Horror of Lannock Hill - Episode 1: Survivor
by Tom Kristensen
The Horror of Lannock Hill is a short adventure for four 10th-level characters. The party may consist of any mix of classes, although at least one member of the party should be capable of handling a difficult melee combat. The adventure is pretty straightforward, and it should provide a good challenge for characters from 8th to 10th level. It can be set in any campaign world.
Ah, the joys of Chaos. Go anywhere, do anything, for any reason or no reason in particular. Such is the life of slaadi, especially, one gray slaad and his two blue slaadi minions. The three have made their way to a sleepy corner of the world to visit a little chaos, death, and destruction upon the locals because, quite frankly, that's what slaadi are good at.
Hooking the Characters
The characters are passing through a small town called Lannock Hill. Upon their arrival, there is a commotion of sorts. One of the monks from the local monastery has staggered into town, severely wounded and feverish. The locals are tending to his wounds in the common room at the inn, which is where a rather scared farmer guides the characters. The monk has several wounds, and a DC 25 Heal check reveals that he is suffering from the first stages of an infection. The disease is from the bite of a blue slaad, one of the creatures that invaded the monastery.
All anyone can get out of the injured fellow is that some "blue-skinned demons" attacked the monks two nights ago while everyone slept. He was bitten and hurled out the window of the upper level, landing in a thick bed of peat that cushioned his fall. The monk staggered off into the night, eventually collapsing in some bushes. He awoke the next day and wandered aimlessly for a while until he managed to weave his way into town, purely by luck.
The monastery is a rather ordinary stone building, 60 feet long and 40 feet wide. It is not surrounded by any sort of wall, but rather an assortment of bushes, shrubs, and trees. (The monks are accomplished horticulturists.) There are also several fountains, pools, and ponds that the monks use for reflection and meditation (as well as the study of aquatic plants).
The lower level is divided in half by a thick wooden wall. The southern half, a large room, roughly 30 feet by 40 feet wide, serves as a dining area and meeting hall. Long, sturdy tables with simple benches on each side dominate the room. A raised podium rests in the center of this room, standing about two feet off of the floor. Passing through the archway in the north wall, you enter the kitchen, storage, and bathing area. Three large hearths and one brick oven are placed along the far wall. Shelves, crates, and barrels neatly line the walls, holding the usual assortment of foodstuffs and cooking supplies. Four massive barrels, roughly 4 feet high and 10 feet in diameter, are raised off the floor by squat stone blocks. This setup allows the monks to stash trays of hot coals underneath, keeping the baths quite warm. A 20 by 20 root cellar lies below, accessible by a narrow staircase.
The upper level is one large common room. Half of it is filled with desks, benches, chairs, and stools. The walls in the study half have built-in floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, most of them filled with tomes, on horticulture, poetry, and history. The other half of the room is the sleeping quarters, complete with simple wooden beds and an unlocked chest at the foot of each bed for the few personal belongings of each monk. Nothing of great value is contained in any chest, mostly extra robes, underclothes, books, and a few knickknacks (religious icons, etc).
Of course now everything on both levels is broken, smashed, and scattered about by the invading slaadi.
Urged on by the frightened townsfolk and the sight of the wounded monk, the characters can head off to investigate. The monastery stands on a low hill just outside of town. The double doors leading into the plain, two-story structure have been demolished, which allows the characters to see several bodies strewn about the main hall. They appear to have met rather violent ends?.
About the Author
Tom Kristensen is an editor on the D&D Worlds team at Wizards of the Coast. He lives on the east side of Lake Washington with his wife, daughter, and three cats. He has played D&D for more than 20 years with the same group of guys, and he has an embarrassingly large collection of unpainted miniatures that he keeps promising his fellow gamers he'll paint -- one of these days.
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