It is good news to see adventurers like you! A criminal faction hides in our lovely town. Perhaps you can speak to the duke about this. Earn some gold…
The following supplement contains lore about the settlement of Cherrytown and individual descriptions of its most important areas. Use this town and map after the adventurers finish a dangerous, introductory mission and need a place to rest. Perhaps they require a quiet place to lay low and hide for a while. Maybe, they are common travelers traversing the countryside looking for their next job. Either way, the characters arrive at Cherrytown.
Regardless of the characters’ reason for coming, the characters are sure to meet most of the NPCs mentioned below and get involved with the seemingly small, mundane problems of Cherrytown villagers.
It was less than a hundred years ago when the savage wars for the territories ended. Humans settlers did not take long to take over the land and build small villages. “Hamlet Cherry” was the name of this place when it was founded. Some decades after, the Red Keep was built (area 9), its 20-foot-tall walls have not been breached since its construction. Hard-working people live in Cherrytown, which is on its way to becoming a small city.
Consider the following to make the characters’ involvement in town easier and more organic.
Trouble in Paradise. The characters are contacted via letter. A gray hawk with a parchment on its leg arrives. Duke Joseph Stones needs to get rid of a criminal faction that starts to grow in town. A couple of the few guards available have already perished; they are not skilled enough to deal with this. The duke heard of the characters’ exploits and summons them. They are to meet him in The Red Keep (area 9) as soon as possible.
Visiting Friends. The characters have been in town before or perhaps they met one or more of the villagers in the past. One of the NPCs needs help (see area descriptions below) so the heroes come to aid them. However, once they arrive, it does not take long for the other NPCs to seek their help too. Use the characters’ Backgrounds to determine what NPC they already know.
Level 2 Adventure
- Smells and Sounds. A strong cherry smell covers the entire place. This is due to the enormous cherry fields north and south of the town. During the day, the chatter of farmers, and incoming and outgoing merchants accompanies the singing of birds. At night, the lights of the keep are the brightest; a beacon watches over the rest of the town while fireflies hover all around.
- Ambiance. The villagers are worried and somewhat jumpy due to the current criminal faction growing within the very ranks of their community. Most people are more than glad to see the heroes arrive in town. They do not hesitate to approach them and ask for their help.
1. South Road
The closer to town, the stronger smell of cherries becomes. The characters may enter the town from here or from the east checkpoint (area 12). They are not required to identify themselves passing through here.
- Poets Wall. A grand wooden mural features dozens of parchment pieces and scroll fragments nailed to it. The wall is filled with poems of varied skills. Anyone in Cherrytown is free to come and post their thoughts.
2. Hawkwind Delivery
This is a post office. People in town may pay for a trained hawk to deliver a message or a small package to a specific location. The capital, small towns, and nearby hamlets are the only available destinations. This is the service used to contact the characters for this adventure.
- Special Delivery. The man in charge, Damian, requires someone to go to the nearby forests to pick red berries. The task is simple, but the dangers of the forest are often too much for a hawker to endure. He offers 10 gp (1 XP) for two pounds of wild berries (DC 12 WIS check). On a fail, the characters trail too far for too long. A pack of four wolves attempts a deadly ambush.
3. Smokers Commons
This area is well-known for its tobacco shops, spices, and pipe makers. Good-quality tobacco is available here; it is common to see a circle of people chatting, sharing stories, and smoking during the day in front of the shops. This place started as a small commons, hence its name.
Five bandits attack the commons while the characters explore the area. If a bandit is captured, the characters may interrogate them to learn they belong to the ‘Bloody Knife’ (DC 15 CHA check). This is the criminal faction Duke Stones has been trying to find and get rid of.
4. Nine Shields Armory
This establishment features nine steel shields arranged symmetrically. This is one of the new businesses in town. Duke Stones is interested in the town’s future and made the smart decision to invest a lot of gold in mining to import metals and ores into town. Tristan is the town’s forge master but he is unable to work now (see below).
