Panshaw, is a quiet farming settlement in the outskirts of Strolis, a large metropolis. It is a half-a-day ride from the massive city gates. People in Panshaw seldom visit the city since the noise and crowds are unknown to their rural routine. Plus, the small village provides everything they could ask for. Mr. Pitt’s family founded this place when his great-great-grandfather decided to leave Strolis and work the land nearby. It all started with a small sheep and cow stable But the Pitts prospered, and more and more Strolians opted for a quieter life in the fields. Strolis granted the Pitt family the legal rights to the land of Panshaw, as long as the village commits to a monthly tribute of products and goods. And even though Mr. Pitt has complete autonomy over the village, he still reports to the crown the information that concerns the law.
Nowadays, Panshaw flourishes with fantastic harvests and livestock. The small settlement is full of great personalities that bring life to the land. Its inhabitants care for the farms, and they make excellent use of the calendar and its seasons. Panshaw never runs out of things to grow and sell. Even in winter, those who raise cattle can make good business exporting milk, wool, and meat.
Adventurers tend to pass by Panshaw before entering the big city of Strolis. Many prefer to stay the night due to the calm atmosphere. It is also way less expensive to spend the day in Panshaw. Haman’s tavern has three spare rooms that are available for rent. The demand is not high so they often have a room available. Another popular man in Panshaw is Siro, he is considered the best farmer around, and Mr. Pitt’s right hand. And Markus, The Equestrian, claims his horses and mules are the best in the land. His claims aren’t unjustified though, he does raise some pretty mighty beasts.
Great characters and personalities can be found in Panshaw. And its people are always happy to welcome adventurers. They tend to ask them favors before they leave for the big city of Strolis. And even if there is not much coin to be gained from this, it is always convenient to make friends everywhere, especially for travelers and glory seekers.
The following descriptions of areas 1 through 10 correspond to the Village of Panshaw.
Terrain. Panshaw is covered with healthy green grass patches. The roads are the only sections in town with no grass on them. The grass is thick and tall. Panshaw has three hills, they vary from 20 to 25 feet in height. Panshaw has a warm and cozy weather most of the year. Winter is the only season when the villagers cannot harvest anything.
Structures. Panshaw’s buildings are made of wood. Bricks and stones fortified some of the walls afterward. All buildings feature hearths to keep the homes cozy and warm during winter.
Light. The only place in town with external torches is Mr. Pitt’s manor on top of the hill (area 4). At night, the only sources of light are the hearths from within the buildings, in case they are lit.
Smells and Sounds. The whole village has a strong smell of wet dirt, combined with manure, and fresh vegetables. Mooing and baaing sounds are part of the daily routine and background noises.
1. Country Road
The road coming from the west of Panshaw leads to the open country. The nearest town or settlement is several days away on horseback. The locals say that it is not recommended to take this road at night. They say there are a few bands of brigands and thieves that prowl on travelers that travel the open country.
2. River Road
People in Panshaw march east whenever they need to take some water from the river. They must make a 15-minute walk to get there and return. The river crosses the city as well. Following the river eventually leads to the sea, but it is a fortnight away on horseback. Haman (area 8) goes to the river often due to his business’s needs. He brings Markus (area 6) along with some mules and a cart. They come back carrying many buckets of water and they distribute some barrels or kegs as well.
3. Strolis Road
There is a half-a-day ride between the city gates and Panshaw. This road is packed with itinerant vendors and nomad merchants. This road is safe and there are city guards in specific spots between Strolis and the farming town of Panshaw.
4. Mr. Pitt’s Home
One of the largest buildings in the village is Mr. Pitt’s home. His property extends to the walls surrounding the edge of the 20-feet-tall hill where he built his house. Siro, his assistant, and a score of people work for him. The 30-feet-tall walls protecting his property only have one gate.
Chaotic good human (age 61)
Mr. Pitt is a balding man with white puffs of hair on the side and back of his head. He wears fine spectacles and clean silk clothes. His crouched stance betrays him, but his arms and hands show the callouses and marks of a life of work and hard labor. He worked the land like a madman to build what he owns now. Now he contents himself riding around Panshaw on his proud stallion, Don Pedro.
