324-325 Oakleaf Manor

Background Lore

If you’re looking for a grand place to stay and hunt look nowhere else but the Oakleaf Manor.                                –Knowledgeable Traveler

Wealthy people seldom stay idle, or in the same place. They usually have their hands full working on future projects, taking care of their businesses, or spending their gold in fancy locations. This is no different for Rathnir, who comes to Oakleaf Manor once or twice every two moons. The mesmerizing building in the middle of the road between two bursting cities is a luxurious inn, and he is the proprietary. Whenever he comes, he sees that the Lords of the Market meeting takes place. Successful and powerful merchants, corrupt officers, and lesser crime magnates compose this organization. The members of this privileged group discuss new ways to increase their wealth, new potential business venues, or how to get rid of an uncomfortable competitor.

Rathnir is a charismatic, easygoing, yet greedy changeling. He acquired great wealth thanks to his innate gambling skills. He excels at cards, roulette, or any other gambling games that require mathematics and analytic abilities. Rathnir has short-term photographic memory which makes him an expert in card games; he can gauge the odds of winning and can predict the best strategy nine out of ten times. He took advantage of his shapeshifting ability to move around in inconspicuous ways and has fooled many casinos and gambling houses owners by making them believe he had never set foot in them, even though he enjoyed a winning streak the night before.

Rathnir leads a dangerous life. He owns many brothels, taverns, and inns in Goldenleaf, South Hildberg, and other neighboring cities and towns. He is no stranger to the criminal life in the urban underworlds. At this point, he has become a crime lord himself. He assumes the shape of a fine and sophisticated tiefling whenever he meets with the Lords of the Market. They all meet at Oakleaf Manor, which is Rathnir’s venue. The members of this group believe Rathnir is just a tiefling. Only Vamin, the half-elf who takes care of the manor whenever Rathnir is away, knows about his real identity. The manor works as a sophisticated inn all year round while Rathnir is busy managing his affairs most of the year. He returns to the manor whenever he wishes to relax, lay low, or meet the Lords of the Market.

The meeting takes place in the large conference room. These tycoons plot and conspire until sunset and then leave. If there are enough free rooms at the moment, sometimes a few of these distinguished individuals stay for a couple of days. They do so when they need to keep a low profile for a while, or just because they wish to unwind and take a breather from the stress of their criminal lives.

Rathnir enjoys hunting. Oakleaf Manor has a trophy room to display the stuffed heads of the greatest prey he has hunted. Rathnir loves to bring guests here. He delights in watching his guests admire his trophies. He also utilizes this room whenever he needs to meet with an adversary or someone he does not know well. He believes negotiations done in this particular room of the manor tilt to his favor but he cannot explain why that is. Rathnir also takes joy in horse racing and equitation. It is one of his favorite activities whenever he is around.

Current Affairs

It is that time of the month. The Lords of the Market are to meet soon. Rathnir has looked forward to having this reunion for a long time. Their next objective is to get rid of two of the most influential lords in Goldenleaf and South Hildberg. These are important court members and their family names have a strong weight in the cities’ decisions. Both politicians have stepped in Rathnir’s way on multiple occasions. The two men are not aware of Rathnir’s existence but their decisions and policies oppose Rathnir’s objectives. Rathnir decided this is the next step toward amassing more wealth. The details of this operation are to be discussed in this next meeting.

Rathnir warned Vamin about the importance of this event and asked him to have everything ready for that day. The loyal half-elf hired a group of six halfling helpers for a few days. The halflings are catering experts and fantastic cooks. They know the manor well too as Rathnir has hired them several times in the past. They are, in fact, a small section of their criminal organization. The skillful team of halflings arrived some days in advance to prepare everything. They brought food and supplies to prepare a banquet. They verified all jerkies, dried fruit, and wine in the cellar were in optimal condition. They readied the dining room and helped Vanim with any other preparations.

The Lords of the Market gather in Oakleaf Manor at the appointed time. As usual, their bodyguards accompany them. The manor looks the liveliest during these meetings due to the number of horses in the stables and the carriages overcrowding the land. Rathnir, his assistant Vamin, ten Lords of the Market, the six halflings, and a total of 15 bodyguards hired by the Lords occupy the mansion that day.