- Fire Problem. The characters arrive at the perfect time to help. The forge does not work because somehow, a mischievous flame mephit made its way into the heart of the forge and it won’t let anyone work the fire. The elemental speaks Primordial; it is unlikely anyone can reason with it. The characters may strike it down or attempt to persuade it to leave peacefully (DC 18 CHA check). Either solution earns them the villagers’ admiration.
5. Sunsword Barracks
The characters meet some of the on-duty town guards here. If the characters stay for a few minutes to chat or investigate, an armor-clad guard approaches.
- A Soldier’s Resolve. Gregor (soldier) begs the characters to let him help. He wants to find the Bloody Knife’s leader and uproot their nefarious faction. He looks forward to earning his captain and the duke’s favor.
6. Royal Sun Theatre
The characters may enjoy one of the many plays performed and the local theater. ‘Don’t Gobble my Goblin’, ‘My Inner Orc’, and ‘Halflings, a Giants’ Tale’ are the town’s favorites. If the characters join the crowd to see a play, they are, gently but firmly, asked to surrender their weapons. Unfortunately, the Bloody Knife attacks during one of the theatrical performances (see below).
- Criminals. Six bandits among the public stand up with crossbows just after the interlude break. They demand that all valuables are put in their sacks.
7. Hillside District
The houses in Hillside District are wealthier and they are larger than the farmers’ homes in the surrounding fields. Guards, wealthy merchants, and some of the officers live in this better-located Cherrytown area.
8. Merchants Market
This place is lively and loud during the day and night alike. Throngs of shoppers crowd the roads and the many establishments. This area has all kinds of shops; food, gear, tools, simple or mundane items, etc. A few popular taverns and bars open their doors at night.
9. The Red Keep
This small fortress is protected by a stone wall. A small barracks, a military post, and a gate are the filters to enter the keep. The characters may show the duke’s letter to be granted passage and be escorted inside.
Alternatively, news of their exploits in Cherrytown also earns them a private audience with Duke Stones. For this to occur, they must have helped two different NPCs by the time they come here. Otherwise, the characters are seated in a waiting room for six hours before meeting the duke. Impatience or the characters’ complaints may be met with a kind invitation to abandon the Red Keep’s premises immediately (Reaction check).
But if the heroes are eager to investigate and work for the Duke, he shall be glad to compensate for their efforts. See Development for details about their reward.
10. Royal District
A perceptive character notices that, within the dark alleys and quiet spots of this area, well-dressed townsfolk exchange words with suspicious-looking individuals (DC 13 WIS check). If approached, the suspicious individuals scatter like roaches as if they had something to hide.
- Traitors. If the characters conduct a thorough investigation (DC 13 CHA check), they overhear a conversation between two Cherrytown officers. What they say is proof of their involvement with the Bloody Knife. If confronted, the two men (soldiers) draw blades and call for help. Three bandits arrive at the scene moments later.
11. Hammertapper Tavern
The characters may stay as long as they wish here. If the duke’s letter is the reason they came to town, they may show it to the keeper to be granted a week’s stay for free.
12. East Gate
If the characters arrive through this area, they must state their names and business. The duke’s letter grants them immediate passage, and two soldiers escort them to the Red Keep. Otherwise, the soldiers recommend the Hammertapper Tavern as a good place to look for work.
Defeating the bandits and their associates in Cherrytown dismantles their foul operation. Upon completion, Duke Stones gladly pays the 80 gp reward (7 XP).
Small, vaporous humanoid with crimson eyes and goblinoid, pointy ears that match its mischievous character.
AC 13, HP 14, ATK 1 claw +3 (1d6), 1 fire bolt (far) +3 (1d8), MV near (fly), S +0, D +2, C +0, I +1, W +1, Ch +1, AL N, LV 3
Fire Body. The mephit is immune to fire damage.