Personality Trait. “I would rather make a new friend, than a new enemy.”
Ideal. “Emotions must not cloud our logical thinking.”
Bond. “My horse Don Pedro is my most precious possession; it reminds me of someone I love.”
Flaw. “I’m never satisfied with what I have, I always want more.”
Mr. Pitt’s Quest
Mr. Pitt is in dire need of help. His cherished stallion is sick. Markus has already done his best to heal the beast, but the horse didn’t get any better. Since Mr. Pitt is aware of all people who enter Panshaw and stay at Haman’s, he requests the adventurers’ presence with a dinner invitation. After dinner and some glasses of wine, he asks them if they could somehow help his poor horse. He promises to make it worth their time if they can help Don Pedro.
Any character that approaches Don Pedro must make a successful DC 12 Wisdom (Animal Handling) check. Don Pedro seems to have a fever due to a stomach infection. Failing the check causes the horse to refuse to cooperate and make it impossible to see what is wrong with it. Don Pedro is suffering from food poisoning. The innocent horse found some mushrooms in the fields. Ignoring their poison, the beast ate all the lot. A character can cure the horse of its illness with a lesser restoration or a protection from poison spell.
If Don Pedro is healed, Mr. Pitt is so grateful to the adventurers that he pays them 100 gold pieces, and he promises to pay their stay in Haman’s for as long as they wish. He brings more wine and allows them to stay in his place a little longer. He also assures them that he can get a great deal with The Equestrian if they are looking for steeds.
5. Siro’s Home
Siro’s home is south of Mr. Pitt’s, just below the hill. The location of his home is very convenient since he can help Mr. Pitt in a flash if needed. Siro owns a bit of land east and west of his house.
Neutral good human (age 38)
Siro is a tall and strong man. His skin is brown and shines like copper under the sunlight. His clothes are always stained and his shoes carry dirt wherever he goes. He is kind and likes to smile. He enjoys helping others and never hesitates to give them farming advice.
Personality Trait. “I misuse long words in an attempt to sound smarter.”
Ideal. “I’m committed to the people I care about, not ideals.”
Bond. “The stable where I learned my trade is the most important place in the world for me.”
Flaw. “I’m always in debt. I spend my gains on decadent luxuries faster than I bring them in”
Siro is a master farmer. But what he knows in growing crops, he lacks in handling pests. There is a section of the land that he has decided to stop plowing. Swarms of insects lurk in the area and all his attempts to get rid of them have failed. If he knows that a group of adventurers is staying in Haman’s, he tries to hire them. He says that Mr. Pitt authorized a budget of 50 gold pieces to handle that situation. Siro could either spend that on products and inefficient pesticides or invest in a hired muscle that is certain to do the job.
The damaged crops are north of Panshaw, following Strolis Road (area 1). The corn that grew there is all gone. Only carcasses of the cobs remain. Huge nests of six-legged flying pests can be seen from afar. If the adventurers approach, three swarms of insects attack and defend their nests.
6. The Equestrian
Markus’s home is large and a great section of it belongs to the stable. The place has a permanent manure smell to it. There are a small hay plantation and a small silo beside it. Every single horse or mule in town was bred here and Markus remembers all of them. He doesn’t need to brand his animals.
Markus, the Equestrian
Lawful good human (age 37)
The Equestrian is of average height and skinny. He usually wears a blue apron and he spends most of his time around his animals. He has a bushy, untrimmed beard. He uses it to caress his animals as if brushing them. He hugs them and buries his face on their sides. The horses seem to like it, the mules, not so much. He takes much pride in what he does and he doesn’t take it lightly when someone doesn’t recognize his self-imposed heraldry.
Personality Trait. “I am The Equestrian, and everybody shall call me so.”
Ideal. “We all have to take care of each other because no one else is going to do it.”
Bond. “One day, the king shall ask for one of my horses”.
Flaw. “I lose my temper if people don’t call me “Equestrian”.
