Episode One: Muffin Man
The Trouble in Town is a short adventure for four 10th-level characters. The adventure takes place near a walled town by a shallow river with a nonfunctioning, long abandoned aqueduct. Dungeon Masters can modify the adventure to accommodate higher-level characters by giving humanoid foes more class levels and increasing the HD and/or age category of other opponents.
The walled town of Auldlar is one of the few towns in the region with an aqueduct. Unfortunately, the aqueduct hasn't functioned for many years, but the network of caverns and tunnels that once channeled water are still there, as are the deep underground water tables that have since lowered too far to feed the aqueduct.
An evil necromancer has been using the caverns to move his undead about secretly and has been digging new tunnels around the area. The undead have begun spilling out of their tunnels and taking fresh, living people instead of dead ones from the graveyards.
In this episode, the PCs discover a menace to Auldlar and go to an abandoned tower outside of town to investigate. There, they find a network that's not being used by water, but as a conduit for horrible things.
This adventure uses four of the maps from the Map-a-Week feature. Only the first one is used in this particular episode:
The adventure takes place in the town of Auldlar. Read or paraphrase the following when the PCs have already entered Auldlar.
Walford was indeed killed near the old tower.
The people (in order) missing from Auldlar are as follows:
One person has disappeared every day for the past four days.
The Old Tower (EL 9)
Locals refer to the tower as simply "the old tower." It was once used as a lookout for raiders that might emerge from the forest. It was built over the site of a large well that was used to start the aqueduct. Both the tower and the aqueduct have been long abandoned -- or so the townspeople believe.
When the PCs arrive at the old tower, the location where Walford was said to have been heading, read or paraphrase the following:
As the PCs approach, a successful Spot check (DC 20) allows them to notice activity near the upper window. This is the yrthak, which just recently leaped out of the window, though the PCs may not figure this out right away.
Development: What the townspeople do depends on what the PCs do next. If the PCs warn the townspeople to avoid the tower, the Auldlar citizens will assume that the tower is the source of all the evil that has been visiting them these past few nights, and they form a band of their most sturdy members and enter the tower on their own -- which could lead to their deaths. If the PCs tell the townspeople about the yrthak, then the folk assume their troubles are over -- the yrthak must have nested in the tower and swooped down and carried off the townspeople, including Walford.
Next episode, the PCs discover what's inside the tower and, among other things, how it was that a huge creature such as a yrthak could live inside the upper level of the tower, let alone squeeze through the tiny window.
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