Welcome to Fort Thorn

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

With GameMastery Module W1: Conquest of Bloodsworn Vale just about to ship out to subscribers, it's time to introduce your PCs to their new home: Fort Thorn. This small community is the only bastion of civilization in the Vale and, as such, makes for the most likely home base for explorers. The following are descriptions of a few key places:

A3. Keep

Aside from the shrine, Fort Thorn's keep is the only other stone building in town. This massive two-story structure is home to Sir Gyrad Tolgrith (NG male human fighter 4/ranger 2) and all of his men. The first floor of the structure contains the meeting hall, armory, mess hall, kitchen, and storage rooms. The second floor contains a smaller, private meeting hall, the barracks, the planning room, and Sir Tolgrith's private quarters.

Fort Thorn's current staff includes 40 soldiers (LG male human warrior 2), 4 scouts (NG male human ranger 2), 2 sergeants (LG male human fighter 4), and Sir Tolgrith.

A6. The Boar's Bones

Shortly after settling the fort, the soldiers faced their first crisis when the food caravan was late and their supplies ran low. Sir Tolgrith sent out his scouts to forage and hunt, but after three days they had not found much. On the fourth day they scored big, dragging the carcass of an enormous dire boar back into camp at the same time the supply caravan finally arrived. During the evening's festivities, the boar was picked clean and the fort's cook, Orrend, kept the bones.

A month later, Orrend (CG male halfling expert 3) opened up the Boar's Bones, a small inn and tavern, to serve the off-duty soldiers, workers, and visitors who happened to stop by. The bones were carefully reconstructed with wire and wood, and the now-intact dire boar skeleton sits in the middle of the tavern with a pouch hanging from its tusks. Orrend insists that any tips given to the boar are sent to its grieving kin.

The food at the Boar's Bones is of good quality (4 sp per meal), combining local ingredients with caravan supplies. Orrend has yet to perfect his rose petal ale, so whenever he has a new batch ready, all tankards of it are half price (2 cp). Rooms at the Boar's Bones are simple, with only a single cot, washbasin, and cupboard apiece, but clean and free of vermin (1 gp per night).

A8. Shrine to Erastil

Every morning, the lone bell of this stone shrine tolls twice to start the prayer service. The shrine is dedicated to Erastil (LG god of hunting, trade, farming, and family), also known as "Old Deadeye." The shrine's lone cleric, Father Apar (LG male human cleric 5), tends to the spiritual needs of the community, including healing and other minor spellcasting. Father Apar offers these services for free to the soldiers, but all others must pay the usual price. Father Apar also has a number of divine potions and scrolls for sale, but none worth more than 300 gp.

Father Apar's morning sermons are usually quite calm affairs, with the elderly cleric reading from holy scriptures and addressing current concerns. Sir Tolgrith makes sure to attend twice per week, but never on a regular schedule. After the morning prayers, Father Apar walks around town, talking to the locals about their problems or tending to the sick. Once per week, after the day's labor is over, Father Apar invites all to an archery challenge in front of the fort. To the winner he gifts a potion of his own creation (usually cure light wounds).

There are, of course, many more places to visit in Fort Thorn, but I'll leave those secrets for you to discover.

Jason Bulmahn
GameMastery Brand Manager

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