Campaign: The Places
Sumberton was the small town where members of the group found themselves
at the beginning of this campaign. (Interestingly, David had placed it
very close to Hommlet, of The Temple of Elemental Evil fame, before
he knew that Return
to the Temple of Elemental Evil was in the works.) It rains in
Sumberton. I dont mean that like, "It snows in November."
It never stops raining in Sumberton; there are varying degrees
of rain, from mist, through drizzle, to downpour. I dont believe
anyone who grew up in that town had ever seen the sun. Which makes the
attempts of the Clergy of Pelor to build a temple in that city all the
was not the most cosmopolitan of places. Politicians and nobles, no longer
having need of warlord generals after the war, granted fiefdoms to these
dangerous individuals and sent them to the area. The biggest and baddest
of all the warlords had established his keep just a few miles west of
held maybe a half-dozen businesses -- the inn, a stockade of soldiers,
the soldiers tavern, the potions-seller, a general store, and the
merchant guildhouse. Most were there only to support a small farming community.
What do people grow where it rains all the time? Rice, of course -- lots
and lots of rice.
lay on trade routes and had an established merchant guild. The guild became
our partys primary source of work. Merchant caravans traveling west
of Sumberton were consistently getting ambushed by bandits, and the head
of the guild was none too happy with the "help" she was getting
from the stockade. The soldiers at the stockade were the only form of
law enforcement the area had, and were kept pretty occupied by orc attacks.
It was unclear to our characters whether the soldiers were corrupt, or
simply uninterested in the merchant guilds problems.
Bridge: The road leading west out of Sumberton traveled over a small
wooden bridge, just down the hill from the military stockade. Soldiers
at the stockade were miserable. Soldiers guarding the bridge and collecting
the toll were doubly so. Of course, those of us paying the one-gold-piece-per-leg
toll were not too happy about it, either.
Forest: West of town stood a forest filled with all sorts of vile
critters (as forests are wont to be). Worgs, dire wolves, dire badgers
(we accused David of being stuck on the "D" page in the Monster
Manual), and centaurs always pestered us on the way to the keep. The
centaurs werent happy with humans in their forest due to the bandits,
but we talked our way into friendship with them. And then they warned
us of "Blacky."
Hill: Druids lived on a hill southwest of town. They would move stones,
large and small, around the hill. The stones represented various forces
in the area, and the movement of the stones represented how they interacted
with other forces (stones) around them. The characters saw their stone
once. It was pretty bewildering. Thats what made it a great plot
point to throw into the campaign. The druids agenda was never clear,
but they did give us one good hint -- there was something under the keep.
Keep: Warlords had obviously moved out, because this keep was a mess.
Several towers were no more than rubble piles. Some outer walls were missing.
It was surprising that anyone would want to stay in this place, and even
more amazing when we found two different groups fighting over it like
it was gold.