I spotted a simple adventure location – Red Revina’s Hideout – posted by a user on the Symbaroum forum by Reddit user -ArthurDent-. A bandit lair with a small cell, some potential resistance and a interesting leader with distinctive daywear!
While I assume the characters in this campaign have some context for tracking down the brigands, the location has prospects for other parties to visit and likely for different reasons.
It would be interesting to consider:
- who dug the tunnels? Bandits don’t spend time building a lair, as a rule, if they can repurpose something. Who dug the tunnels? Are they something to do with goblins – maybe the bandits evicted them and the goblins now also hideout in Blackmoor; maybe the goblins hire the characters in the first place. Or maybe the tunnels are the uppermost limit of some Symbarian ruin caved in and inaccessible without considerable work? In this case, the characters might find evidence of the sites heritage in the rocks around the entrance – glyphs scratched into the surface or weathered demonic faces sculpted into the natural rock.
- the possibility that when facing down Red Revina they find some common cause. Perhaps one of the characters recognises her as they both traveled across the Titans in the same refugee caravan. Or perhaps someone recognises her because of her likeness to her kid sister Lenora, who they previously came across in Blackmoor. Wouldn’t a moral dilemma challenge the characters a little more – do they follow through with their intent to slay the bandits or bring them to justice? Or do they find some other way, joining them or letting them go, realising they are no worse that some of the occupants of Blackmoor or Thistle Hold, fighting to survival and family?
- replace the orge skeleton with a cocoon, intact and slightly warm. Oro, the prisoner, has been keeping well clear of the cocoon, which has occasion to release an unsettling noise or an unpleasant smell. A [Loremaster/Cunning] test will recall stories of such cocoons in Davokar and perhaps the suggestion that moving this cocoon into the bright limits of the forest might be a good idea. A goblin will have similar inclination to move the cocoon into the forest. The cocoon proves quite resistant to stray stabs or slashes from a sword; a concerted attack with weapons will eventually break through the tough shell. Such an attack will release an Ogre with a foul temper and murderous intent toward the characters; though the creature would much rather escape and track the characters down later. Perhaps a howl from the creature could draw the attentions of the bandits and the confusion that follows allow it to slip away?
- perhaps Lenora has something to do with the treasure-seekers who entered the forest and came back with the King’s Skull, referenced in The Mark of the Beast and connected adventures. She has sent desperate pleas to her sister for help as she has nothing to support herself and a creeping dread that something has gone horribly wrong following her return from the expedition.
- is Revina’s distinctive clothing just eye-catching or something more? Could this be some mystic treasure – or might it even be Vesper’s Soaring Cloak (see Symbaroum – Adventure Pack 1, page 10) allowing her to make a particularly impressive escape from her lair? If it is something more, her Shadow would provide evidence of some small measure of creeping corruption. She might have a brass shadow with scars of verdigris speckled with black, denoting her urban background, current natural surrounds, and recent acquisition of permanent corruption.