trek to the keep, upon hearing that it is now occupied.  They are very concerned, frantic and looking for help.  

Earlier in the day (or in the night?) they were attacked by several strangely dressed men who stated that they were taking the farm by force and it was to be used for their ceremony.  When the owner of the farm and his farmhands protested they were killed, and wife and daughter (Amelia and Nashandra) who made it here barely made it out alive.  They want the players to help them.  If the players agree they will give the players directions to the farm.

1. Approaching The Farm

As the players approach the farm (say 5 km away) give them a warning. We want to give them the opportunity to get off their horses and proceed stealthily.

Approximately 5km from where you estimate the farm is, the road forks. One path veering sharply north and the other continuing along a generally eastwardly path.

You are going to have to improvise here. The farm is generally 5km north of this spot. They will spot some wild animals but nothing will really give them issues. If the players stick to the main road, they really haven't gained anything. Allow them, perhaps, to walk through the fields of corn or wheat or something that'll hide their approach.

The farm is a self sustaining subsistence farm. There are pigs, chickens, a cow or two and some land to farm on. Everything is done by hand as this is olden times.

ALTERNATIVELY:

As you walk down the poorly maintained dirt road, you spot in the distance several buildings that match with the farm you heard of earlier.  Surrounding the farm are various farm animals and fields upon fields of wheat.  Off in the distance you also spot two figures standing on the side of the road, chatting with each other and looking very bored.  

Marshall's Campaign:

They both wear beards, strange thick eyewear, skinny blue pants and checkerboard patterned shirts.  

Nathans:

Half of their hair is shaved, the other half parted over the side, they have thick mustaches, skinny pants and suspenders.

This is where the farm encounter begins.  They have the option of attempting to approach stealthily, or perhaps talk to the people on guard.  The guards are brand new recruits and thus don't know much about what's going on, other than that they're on the low end of the totem pole and don't know much about what's going on.  They know that there is some sort of ritual going on in the barn but don't know what's what yet.  If the players  try to press onwards they'll insist the players choose a different route or not go that way, maybe even saying "this route is popular; wouldn't you rather find stuff like this before everyone starts using it?"  The players may want to fight them, or take their uniforms or something.

2. Farmhouse

Main Floor

As you enter the farmhouse, the scent of blood is very strong. All about, signs of a struggle are apparent. It is obvious that the occupants of this house did not willingly submit to those that meant them harm.

Sleeping in the chairs to your left are two humans.

Farmhouse is the site of the slaughter of a family. It is grotesque because the cultists have no interest in it. They want to use the barn. The farmhouse, however, has been looted very thoroughly. The cultists have started piling  the treasure from upstairs on the kitchen table so that they do not have to keep visiting the carnage up there. They are not complete this which is why there are several cultists around right now.

On the table are the following: False Flag (https://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/False_Flag_(5e_Equipment)), 40 sp, silver cutlery (2gp)

People sleeping in chairs are both knights

  • CR7 Knight - http://rpgtinker.com/index.php?template=Knight&race=Human&radioattribute=Hero+Array+%2818%2C16%2C14%2C12%2C10%2C10%29&numberofhitdice=7&hitdice=d8

Basement

The basement of this farm house is cooler than the main floor. Evidence of use is ever where. A small box fort is located in the North East corner. You imagine children playing and hiding in and around the boxes. On a table in the South West corner is a large wooden shield and great sword. Obviously the family's father enjoyed maintaining his old equipment as both look well maintained and usable. You figure this was likely where the family used to spend lots of time in this cool basement during warm summer afternoons.

Inside the room in the middle of the basement lurk two demons. They will, obviously, attack when the players open the door. These are Shadow Demons (http://www.aidedd.org/dnd/monstres.php?vo=shadow-demon).

Second Floor

A spacious bedroom comprises nearly all of the second floor. On the bed are two bloody corpses. Standing beside the nightstand are two cultists. [if players have fought loudly on previous floors or aren't being stealthy] The cultists obviously heard your arrival and are prepared for your arrival.