If Oakleaf Manor is busy with traveling guests, Vamir kindly asks them to stay upstairs in their rooms for that day. He also offers a couple of horses to trot around the area for a while, free of charge. The point is to keep guests away from the conference room and avoid any attempt to eavesdrop on the Lords of the Market. A couple of years ago, a common merchant happened to overhear a piece of delicate information. He had an unfortunate “accident” the day after and lost his life. A terrible tragedy. Rathnir paid a dear price that day to keep mouths shut.

About Oakleaf Manor

A character who wishes to know or remember additional information about Oakleaf Manor must make an Intelligence (History) check. The character remembers facts according to the next list. He remembers all the facts for which DC he meets and exceeds. The character rolls with advantage if he has stayed here before:

  • Everybody Knows – Oakleaf Manor is a luxury inn in the middle of the road between Goldenleaf and South Hildberg. It is nice as it is expensive.
  • DC 14 – A half-elf runs the place. People think it unlikely that he can manage the whole place by himself. Some say he is not what he seems.
  • DC 16 – An obscure crime lord owns Oakleaf Manor. They say it is a devil that comes from time to time and has unhallowed reunions filled with vices and ill company.

Area Descriptions

  1. Lobby

Oakleaf Manor has a large entrance. A varnished elegant double door. Small carvings of oak leaves with symmetrical shapes cover the surface of the doors. They form a splendid pattern. In deeper carvings, the name “Oakleaf Manor” can be read. Two doors East and West of the entrance signal the wardrobes (Area 2). Two magnificent sets of armor flank the entrance to the lobby. Rathnir has exquisite taste for decoration, a handmade sewn rectangular carpet dominates the chamber. It depicts a fine map of the countryside. Six wooden pillars flank the walls and support the second-floor balcony and the staircase

  1. Wardrobes

These small cubicles contain a pair of closets and drawers to store coats and other pieces of clothing. Vamin welcomes all visitors and recollects their coats with grace and delicacy. Both doors to these rooms are locked at all times. Only Vamin possesses the key. He opens them whenever new guests arrive, and he only opens them again the moment they leave.

  1. Foyer

Rathnir keeps one of his trophies in here. The brown bear pelt near the hearth was a formidable opponent. The room has a small table and two tall green chairs. The furniture looks new and unused. A floor to ceiling bay window looks to the stables and the forest beyond. 4 bodyguards are waiting in this room (3 bandits and 1 guard) the day of the meeting.

  1. Library

Rathnir is not a man of many books. The ones he owns are rare volumes about card and strategy games. The small library has two bookcases with some books each and a large number of journals with news about Rathnir’s exploits. There is a large rectangular wooden table with six chairs. These chairs are large and sturdy. A large window looks to the stables. 3 bodyguards are playing a dice game in this room (2 bandits and 1 thug) the day of the meeting.

  1. Rathnir’s Personal Quarters

The three doors to Rathnir’s room are locked at all times. He owns the only key. Long, thick, intricate curtains cover both tall windows and leave the room in a semi-permanent twilight. This allows the changeling to sleep in darkness, even when there is a full moon. Rathnir’s chamber has its own hearth, chest, wardrobe, and a small closet.

A successful DC 16 Intelligence (Investigation) check reveals the presence of a safe box behind a painting. Rathnir has the only key on him at all times. A successful DC 16 Dexterity (Thieves Tools) check allows a character to force the lock and open it. It contains bags with coins, precious stones, and several pieces of expensive jewelry. The collective value of this treasure is 5,000 gold pieces.

Rathnir, the Changeling

Rathnir adopts numerous and various shapes when he is traveling to be inconspicuous. However, he always assumes the shape of a tiefling when he comes to Oakleaf Manor. None of the Lords of the Market know about this. They all believe Rathnir is a tiefling.

In his tiefling form, Rathnir wears his long white hair in braids. Some of them swirl around the horns in tight spirals, giving his horns an elegant touch. He wears long tunics and extravagant trousers and boots. He fancies golden jewelry. Bracelets, rings, and a couple of earrings, such are Rathnir’s expensive tastes and he has whole matching sets to show off different jewels in every possible occasion.

