623 The Innkeeper’s Secret – Isometric Adventure

The last news I had from my son were that he traveled the country roads and headed to a place called Bernard’s Resting Spot. Go there and find the truth!

Lord Farren

Delve Level 2 (375 XP)

5 bandits

1 thug

3 drow

Setup

Monsters kill because they do not know any better. But people have a conscience. And therefore, they have a choice. Those who decide to do evil on their own ac­cord are the most dangerous. Bernard Trundy, the main character of this adventure, is one of these individuals. He had a choice once, but the tools to do evil were hand­ed to him and he took them without ever looking back…

Bernard Trundy’s Background

One would say that life has been too kind to Bernard. The man inherited his parents’ inn and money and nev­er worked a day in his life. When he got it all, he realized the family business would not run itself. He would have to work. And he tried, at least for a while. Until the inn’s numbers started going down. Bernard knew he would lose the business, it was just a matter of time.

But one day, as if by magic, he found a solution to all his problems. It all started when a drunkard started a brawl with another client. Things escalated and one of them ended up dead, stabbed in the gut. The murderer fled the scene. All clients left on the spot. Bernard’s clos­est friends told him to hide the body somewhere and say nothing if he knew what was best for him.

A Fortunate Coincidence

The innkeeper panicked and took the body to the cel­lar. He did not trust burying the body in the forest. The guard hounds would find it quickly. Little did Bernard know, that a drow elf waited for him in the cellar; a tun­nel to the Underworld beside him. The drow explained.

This event had already been foretold by their leader, a drow priestess named Lithlianne, said Nevdikar. He told Bernard that he knows his future. To save his business, he shall commit a series of murders to strip travelers, itinerant merchants, and others from their possessions.

The Deal of the Drow

Nevdikar explained that the drow want to take ad­vantage of this situation and help him at the same time. They drow require fuel for their necromancy rituals and spells. Bernard must hand over all corpses or sleeping subjects. To ease his task, he gives Bernard a potent drow poison that incapacitates victims when they sleep. Bernard was shocked but tempted. He took the vials of deadly liquid and said yes… The rest is history.

Adventure Hook

With the help of the drow’s tools and their handling of the victims, Bernard has gotten away with his crimes for a while. But last month, he delivered the son of a rich, re­nowned merchant. The leader of the Merchant Guild in the city, Lord Farren, moves earth and seas to track the whereabouts of his son. He offers 2,500 gp to any group of mercenaries who can investigate the last place he was seen in, Bernard Trundy’s inn, on the outskirts of the city.

1. Road and Entrance

The characters come to look for any lead about Lord Far­ren’s son. The inn’s sign reads “Bernard’s Resting Spot”. Nothing is out of the ordinary at first glance.

Clues. A detect magic spell reveals a perpetual arcane eye resting on top of the main door. It is the drows’ doing but Bernard denies knowing about it. This is true.

2. Main Hall and Bar

The characters are welcomed by the inn’s staff. The five men (bandits) take care of the bar, cleaning, and any oth­er chore related to the inn. They are part of Bernard’s foul operation. One of them is a poisons expert.

Clues. An observant character notices the waiters car­ry hidden blades (DC 16 Perception). If questioned, the waiters and Bernard claim many thieves roam the area.

3. Kitchen

Bernard’s men attempt to poison the characters’ food and drinks here (see area 4). If the characters have a way of sneaking into the kitchen, they might find empty glass vials of poison hidden in a box (DC 16 Investiga­tion). Poison proficiency is needed to handle it.

4. Rooms for Rent

The poison takes effect when victims go to bed. If the characters decide to pay for food and drinks and to spend the night, they are poisoned by the staff. Their weapons and equipment draw Bernard’s attention; they are the next victims. A detect poison spell reveals the presence of toxins in the food. The GM determines if the characters have gathered enough information or picked up enough clues to have valid suspicions about the staff.

5. Bernard’s Quarters

If the characters have a way to sneak in here, they find Bernard’s diary and logs. They describe the events of the past few months. How he acquired the inn, his meeting with the drow, and detailed entries of all the people he has drugged, robbed and delivered to the drow.

6. Stables

Two horses and a merchant’s mule are here. The leath­er saddles by the mule are empty. It is suspicious for a merchant to travel with empty bags (DC 12 Intelligence).

7. Privy

A piercing smell comes from this area for obvious rea­sons. However, if the characters look around, they find a gold ring worth 250 gp (DC 15 Investigation).

8. Cellar

The cellar’s door is locked (DC 16 Thieves’ Tools). Only Bernard has the key. Transactions with the drow are per­formed during the night, after business hours. Three drow are here if the characters come snooping around.

Features of the Bernard’s Inn

People. There are four regular clients during the day but they all leave when the sun sets. They rush out as well if the characters start a battle with the inn’s staff.

Confrontation. Bernard (thug) and the five bandits fight together if confronted. Bernard flees at the last min­ute to regroup with the drow in the cellar. If that does not work, he tries the secret, hay-covered, exit by the stables. Bernard flees into the woods (DC 14 Investigation).

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