Cultists will get a surprise round if the players have fought loudly on other floors or aren't being stealthy.

One is an acolyte, one is a knight:

  • CR 7 Acolyte - http://rpgtinker.com/index.php?template=Acolyte&race=Human&radioattribute=Hero+Array+%2818%2C16%2C14%2C12%2C10%2C10%29&numberofhitdice=7&hitdice=d8
  • CR7 Knight - http://rpgtinker.com/index.php?template=Knight&race=Human&radioattribute=Hero+Array+%2818%2C16%2C14%2C12%2C10%2C10%29&numberofhitdice=7&hitdice=d8

3. Other Out Buildings

  • Slaughter House

    • Where the animals are slaughtered and turned into foodstuffs
  • Pig pen

    • the pigs have been killed and are currently being hung in the slaughter house
  • Chicken Coop

    • Same as the Pig pen, the chickens have been killed and are in the slaughter house awaiting "cleaning"
  • Stable

    • Horses are alive and well. Cultists are keeping them around to take with them. Good horses are hard to find
  • Outhouses (see below)
  • Barn (see below)
  • Gazebo. It's quaint and definitely won't eat you alive

4. Outhouses

Two wooden buildings that are approximately 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide sit a modest distance away from the house.

These are the outhouses. If the players actually enter these. Why not. It's smelly inside these outhouses although not gross like a porta potty (this is a family taking care of their washroom essentially). Nothing major will happen to the players. If a heavily armored or heavy creature goes in, 1d6 chance of the floor breaking and them falling into the sh*t.

5. Barn

From across the field you can tell the barn is well guarded. You can see several armed humanoids as well as some non-humanoids wandering about.

If the players are not sneaking, they have been spotted. This is the plains, this isn't a forest. There isn't much concealment other than maybe crawling. Actually roll stealth checks. It might be worth dropping subtle hints that armored characters don't always need to run around with their full suit of armor on their back!

The non-humanoids are smaller demons. Approx 4 groups of a low CR demon and low CR cultist patrolling the farmhouse. There are also the occasional patrol around the farm lands but these are fewer.

If a cultist is captured an interrogated, the cultist is maniacal. They know the following:

  • All cultists know the following

    • Sent to clear the farm of all inhabitants and collect supplies for the cult
    • They follow the Cult of Pho'Fus'Saq, the great and powerful (and unknown) demon lord
    • They are clearing the farm for a portal
    • Know that some of the cultists will be going through and some will be coming from the portal

      • If asked what will come through, "The path to a new world, and the power to destroy those who are unworthy!!!"
    • Do not know how to contact anyone but direct superior (who is with them)
    • Know that everlasting glory and power will be theirs!
  • If this is the cultist after the Barn Interior they know more than the others

    • Know that they serve a leader who has made a deal with a demon
    • Know that this demon is very powerful
    • Know that they were being transported somewhere else that was somewhat the same but also slightly different
    • Base of operations is in an old abandoned fort within the boundaries of the Thay Empire (This is where the players can go next and can find old crazy Deckard Kain)
    •  
  • Things they ABSOLUTELY DO NO KNOW

    • Portal to other reality
    • How it is opened
    • Limitations of portals

Bottom Left: Horse Pens

These four 5×10 pens are horse pens, used to keep horses in tight areas for cleaning and feeding.  Three horses are currently occupying the pens, while an acolyte/knight lies partially in the trough of the fourth one, seemingly passed out.  

Top Left: Stable Pens

As you get closer to some pens you hear a soft sobbing, followed by someone saying, "Please, help me."  The acolyte/knight who is on guard bangs on the door and shouts, "shut up!  No one's saving you!"

If the players go near the pens there appear to be an injured farm hand who is being kept prisoner in one of the stable pens.  A lone acolyte/knight stands guard with the keys to the pens.  

