698 Brighton Hill – Shadowdark Settlement

The Seed of Wisdom belongs to us. It was taken from our village decades ago but it calls to our hearts. It must be retrieved in the same manner it was stolen.

Elvish Envoy

For a long time, Brighton Hill has been the county’s bread basket. The small town is sur­rounded by miles and miles of farmlands and livestock farms. A significant portion of the capital’s food supply comes from this region. The locals are hardworking people who have spent gener­ations perfecting their craft. The town’s landmark is a marvelous sculpture of five jasmine flowers in its center. At night, the stone flowers produce eddies of ethereal light similar to the northern light. They attract glowing insects and produce a heart-warming spectacle that even attracts some tourists from time to time. Brighton Hill owes its name to this magical sculpture.

The Theft

Few know it, but the sculpture was not a glimmering marvel when the town was founded almost a century ago. It all came to be when a daring adventurer delved into the northern forest and infiltrated an elvish settle­ment. Amid the elves’ heart tree, there was a glowing seed that shone with the light of the moon. The human thief killed the guards, stole this gem, and hid it under the flowery statue in Brighton Hill. This is the Seed of Wisdom, a relic that the elves long to retrieve.

For four human generations, the elves ignored the seed’s whereabouts. But they recently learned it is in Brighton Hill. Their culture demands it be retrieved in the same manner: stolen by force. For 2 months, elvish scouts have attacked travelers and tested the town’s de­fenses. The elves are forbidden from communicating but not all of them adhere vehemently to this tradition.

Level 2 Town

  • Danger. Unsafe. Check for a Random Event when the characters visit a new area in town (3-in-6 chance).
  • Economy. The population of Brighton Hill is primar­ily farmers and fishermen. Excess production is shipped to Zarveck City. Trickle tourism to visit the town’s glim­mering sculpture and landmark is important too.
  • Ambiance. After the random elvish raids and road at­tacks, the townsfolk are wary of visitors and especially of elves. They do not yet know why the elves continue to at­tack the locals. So far, the elves have not communicated.
1 Two elf scouts shoot arrows at the party from across the river. They disengage and attempt to flee if pursued.
2 Four peasant farmers wielding scythes distrust the characters. They interrogate the characters in the street (Reaction check, disadvantage if an elf is present).
3 In response to elves being close by, the Seed of Wisdom produces its well-known night glimmering even during the day. Elves that see it know the seed is what causes it.
4 A detachment of 2d4 guards arrives from the capital. They attempt to take over the town’s defense and have strict orders to attack and arrest the forest elves.
5 A brown bear emerges from the forest looking for its cubs. The cubs are hiding in the town’s granary (area 6).
6 After hearing of the town’s recent plights, four brigands (thugs) barge into town on horseback. They demand the immediate payment of 10 gp and two carts of grain.

1. General Store

The town’s store sells farming implements, seeds, uten­sils, and all manner of livestock supplies. The town was broken into by an elf ranger last week. The elf stole gold and seeds. The owner, Harold, thinks the capital should march its army into the forests to rout the elves.

2. Gilmo’s Apothecary

Many-colored smoke rises from the chimney of this building. A wooden sign reads ‘Gilmo’s Remedies’.

Gilmo is the most renowned alchemist and apothecary in Zarveck County. He has been summoned to prepare remedies for the nobles in Zarveck Palace many a time. His daughter, Dana, used to work here as his apprentice until they had a terrible fight over the store’s manage­ment and she moved to the capital. Gilmo misses Dana but is too proud to acknowledge it and seek her. His life­long goal is to craft the Alchemist’s Stone but it requires an item known as the Soul Emerald. Gilmo is aware of the Seed of Wisdom hidden in the statue as his search for the Soul Emerald led him there. They are the same thing. Alas, Gilmo believes that crafting the Alchemist’s Stone shall consume the seed and bring forth the death of the forest. It is too steep a price to pay just for the ben­efit of being the only alchemist to achieve such a deed. Gilmo knows that Dana seeks the seed too but he may not ever reveal its location (Reaction check).

3. Xander’s Forge

Black smoke and soot surround this squat building that houses the only forge in miles. Xander, a yellow-bearded dwarf works tirelessly to provide the surrounding region with all kinds of farm implements, horse-shoes, etc.