The Equestrian’s Quest
The horse master loves riding. He enjoys racing around the village. The circuit around the hills of Panshaw makes for a very decent track. The equestrian challenges the adventurers to a race. If the heroes do not own a steed, the equestrian offers to lend one of his best (riding horse). Only one of the travelers may race since it is a one on one race.
Skill challenge. To handle this race, divide the challenge into three sets of two checks. The character requires to make two DC 13 Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) to start well in the race. Then, the character must make two DC 14 Wisdom (Animal Handling) checks to persuade the horse to stay in the race and keep running. These checks are made with advantage if the character is riding their own horse. The end of the race is the hardest for the horses. The character’s steed must make two DC 13 Constitution checks to maintain the rhythm and keep running at maximum speed. The one with most successes wins.
7. Pua’s home
Pua’s home is one of the smallest buildings in the village. Her grandchildren work the lands beside it and she is well taken care of. Since her home is right in the center of Panshaw and just beside the only tavern, all travelers get to know her sooner or later.
Pua, Everybody’s Grandma
Chaotic good human (age 82)
Pua is a tiny frail lady. Everybody calls her Grandma Pua, so she’s also known as everybody’s grandma. She walks with a cane at the pace of a snail. She doesn’t travel long distances though. She goes from her home to Haman’s tavern and then back. She makes this journey every single day. She enjoys spending time at Haman’s, listening for gossip so she can later spread it. She sells pastries outside her house. Everybody loves them and she usually runs out of sweets at noon. That’s when she leaves her post and takes her usual spot inside Haman’s.
Personality Trait. “I get bitter if I’m not the center of attention.”
Ideal. “The world requires new ideas and bold action.”
Bond. “My loyalty to my family is unwavering.”
Flaw. “I have a weakness for ale.”
Grandma Pua is a bit crazy inside. She unleashes her dark instincts when she is drunk. If adventurers are staying at Haman’s and she is around, she makes herself noticed while she starts drinking. Later on, after more than a few pints of ale, she approaches the adventurers and tells them that another group of thugs on the other side of the bar has already accepted to have a friendly battle contest with them. She offers 15 gold pieces if they accept the challenge as well. She states one condition, no weapons, no armor, and the last man standing wins.
The Brawl. If the adventurers decide to have the brawl, their opponents are other travelers resting on their way to Strolis. Use the statistics of a thug, a bandit leader, a bandit, and a commoner for the brawl. Remember to remove armor and weapons from their statistics. Each member of the party is supposed to face a single individual. Add more people if needed. After the first round of one on one fights is resolved, the remaining contestants must face the rest of the opposing team until only one man is standing.
Grandma Pua watches everything at a safe distance while laughing and kicking. She spills ale all around her while the brawl is going on. She falls asleep ten minutes after the brawl is over. Haman and her grandchildren do the usual routine of bringing her home safely.
8. Haman’s Tavern
The large building near the center of town is Haman’s Tavern. Smoke is always coming out the chimneys. This is probably the only building with a bit of a nightlife. Sometimes the guests drink and stay up after midnight. Haman sleeps there since it is also his home, but he has a couple of helpers and one of them takes care of long nights whenever the need arises.
Chaotic neutral half-elf (age 44)
Haman is a nimble and thin person. He is very methodic and a bit perfectionist. He has long black hair that matches his dark eyes. His tavern is always neat and shiny. He likes to use a homemade polish to varnish the tavern counter. Every morning, he takes the time to place all tables, chairs, and stools exactly where they belong in his mind. All bottles and glasses must return to their rightful place on the shelves. And all traces of filth and dust must be gone.
Personality Trait. “A clean home is the synonym of a clean soul.”
Ideal. “There’s a spark of good in everyone.”
Bond. “I was taught to help others, so I must do so.”
Flaw. “I despise drunkards and filthy people, even if they are my guests.”
Haman doesn’t believe the irony. It never occurred to himself that he would be a victim of such a cliché. But as much as it embarrasses him, he must admit he has giant rats lurking in his cellar. He approaches the adventurers and shares this information as if it hurt him. He offers 75 gold pieces if they can get rid of the giant critters downstairs.
There are five giant rats and a healthy amount of common rats in Haman’s cellar. The smaller rats flee when the giant ones are exterminated. Haman pays the agreed-upon amount for a job well done and congratulates the heroes with a free round of ale.
