Deep in the forests of Elanala, where huge, immense trees caress the lowest clouds, an elven settlement of wood elves adapts to their new town’s dimensions. Per- dove has seen rapid growth in the past two decades. The moon witnessed the births of many babies and various nomad elves opted to settle down and join the community. This growth has caused a rise in the number of travelers and passers-by, and hence, the need for a place to stay arose.
Perdove is within a thick forest with small ridges and valleys. Giant sequoia trees shelter the elves from the elements. The treetops are so high and so branchy that the elves build on and between them. Their homes are all connected to the tree trunks and there are wooden bridges to get across with ease. The sequoia trees are as ancient as the most venerable of elves. The wood elves of Perdove consider these trees sacred. After all, the trees are their home.
One of the oldest trees in Perdove died about five years ago. The elder says it was its time. It is the only dead tree in a sea of green. Its leafless branches are a remarkable contrast to all the life around it. Its trunk is so massive and wide that even though it is dead, it might take years before the trunk finally withers. Alwin Leothana, busi- nessman and entrepreneur, decided it was a great idea to take advantage of this business opportunity. He is one of the newest arrivals in Perdove and thought the tree would make a fantastic inn.
And so, The Hollow Sequoia came to be. It has been there for a couple of years now and it has accommodat- ed many visitors since its inauguration. Right now, how- ever, two wood elves are staying at The Hollow Sequoia although they hold different views about the existence of the inn. One of them, Shalendra Zylfir, is a traditional- ist. She believes the tree should’ve never been desecrat- ed like this. As one of the oldest trees in the forest, its peace should’ve been the priority. She reproaches herself for renting a room but it was the best way to be able to persuade the owner to leave the tree alone. The other guest, is Omilia Adzana, an elf from a younger generation than Shalendra’s, with fresh ideas and the will to evolve and adapt. Omilia thinks it is absurd to think dead trees are supposed to be left alone. She venerates nature and would never do anything to harm a living thing. But she believes that making use of the hollow trunk of the tree is a way to respect nature’s cycle of life. To provide a service and make a business out of the dead roots of a tree is a way to create more life, she says.
Shalendra and Omilia have been staying at the inn for some days now. Almost everybody in Perdove has heard them scream at each other and Alwin at least once. Their heated arguments are loud. Both pester Alwin day and night about their own opinions about the tree. While Shalendra tries to convince Alwin to leave the tree and make his business using huts on the treetops, like the rest of the elves do with their homes, Omilia attempts to persuade him to expand the inn to another tree and have more rooms.
Alwin doesn’t know what to do. He has two employees, Elen and Elisen, and he knows they would not like to lose their job. He values tradition but he would rather lose an eye than leave the tree and his investment with it. Plus, he is sick and tired of Shalendra’s and Omilia’s presence. He is certain the rooms would be rented even if they were gone. The demand is high and it is ever-growing. Omilia’s expansion idea is not despicable at all, but her constant ranting and her little scenes with Shalendra in the middle of the day are.
Elanala is the home of several small elven tribes. They are known for their swift bow skills and uncanny stealth. They make for fantastic assassins, and they know it. Many a man have been killed by their hands. In a fit of rage and drunkness, Alwin left Perdove and ventured deep into the forest, looking for one of these tribes. He asked them to get rid of the two annoying elves in his inn. It should look like a robbery or an attack come out of the blue. He signed a contract with them and left. The morning after, Alwin felt a huge sense of guilt and he regretted what he had done. The contract could not be undone now, the tribe would maim him for dishonoring them and making them waste their time. He hopes a group of adventurers arrives into town so they can undo his mischief. He plans to hire them as bodyguards but he believes they don’t need to know the whole truth to accomplish the job.
Chaotic neutral elf (age 217)
Alwin is thinner than most elves. His limbs look like sin- gle hay straws. His voice is a little high-pitched and his pointy ears end in unusual bent tips. He wears a stained apron since he works in the kitchen a great deal of his time. He has a welcoming smile and gentle eyes.
Personality Trait. “Respect me and I’ll respect you.”
Ideal. “I hope my inn grows as fast as Perdove. One day I’ll be a very important individual here”
Bond. “My inn is my life’s effort; I’ll never abandon it.”
Flaw. “I tend to regret the things I do when I’m drunk or angry.”
The following descriptions of areas 1 through 10 corre- spond to The Hollow Sequoia.
Terrain. The dead tree trunk remains solid and hard to the touch. The floor of the inn is a bit uneven in some moldy parts of the wood but it is strong enough to hold.
Light. Every level in The Hollow Sequoia has sconces on the walls. Alwin or his employees replace the torches when they go out.
Available Rooms. The Hollow Sequoia has four bed- rooms. One is Alwin’s. Shalendra and Omilia rent two rooms respectively. That leaves only one available bed- room. If the party wishes to stay at the inn, they can do so, provided they accept the conditions.
Smells and Sounds. The first two levels of The Hollow Sequoia have a permanent smell of food. The pleasant aromas are accompanied by the sound of music.