  1. Tea Garden

Five floor to ceiling window panels surround this small teahouse. Vamin comes to this chamber often to paint, his only past time. A usually incomplete canvas painting and a side table with oil paints move around the room throughout the year as Vamin finishes his work of painting the surrounding forest.

A round table with fruit and some cups in the center has five garden chairs around it. On the western wall, a rectangular table features a teapot and supplementary cups. There are 3 bodyguards (bandits) drinking tea in here the day of the meeting.

  1. Specialty Still

Rathnir is an avid drinker. He appreciates strong beverages and installed a distillery in Oakland Manor. Vamin knows well how to work it. The manor produces ale and some other spirits. The cellar (Area 25) contains several fermentation vats, barrels, and bottles of these products. Vamin takes care of maintenance and he knows how the distillery works. The door is locked at all times and only Vamin has the key.

  1. Wagon Stalls

There are three wagon stalls to park carriages of heavy luggage. The three stalls have large wooden doors that open from the center. Only one carriage fits in each of the stalls.

  1. Stable Storage Rooms

The stables’ entrance hallway connects to two storage rooms. The one to the West contains fruits and horse treats such as apples, pears, and dried sweets in crates. The one to the East holds the horse master’s tools displayed on a large table and varied horse-caring and gardening supplies.

  1. Stables

Rathnir owns two horses that live in Oakleaf Manor. Their names are Fah-Tee and Caterpillar. Vamin takes care of them and feeds them daily. Guests in Oakleaf Manor can use them as mounts to take a delightful promenade near the woods free of charge. A few times a year, when enough guests bring swift mounts of their own, Vamin organizes friendly races in the plains towards Goldenleaf. A guest in Oakleaf Manor can take riding lessons for a fee.

  1. Conference Room

The Lords of the Market meet or organize their banquets in this opulent conference room. A refined, sumptuous, hand-carved image dominates the room. Majestic elk with a beautiful landscape shine on the surface of the rectangular oak table. The varnish looks bright under the fine sheet of crystal on top of the wooden frame. The head of a beast over the hearth throws its cold gaze upon the red velvet tall chairs. There are eleven of them, and Rathnir’s seat is the one by the South wall.

There are five large windows with thick red curtains. A side table has few jerkies, sweets, and a musical instrument. On the day of the meeting, the room is full. Eight of the Lords of the Market are non-combatant individuals. Rathnir (bandit captain) and two others (berserkers) know how to defend themselves.

A successful DC 16 Dexterity (Stealth) check allows a character to approach the conference room from outside without being detected. Eavesdropping and overhearing the meeting reveals their plan about killing Goldenleaf and South Hildberg lords.

If they are interrupted, Rathnir cancels the meeting and asks everyone to leave so he can deal with the uninvited guest. If Rathnir and the rest of the crime lords are attacked, all the non-combatant members flee to their horses and escape. Those who can fight draw their weapons and attack. Vamin gets to the scene in seconds to help Rathnir. All the bodyguards stay to defend their lords’ retreat.

  1. Dining Room

Oakleaf Manor offers all meals of the day to their guests. There are three tables and enough chairs to serve sixteen guests. There is a bar with four stools near the exit. A large bay window looks to the South and West woods. Two rocking chairs on an orange carpet lay in front of the hearth. The stuffed head of a dire goat hangs over the hearth. The stuffing is of bad quality and the goat has a strange facial expression. 5 bodyguards are eating in this room (3 bandits and 2 thugs) the day of the meeting.

  1. Kitchen

The kitchen stock is plentiful and Vamin has the authorization to dispose of coin from the coffers to guarantee the quality of accommodation in the manor. The methodic half-elf has memorized specific times of the year when he hires external help for cleaning or maintenance. Rathnir’s meetings are an example of those occasions and that is why the six halflings are present that day. They move around fast and serve food to all guests present, including bodyguards.

  1. Privy

Oakleaf Manor does not have any restrooms inside the main building. The four privies are a few feet away. Vamir hires stable boys or wenches from nearby farms to clean them. These laborers also help with the stables and other chores.