9. Janelle’s Home
The fairest lady in the village is Janelle. She lives with her overprotective parents and she wishes they would grant her more freedom. She is a prisoner in her own house. They seldom let her out because they believe she is too delicate to work the land and too innocent and young to seek love.
Lawful good human (age 22)
Janelle is a pretty young woman. She has brown curly hair and brown skin. Her small black eyes are full of determination. She hates to be overprotected by her family. She has been practicing the arts of the sword in secret out of spite. Kevan, one of the town guards whose post is at the north entrance of Panshaw, makes a bit of gold on the side by teaching her. She wishes that one day she might be able to prove her family that she can take care of herself and do something with her life.
Personality Trait. “Nothing can shake my optimistic attitude.”
Ideal. “I seek to prove myself capable of being an adult.”
Bond. “One day I will travel the world.”
Flaw. “I’m reckless and I don’t measure danger well.”
Janelle is sick and tired of being overprotected. She knows she can prove to her family what she is capable of if they only saw her fight. She goes to Haman’s and approaches any adventurers if she sees them. She explains her situation and asks them for a favor. She offers them 5 gold pieces if one of them accepts to have a sword duel with her. She says it doesn’t matter if she loses, she just wants to prove her point. But she also confesses it would be great if she did win.
If the adventurers accept, Janelle (guard) organizes the event so that her whole family watches her. Her mom and aunts are on the verge of fainting when they see their girl clad in armor and grabbing a sword. Her father cannot help throwing a crooked smile, visibly proud of his daughter. This must be a one on one duel with no lethal blows. Regardless of the result of the duel, Janelle’s bravado and boldness makes her family change her views about her. In case she wins the duel without the help of the adventurers, she tells them she feels now ready to travel the world and become an adventurer like them. She asks them if she could travel with them for a while until she feels ready to roam the land on her own.
Possible allies. If the adventurers agree to Janelle joining them, her family invites them for dinner. Her father makes the heroes promise they will take care of her. Janelle assures her father she will return some day. It is left to the DM’s discretion to decide if Janelle stays for a short or long period with the adventurers. It is also the DM’s decision whether to level up her character or not. However, keep in mind Janelle’s alignment is lawful good. Any situation that causes a direct conflict with her values and beliefs drives her to abandon the party.
10. Sonny’s Home
Sonny is the crown’s commissioner. He is in charge of deliveries and the right handling of the tithes. He brings the exports from Panshaw to Strolis. He knows the road to the city by heart. His home is on the eastern hill in Panshaw. He has some authority in Panshaw, like Mr. Pitt. But Sonny likes to keep a low profile. He works, he does his routine, he stays quiet.
Chaotic neutral human (age 53)
Sonny always seems to be upset and in a hurry. He doesn’t like chit chat and he prefers to cut to the chase when he talks to someone. He is a short, stout man. He has a big nose and puffy lips. He smokes his pipe like there is no tomorrow and the smell of pipe weed follows him wherever he goes.
Personality Trait. “I only talk if I need to.”
Ideal. “There’s no good pretending to be something I’m not.”
Bond. “Everything I do is for the common people.”
Flaw. “I have no consideration for non-smokers or children around me.”
Sonny is a pragmatic man. He is simple and thorough. If the adventurers meet Sonny, he tells them he has a job for them if they are interested. He needs to deliver a whole cart of peaches to Strolis. The last time he traveled with such cargo, a band of brigands looted half of the peaches. He explains that the two guards on the road did their best but could not stop the robbery. He offers 10 gold pieces each if they can escort him to Strolis.
If they accept the job, Sonny explains these peaches only grow one month of the year and they are so popular that people would do horrible things for them. He offers one on the way to the city and they are indeed delicious. While on the road, a passive Perception score of 15 or higher reveals there is a group of people hiding behind some rocks on the road ahead. They seem to be preparing an ambush. Two thugs, three bandits, and four commoners attack the peach cargo. They yell stuff like “We want those peaches!” “Get those peaches!” “Stop those sons of peaches!” when they commence their attack.