If the players free him he will thank them, although he won't know what he can do to repay them.  He can warn them that in the next room over are demons and more of these knights.  They're doing some kind of… ritual in there.  And there appear to be more in there than originally arrived.

Middle Room beside the smaller table

This small and cramped room is musty with the smell of grain dust.  You see in this room a hand grinder of sorts, and a bin full of seeds.  On the table lay various tools.

With a proper knowledge check (I'm not sure what it is) The players will deduce that this room is for creating feed for the various farm animals from the crops they have.  

Middle Bottom Barn Room

This looks very similiar to the other barn pens, but a fair bit larger.   Various unidentifiable tools line the wall.  But by far the most eye catching thing in the room is a large dragon, sleeping in the middle of it.

The players were not the only ones to hear about this and investigate.  Nalfamar, the Young Bronze (Silver in Marshall's group as it's bigger) Dragon has also heard about these cultists and went to investigate the rumors of demons and cultists in his domain.  But he was too cocky, figuring that nothing was a match for a dragon and was defeated and placed in this cell.  When the players first choose to check him out he'll initially be untrusting, a bit hostile and sarcastic.  (Oh look, more humans have come to the zoo to see the dragon.)   However if the players gain his trust, he can make an ally who can occasionally visit them in their castle (possibly guarding it if the players are convincing enough) Or perhaps passing by on occasion to trade information for gold for what's going on.  

He has a cave about a days walk away from the castle in the hills, and a very small treasure.  (And if asked about it he will claim he has no treasure; why does every human believe the stereotype that dragons have treasure?)  If freed he will be in the player's debt and will repay them at some point in time, perhaps with treasure, perhaps with info or maybe a magic item.  If the players fight him he will put up a fight but will also try to flee.  If the players fight and kill him, they may have to answer to his mother, who will be a much tougher fight 1d4+2 days in the future.

http://www.orcpub.com/dungeons-and-dragons/5th-edition/monsters/young-bronze-dragon

http://www.orcpub.com/dungeons-and-dragons/5th-edition/monsters/young-silver-dragon

Barn Interior

Peering into the dark interior of the farm you behold a very strange sight. Around the walls of the barn are bales of hay as well as well organized farm implements and the ground is covered in straw. In the middle of the barn is a dark oval shaped portal with tendrils of purple floating a few inches above the ground. The portal gives you the impression of looking down from a very high cliff and a wave of vertigo hits you. (DC 14 constitution to not be sickened for 1 round)

MARSHALL:
In front of the portal are two large demons. They appear to be issuing orders to a group of 4 bearded individuals wearing skinny jeans surrounding them. Abruptly the demons stop talking and the one on the left turns and strides into the portal. Immediately, approximately half of the cultists follow the demon through the portal.

NATHAN:
In front of the portal are 4 individuals with partially shaved heads that are wearing skinny jeans. One of which seems to be barking out orders. Abruptly, he stops and half of the cultists stand up and stride through the portal with confidence.

1d4+2 rounds after this occurs, the other side of the portal will start spitting out the cultists from the other side. Nathan's world will have a large demon appear and this will certainly make people a bit scared (as it should). Don't down play the size of the demon or the fact that he'll probably wreck the party if they aren't careful. Reduce the number of cultists that come through if it looks like the party can't handle a demon or they haven't killed off enough of the existing cultists. Note that if during the ensuing fight players cast fire magic, etc, this is a barn with lots of flammable hay.

The barn is rather large and is sort of a riding arena/barn/stable combination.  Feel free to place plenty of knights/acolytes in various rooms in the barn.  Also feel free to populate the barn with various animals; there are a lot of stables that various animals could be placed in, or perhaps survivors.  

Main Portal Room

Up on the second level are also cultists. These ones are all knights with bows or crossbows; after the fighting begins they'll either shoot the players with arrows, or they'll throw bales of hay at them.

Nathan's Cultists are acolytes.
Marshall's are knights.

