The Universe Diary

The beginning.

On the way home…

“The main road out of Aebercombe is lined with lanterns that once burned bright, filling all who passed under with a sense of welcome and even warmth. But that was over 10 years ago, back when life was good, back in ‘The Green Days.’ The time of ‘Red’ has settled in now for the townsfolk, but all fear the inevitable time when ‘The Black’ arrives. You remember with regret the times you spent complaining to your parents about how miserable ‘The Blue’ was. You now know why they ignored you.
You continue down the road with your newfound friends. Each of you feels anxious about the prospect of your new life with these people, whether you show it or not. You gaze over to the vast mountainous terrain that ‘The Red’ has created. Some of you prefer it to the forests of ‘The Green,’ and others worry about the possibility of getting lost.
All of a sudden, lots of shouting erupts from a side street. You turn towards it just in time to dodge the wave of peasants pouring from the dark alley. You recognise their leader as the local folk hero Tholg Norxukh. He is a powerfully built half orc who is the champion for the poor and possibly the most wanted man in all the land. He is closely followed by a tall elf named Tashken. He leads the party of guards who seemed to have interrupted an important meeting, and were delighted to have done so.
Tholg notices your group stood there and runs towards you. He must have heard the rumours of an adventuring group in town and correctly assumed that it was you. He gets to you quickly and forces a book into your hands before running off to shepherd the slower women and children in the group of peasants. They pass by you and Tholg waves to you. Tashken takes the opportunity to throw one of his precious javelins. It only bounces of Tholg’s scaly back and joins the pile of trampled rubbish, it lands neatly next to the dead body of a small child.
And with that, the excitement was gone.
You wait there for a few minutes, unsure of what to do about the book, when you hear a loud roar of pain. You immediately exchange glances with your fellow adventurers and correctly assume that it could only be Tholg that could have made such a noise. The running footsteps stop and you hear Tashken bark orders to his troops, telling them to go back the way they came and look for “that dodgy group of trouble-makers!” Meaning you. You jump into the alley opposite the peasant’s meeting place just before the guards come round the corner.
The chase has begun."

A – Meeting place.

Dimly lit alley with no doors or windows on either side. A tall black wall links the bordering houses together. No features other than a letter to Tholg. It reads, “Dear Mr Norxukh, I enclose a book that I hope will be of interest to you and your companions.” It isn’t signed.

B – Opposite alley.

Small alley with barred wooden doors and rotting windows on either side. Some rats scurry around feet but pose no threat. When the characters exit this area, make stealth checks every turn, (DC13) until seen when ‘town guards’ attack.

C – Blocked entrance

As the group round the corner do stealth checks for each person to go round. Read " In front of you is a short stretch of road, with houses either side, that goes round to the right. You are able to see that the city guards have completely blocked this road. You do not need to make checks to see that there is no way you would be able to get through." If they are seen group of 2 ’town guards are sent to investigate.

D – The Cliff

“As you approach the end of the street you see the mountains stretch out before you. As you get closer you realise that the whole city must be on an 80m cliff made of smooth, slippery stone. It will be difficult to get down.” If they decide to go down here they will need climbing gear from the shop in the square, if not, they will need a map.

E – The city square

“The city square is a large, 20m by 20m area with a small grassy area on the other side. Two kobolds stand in the center, deep in conversation. They speak a different language.” Language check (DC15) because they talk with a strong accent. They are discussing what to do to store the book once they steel it of the guards.“The houses surrounding the square are mostly all barricaded up, apart from one. Which has a sign above it saying: Finnil’s emporium. The best/only shop in the city!’ You may find what you are looking for in there.” Decide whether to go in. If they do, read -"As you enter the shop, a wave of smells hit you. Not nice ones. Behind the desk is a small bearded man who is sitting on a wooden stool. He sees you but doesn’t move, but says “ah, more of your kind, is it? ’Av a good look, then get back ’t me table.” During your search in the shop, you find"_ insert what they were looking for_"you pay Finnil, take off 20gp, and go to leave the shop, as soon as you are outside, the 2 kobolds are waiting for you. They say “Arr, lovely little book you got there fellassss. Care to part withhhh it? 100gp. Final offer.” What do you do?" Either way there is a fight and the group leave the area. If they decide not to go into the shop and need a map, make a perception check (DC11) they find a map under a bench but then approached by the kobolds. If they need climbing equipment, kobolds, carrying climbing equipment, ask to trade. Fight.

F – The marketplace

In the market many stalls are set up, there are about 40 people here. No guards. The group should stock up on food, water and traveling resources. (50gp) One standard sword (80gp) can be bought, some hide armour (100gp) and lots of healing potions (20gp) Nobody here will talk to you, and immediately move out of your way, bowing their heads. A small girl named Megima approaches them. Explaining that they are scared. She offers to guide the group, and knows a secret way out.

G – The secret tunnel

If the group is with Megima, then they must make stealth checks to get into the tunnel. (DC14) if they are alone, they must make perception checks (DC13) but are spotted by a group of 5 guard minions. Fight and then enter the tunnel. Either way, then read, “The small tunnel is lined with several layers of sewage, making it slippery and the ride fast, but not less lung-burstingly smelly. Once you get near the bottom it levels out and you slow down enough for whoever is in front to open the grate, and you all fall out onto the fresh grass. Suddenly you realize that there is no way for Megima to get back up, not that she has any family to get up to.” Talk and then you set off, into the mountains.

H – the ruined bridge

“Down the road, you see what used to be a bridge. To get down will require climbing equipment.”
Getting down the cliff or bridge: Athletics check (DC15) fail= reflex save (DC18) fail = 40 hp loss.
Once down debate Megima.

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