Xander used to forge armor decades ago and would welcome the patronage of an adventurer to craft more armor sets. He requires specialty materials, though.

4. The Empty Cauldron

The tavern is half empty with most patrons gazing eerily at newcomers. It is not a welcoming sight.

The characters can relax, secure lodging and food, and learn about recent events here. If an elf is present, they may be asked to abandon the town outright (Reaction check). The locals do not trust elves now, even if it is clear the person is not native to the forests. The tavern owner, Lara, welcomes the party as she knows that the more combatants are present, the easier it is to defend the town. She tells the characters that Townspeaker Yur­min is gathering a strike force in the Green Hall (area 9).

5. The Glimmering Statue

The sculpture is of remarkable craftsmanship. It is made of granite and has withstood little to no damage from exposure. A wizard knows that magic has been used to preserve the sculpture from damage (DC 15 INT check).

The detect magic spell reveals a magical presence under one of the stone flowers. However, removing the flower requires the use of masonry tools to destroy it. This ac­tion cannot be done without attracting the locals’ ire.

6. A Farmer’s Quest

Jon, a watermelon farmer, requires help to save his har­vest. During an elvish raid last night, the elves spread a noxious powder that poisons his watermelon and threat­ens to ruin the season’s work. Jon offers passing travel­ers a wage of 5 sp to wash the sprouting watermelons with an alchemical cleaner supplied by Gilmo (area 2).

This is one of the most valuable shipments as only the nobles buy such juicy fruits. If the characters help, they may collect a cart-worth of watermelons in a few weeks, when the harvest is done. They are a delicacy.

7. The Hunter’s Lodge

Logan, a forest hunter, lives here. He has had a few run-ins with elves in the forest but even the fey respect him for his craft. Logan refuses to fight the elves as he be­lieves there must be a reason why they attack Brighton Hill. Alas, he is more interested in something else. He spotted a magnificent stallion in the hills east of town during an exploration trip with his friend Varlo Zola, a horse breeder from the capital. Logan wants to capture and tame the horse. In his mind, the horse carries with it the power of the mountain. Logan ignores that the Zola family wants to buy it for the countess herself.

The Hunt. When ready, the characters can join Logan (soldier) on a 2d4 day trip into the hills to track down and capture the wild horse. The journey is not without danger as splinter elvish parties may attack by surprise.

8. The Grain Mill

The mill’s machinery was sabotaged by an elf scout two weeks ago and the locals still have not managed to get it working again. The miller, Jacob, has not been able to re­pair the mill, even after Xander remade some of the bro­ken parts. As it is now, production is stalled and might pose a danger of starvation in the coming winter.

  • Maintenance. The characters can volunteer for this matter and help fix the mill. Each character that does this must study the machinery for 1 day and make a fixing at­tempt (DC 16 INT check). If at least two people succeed, the problem is found and solved. Later, the townspeaker rewards the characters 25 gp for this service.

9. The Green Hall

Townspeaker Yurmin has gathered a small force of twelve guards and one knight. He does not know what the elves seek nor the existence of the magical seed. She welcomes the characters and informs the group that sev­eral elvish parties are approaching Brighton Hill, accord­ing to scouts in the forest. They may soon be attacked.

  • Research. If the characters request access to the li­brary, they may learn of how a magical stone was stolen from the elves a century ago. It is recorded in that time’s townspeaker’s journal (DC 16 WIS check).

The Sudden Raid

The elves strike at the worst of times. Five groups of four elves attack Brighton Hill from different angles. The characters are free to suggest how to organize the town’s defense and may need to run from one building to the next to fight the invaders. The elves flee when antag­onized strongly or if most of them fall in combat (Morale check with disadvantage) but fight fiercely otherwise.

If forest elves are captured alive, they may be persuad­ed to reveal the reason for their attacks (Reaction check). On a result of 10+, the prisoner reveals that they seek the Seed of Wisdom, which was stolen from their village a century ago. It is easily found with detect magic. Alas, convincing the locals to defile the sculpture and remove the source of its glimmering is not an easy proposition. But unless a compromise is found, the forest elf tribes shall continue to attack Brighton Hill…

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