You have arrived at the town of Stellanford,
on the Duke’s Road. The
town is bustling and busy, with many
visitors and merchants’ wagons seeking
hostels and stables for horses. This
is no ordinary day, for tomorrow is the
first day of the King’s Festival!
Karameikos has no king, but this
long-held festival honors a great hero of
the distant past, King Halav. Long before
Karameikos was a nation, King
Halav of the Traldar folk fought with his
warriors against evil Beast-Men. In a
great battle, Halav and the king of the
Beast-Men fell, but the evil ones fled
and the safety of the humans was ensured.
You’re rather late in arriving, and
many folk are asleep. You sniff the
pleasing aroma of cooking meat and
warm bread, and you make for the
tavern, the Hungry Halfling, for a
meal and some rest.
The inn is busy, but you find a table
right away. The friendly old halfling
who owns the hostelry charges 5 silver
pieces for dinner, a bed, and breakfast.
It’s good value though-the joint
of beef you see on the table will fill
your stomach after your long journey!
After a good meal and a chat with
your friends, you settle down to sleep
in a comfortable bed with clean linen.
Just before dawn you wake to the
sound of shouting in the streets, and
you can see flickering flames through
your window! Hurriedly, you dress,
grab your possessions, and go outside.
Townsfolk and travelers mill about,
some crying in panic or fear. You see
that the small temple in the town is
ablaze! A tall man dressed in gray
robes walks over toward you and begs
for your help.
“The orcs have raided us! They
have burned our temple, and Aralic
the Priest cannot be found. They
must have kidnapped him! The
wretched orcs have to be found and
slain, or they will be back to loot and
kill again. Two of our people are dead.
Will you help?”
At once, another man-older with
graying hair and angry eyes, wearing
leathers-steps forward beside the
gray-robed fellow and holds out his
arms to you.
“If you want to follow the orcs, I
can track ’em for you. One bunch of
warriors has already gone off looking,
but they’ve got the wrong trail. I can
show you how to find ’em. My name
is Janner and I want to help. My son
lies dead from their swords.”
His voice breaks as he points into
the distance, where the orcs have
Here is the adventure you sought!
There are evil orcs to fight, a goodly
cleric to rescue, and maybe treasure in
the caves you are told the orcs inhabit!
You follow Janner at a slow walking
pace as he traces a trail that you can
only see part of the time-a blood
stain in the grass here, a tuft of material
or hair there, some heavy footmarks
in damp patches. But after a
couple of hours Janner stops and
points to some foothills about two
miles in the distance.
“There”, he says. “Head for those
caves. That’s where the orcs’ll be. I
wish I could come with you, but I
the rage of revenge i have would hinder
your chances.” Though he clearly wishes he
could fight with you, Janner turns
and heads back to Stallanford.
You march on warily, and soon you
see a hilly mound with an unmistakable
narrow, dark entrance. You are a
hundred feet or so away, but the rock
cover is such that you can probably get
a lot closer without being detected.
What plans will you make against the