  1. Stable Hayloft

The Stable Storage Rooms (Area 9) have stairs access to the hayloft. Bales of straw wrapped in wire fill the room. A pair of double doors on the North wall are the only way to move large amounts of hay to the loft. A large wooden ramp by the north side of the room is used to move stuff up to the loft. A small pulley system near the doors can be used for the same purpose too. Series of trapdoors along the slanted walls of the loft allow the caretaker to dump hay directly into the horses’ stalls below.

  1. Trophy Room

This is Rathnir’s favorite place in Oakleaf Manor. He comes and spends hours staring at his trophies. The two elk carved in the table in the conference room are supposed to portray the two elk trophies in here. The head of a mighty boar, a massive ram, and a bear also complement his collection. A successful DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check reveals the head of the boar can be pulled like a door. There is a safe box behind it containing Oakleaf Manor’s coffers. A successful DC 16 Dexterity (Thieves Tools) check allows a character to open the box. Coins, checks, bank bills, and other trinkets have a collective value of 7,000 gold pieces.

A nice carpet with matching patterns to the one in the lobby dominates the second section of the trophy room. Two coffee tables with expensive delicacies and desserts are always present when Rathnir meets someone here. Guests are allowed to visit the trophy room as long as Vamin accompanies them at all times.

  1. Vamin’s Room

Even though Rathnir told Vamin to take any room he wanted on the second story of Oakleaf Manor, the humble half-elf opted for a small single room. Vamin has a bed, a hearth, and a chest for his personal belongings. He only comes here to sleep during the night.

Vamin (cult fanatic) is not only Rathnir’s assistant, but he is also his bodyguard while he is staying at the manor. The half-elf is around his boss at all times and runs to his aid if necessary.

  1. 21. 22. Individual Bedrooms

Oakleaf Manor has three individual rooms for rent. They have a hearth, a chest, and a table or a small bookshelf. All three rooms have windows with brown-ish curtains that match the bedsheets.

  1. Second Floor Landing

The second story landing overlooks the lobby. There is a carpet with lineal patterns near the doors of the double bedrooms. Another carpet with astronomic drawings decorates the area outside the single bedrooms. Two pots with bonsai trees complement are near the south side of the landing.

  1. 24 Double Bedrooms

Oakleaf Manor has two king-size bedrooms. Both have a wardrobe and two chairs facing the floor to ceiling windows that overlook the forest beyond. One of them has a hearth, making it the most expensive room in the manor.

  1. Couple Bedroom

This room has almost the same size as the single bedrooms but has a larger bed. Two people can sleep in here. The room comes in handy for couples who wish to stay but cannot afford the double bedroom rates.

  1. Cellar

There are two different accesses to the cellar. The stairs in the kitchens (Area 13) or the entrance ramp from outside the manor. The cellar is full of boxes and barrels of dried food and grains. An arsenal of supplies fills the space underground Oakleaf Manor. Enormous fermentation vats with homemade ale and liquor occupy a great section of the room. Large loaves of mutton, boar, and veal meat rest on tables, salt poured all over them. There is also a stock of durable vegetables and fruits in boxes and on some tables.

General Features

Doors. Besides the main door, all doors in the manor are varnished and elegant. Doors to the stable, cellar, or privies are good quality but have no sophisticated touch. A successful DC 15 Dexterity (Thieves Tools) check allows a character to open all the doors that are locked, to which Rathnir and Vamin have the only keys. A successful DC 13 Strength (Athletics) check grants a character the same effect, but the noisy entrance alerts nearby guests in the manor.

Light. Oakleaf Manor features lamps on the ceilings. Rathnir paid a considerable amount of gold for a wizard to install eternal flame spells that activate and deactivate on command. Guests are given the magic command word to manipulate the light in their rooms at will.

Road to Goldenleaf and South Hildberg. Both cities are less than a day away from Oakleaf Manor, and their commercial relationships with other nearby towns cause considerable traffic to this road. Rathnir saw this opportunity and built Oakleaf Manor.

Fah-Tee and Caterpillar. Both horses ended up living at Oakleaf Manor because Rathnir got rid of their owners for being too talkative and sharing confidential information. They are healthy beasts and Vamin takes good care of them. Guests are free to ride them while they stay at the manor.

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