Alwin tells the adventurers he has been receiving threats via written messages. He assures them that it might be any day from now. He regrets what he did but he doesn’t want to be harmed either. He won’t charge their stay, plus he offers them 100 gold pieces each for the job. They must protect him and any client of The Hollow Sequoia present at the moment of any possible threat. Shalendra and Om- ilia are to be prioritized since they are direct guests of the inn. They must assure their safety.
Alwin hopes for things to go his way. In an ideal scenario, the adventurers deal with the assassins and become the heroes of the day, Shelandra and Omilia get so scared by the whole thing and leave, and no one ever knows that he hired professional assassins to overcome a fit.
The elven assassins plan their attack for a week after the contract was signed. The adventurers that Alwin hires arrive three days before the confrontation. The attack hap- pens at night, while the music is loud and the people are cheering and making much noise. The assassins break through the main entrance and attempt to finish the mis- sion as soon as possible.
1. Green Fields / Entrance
The dead tree where Alwin built his inn is surrounded by smaller bushy trees. The elves marked a road and impro- vised a small garden beside the entrance. Two clay pots flank the first step. Since there is no door, the sound of music and the smell of food can be perceived before en- tering.
2. Main Hall
Two long wooden tables dominate the center of the room. They can sit up to thirty people. Food and drinks travel the stairs at all times. Alwin and his two employees make good exercise going up and down the stairs several times a day. A green carpet to the northwest signals the space for the stage. There is a small table beside the entrance for adventurers to rest their weapons if they wish to do so. The stairs go around the inside of the trunk. They’re 5 feet wide.
On the day of the attack, there is a crowd in the main hall. A score of elves eats and party in the first level of the dead tree. All of a sudden, 4 scouts, 3 tribal warriors, and 1 assassin enter The Hollow Sequoia. When they enter, they give a look of acknowledgment to Alwin and nod. A passive Insight score of 15 or higher reveals there is an understanding between them. The assassins swiftly find the targets amongst the clients and guests.
If the adventurers say anything during the confrontation that might imply that Alwin has something to do with their defending the targets, the assassins turn their attention to him instead. If more than four assassins or their leader (assassin) die in combat, they attempt to flee.
A grand piano, some string instruments, a trumpet, and some percussion drums suggest excellent entertainment later at night. The musicians play every day from sunset to midnight. Their group is called Swords and Roses and their best hit is Sweet Elf O’ Mine. A passive Investigation score of 15 or higher reveals the violin is of rare quality; it is worth 75 gold pieces.
There are several wooden tables here. An “L” shaped working table is in the center of the room. Alwin helps Elen and Elisen with the heavy stuff in the kitchen. And he is the one who carries large plates downstairs. There is another table reserved for the dishes and their cleaning.
The dead tree has never been a building and Alwin adapt- ed to its dimensions. He thought this space would be ideal for storing goods. Alwin keeps crates of food and a couple of ale kegs in here. A successful DC 14 Intelligence (Investigation) check allows a character to find 42 gold pieces hidden in one of the crates.
This small hallway has access to each of the four rooms in the inn. A couple of wooden barrels were placed to serve as chairs. Under them, the dead eyes of a brown bear pelt stare blankly into the void.
7. Omilia’s Room
Omilia spends most of the day resting in her room. She likes to smoke her pipe. Smoke can be seen coming out of her room at almost all times of the day. She also enjoys singing. And she is not afraid to show so. She goes to the main hall in the evenings to enjoy the music and argue with Shelandra if possible. She tries to persuade the ad- venturers to join her side and convince Alwin to not listen to Shelandra.
8. Available Room
This is the only room Alwin can rent. The party must make do with what the room has. There is only one bed, a large wooden table, and a wardrobe. Alwin allows them to place their bedrolls or furs on the floor if they wish to.
9. Shelandra’s Room
Shelandra enjoys drawing attention to her. She complains about Omilia’s smoke every time she crosses the hallway and says something like “Ew, I love my lungs more than that…”. She tries to talk with Alwin at every opportunity she has. She tries to persuade the adventurers to join her side and convince Alwin to not listen to Omilia.
10. Alwin’s Room
Alwin is not happy to sleep next to Shelandra’s room. But at least he doesn’t have to tolerate them when they yell stuff at each other from their rooms. He worries that the adventurers might grow tired of the women’s constant yapping and leave, or even worse, not accept the job to protect them.
There are many possible outcomes for Alwin’s dilem- ma but one thing is certain. Either way, Shelandra, and Omilia leave and despise Alwin for life. If no one ever fig- ures out Alwin hired the assassins from the beginning, they leave because they had a horrible experience and he would never listen to either of them anyway. Otherwise, they leave because Alwin put a price on their heads.
If Alwin’s sin is found, they send him with the town’s lead- er unless the assassins got him first. Alwin is forced to leave his business and put into prison. The adventurers might also have a plan of their own for being lied to. If the assassins murder any of the elves or a customer, it is blamed on Alwin if he is still alive and his sentence be- comes longer.