  • CR 2 Cult Fanatic - http://www.orcpub.com/dungeons-and-dragons/5th-edition/monsters/cult-fanatic
  • CR 7 Acolyte - http://rpgtinker.com/index.php?template=Acolyte&race=Human&radioattribute=Hero+Array+%2818%2C16%2C14%2C12%2C10%2C10%29&numberofhitdice=7&hitdice=d8
  • CR7 Knight - http://rpgtinker.com/index.php?template=Knight&race=Human&radioattribute=Hero+Array+%2818%2C16%2C14%2C12%2C10%2C10%29&numberofhitdice=7&hitdice=d8
  • CR 13 Nalfeshnee (large demon) - http://www.orcpub.com/dungeons-and-dragons/5th-edition/monsters/nalfeshnee
  • CR 8 Hezrou – http://www.orcpub.com/dungeons-and-dragons/5th-edition/monsters/hezrou

Overall: 1 acolyte (M)/knight (N) and 1 cult fanatic come through portal, 1 cult fanatics and 1 acolyte (N)/knight (M) already in barn around portal. Up on the second floor are 2 knights standing and watching (both worlds) that will fire arrows down upon the party. The hope is the players will finish off the existing creatures before the other ones step through the portal. The new creatures may need initiatives to be put into the fight.

If during this fight they do not capture a cultist, there are a few options:

  1. Cultist hiding behind bales of hay
  2. Cultist from other realm punted in

Quest giving Details

  • Let the player explore around a bit if they like. Make things up, make it fun. Keep villages the same but other minor details can vary between worlds.
  • Into the castle gallops a wild and frantic horse. This horse has a single gravely wounded young man on it's back

    • Man is too injured to answer questions right now
  • Once the young man is stabilized (about 1 day) he tells how he was riding to tell the Iron King of the attack on his farm

    • The farm indicated is a large farm in the PC territory and to the East of the castle (about 1 day ride)
    • He does not know exactly what the attackers are planning he just escaped

      • Tells of them killing his family and he fled

        • Family of 7. Mother, father, 4 siblings
      • Hid in the cellar until they left the farmhouse then ran
    • Knows that they were heavily guarding one of the barns on his family's land
    • No idea of the size of the force

      • He saw a total of 5 that were searching the house and maybe 3 or four standing guard at the barn when he left
    • Cannot give an exact location on a map, but good enough to get the PCs there
    • Does not know how to read
  •  

Differences in the World

Marshall's

 

Nathan's

 

Reward

  • Information

Impact on the World

  • Scarred area of land where the portal was

    • ?Some random NPCs recognize this as similar to the scarring of the circle of blue fire?

Enemies

  • Cultists

    • CR 2 Cult Fanatic - http://www.orcpub.com/dungeons-and-dragons/5th-edition/monsters/cult-fanatic
    • CR 7 Acolyte - http://rpgtinker.com/index.php?template=Acolyte&race=Human&radioattribute=Hero+Array+%2818%2C16%2C14%2C12%2C10%2C10%29&numberofhitdice=7&hitdice=d8
    • CR7 Knight - http://rpgtinker.com/index.php?template=Knight&race=Human&radioattribute=Hero+Array+%2818%2C16%2C14%2C12%2C10%2C10%29&numberofhitdice=7&hitdice=d8
  • Demons

    • CR 5 Shadow Demon - http://www.aidedd.org/dnd/monstres.php?vo=shadow-demon
    • CR 6 Vrock - http://www.orcpub.com/dungeons-and-dragons/5th-edition/monsters/vrock
    • CR 8 Hezrou - http://www.orcpub.com/dungeons-and-dragons/5th-edition/monsters/hezrou
    • CR 13 Nalfeshnee - http://www.orcpub.com/dungeons-and-dragons/5th-edition/monsters/nalfeshnee
    • CR 16 Marilith - http://www.orcpub.com/dungeons-and-dragons/5th-edition/monsters/marilith

      • This is a beast of a demon
  • Random Wildlife?

Farm Encounter

Between Two Worlds marshallw DDragon