Hexcrawl Series No. 14 – Barrowstream

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This adventure is part of the Brukesian Duchy Hexcrawl. Find more about it here!

Barrowstream is the farthest north settlement in the Brukesian Duchy. It is located by the Dew River shores in a 10-mile-wide hilly region in the middle of the Misty Forests. The road south leads to the Ashen Citadel and continues on to Crimsonwall. It is a four-day-ride to the capital by following the main road.

Barrowstream is a fortified town with a 20-foot-tall stone wall. Lord Lucas Hargen, a seasoned veteran, is charged with the region and its people’s safety.

Town’s History

Barrowstream’s history dates back seventy years. Crimsonwall was already a military bastion in the south and the thirst for expansion was present in the small oligarchy of the duchy.

Lord Thomas Hargen was chosen to lead a charge through the Misty Forest and establish a fortified outpost beyond the tree line. It would be the first Brukesian attempt to conquer land within the confines of Dewborn territory.

They were lucky as the Dewborn let them pass unimpeded. They do not settle outside of forested areas and have limited strength in the Barrowstream area.

Lord Hargen’s forces cleaned up the area from all kinds of pests and built Barrow Fort, home to the Hargens to this day.

Despite the lack of resistance in conquering the area, the settling of Barrowstream was considered a success.

Economy and Exports

Barrowstream is primarily a farming and herding settlement. The fertile soil in the region makes for good and plentiful harvests but the settlement exports all kinds of natural goods from the forests and riches plundered from nearby ruins.

Plenty of mercenaries and adventurers come to Barrowstream motivated by wealth. They hope to stumble across an unspoiled tomb or ruin and make so much gold to set them up for life.

The Hargen and Jirlund families control all trade and shipments downstream to Crimsonwall. They allow other parties to ship stuff down the Dew River for a considerable price. This trade monopoly is often criticized. Both families earn unimaginable wealth from this operation.

General Features

The farming settlement is located by the Dew River shores. A stone wall surrounds the inner part of the town. The Barrow Fort is located on top of a tall hill that overlooks the region. Lord Lucas Hargen and his family rule the land from the fort. The town sprawls with unemployed adventurers and bodyguards.

Barrowstream, the town of opportunities and adventures, unless otherwise noted:

Horses and cattle (ever-present smell of manure). Duchy’s grasp (Brukesian soldiers patrol the area every day). Verdant hills (2-foot-tall grass).

D8 Random Encounters


1d3 predator myconids roam the farms looking for easy food, they are sentient but starved


2d4 badgers are enraged with a rooster in a hen house


1 berserk ogre farmer, it attacks others until slain or incapacitated


A locust swarm ravages the fields


A crazy farmer succumbs to the itinerant parade disease and goes south


2d6 wild dogs slip into the settlement and terrorize the locals


1d4 Pigmen snatchers attempt to steal cattle from a farm


2d8 Dewborn rangers attempt to attack a farm in the outskirts of town

D8 Random Events


A bitter, red river weed covers the shores and traps ships for 1d10 days


Dense mist covers the area for 1d4 hours, the floor is not visible


1d6 sentient myconids arrive at the town to sell remedies


A farm’s harvest spoils and turns poisonous to humans


A cow moos as if howling to the moon


Half the roosters in town die overnight, only a witch can interpret this


Farmers assemble and protest the trade monopoly of the Hargen family


Thee children went missing overnight, their footprints lead east

1. Southwest Road

Well-traveled road (footprints, horse-drawn cart tracks). Rural area (countless fields, cattle, and hills).

  • Main road. All kinds of people pass through every day: merchants, travelers, carts, riders, messengers, soldiers, etc. Passage takes half a day to Ashen Citadel and 4 days to Crimsonwall.

2. Joseph’s Farm

Cornfields (tall stalks, close to harvest). Two-story house (wooden beams and thatched roof).

  • Retrieval Quest. Joseph is a retired adventurer. He is looking for sellswords to retrieve a helm from a dungeon he explored years ago. The dungeon is a known deathtrap no one dares to visit.

3. East Gate

Well-traveled road (footprints, horse-drawn cart tracks). Rural area (countless fields, cattle, and hills).

  • Toll. Soldiers at the gate inspect all arriving parties for valuable items to tax. There are no exceptions.

4. Boar Plate Tavern

Two-story building (wooden beams and thatched roof). Colorful wooden sign (a stuffed boar on a silver platter).

  • Innkeeper Jack. He is a retired adventurer with a gray moral compass and little respect for the soldiers and the Hargen and Jirlund families.
  • Low profile. The tavern leases rooms for people looking to lay low beyond the town walls for a hefty fee.

5. West Gate and Barracks

Well-traveled road (footprints, horse-drawn cart tracks). Rural area (countless fields, cattle, and hills).

  • Toll. Soldiers at the gate inspect all arriving parties for valuable items to tax. There are no exceptions.
Commander Vid Hargen

Large build (strong and tall). Fine armor (masterwork craftsmanship).

  • Heir to the Family. Commander Vid is the firstborn son of Lord Hargen. He follows his father’s footsteps in the military force and is in charge of the wall garrison and the barracks.
  • No Corruption Policy. Vid Hargen despises corruption and fights it, despite having to confront his own family often.

6. Barrowstream Guild

Three-story building (wooden beams and tiled roof). Metal plaque (engraved with a soldier’s helm).

  • Adventurers’ Guild. Sellswords and mercenaries gather here for work opportunities. Wealthy individuals, researchers, mages, and merchants know this is the best place to hire bodyguards and brave adventurers.
  • Local Rankings. The guild keeps track of its members and gives each a ranking. Higher ranking members gain access to better-paid jobs and opportunities. New members must start from the ground up to build their reputation.
Chief Lancel

Large build (strong and tall). Light armor (fine engraved leather).

  • Highest Ranking. Chief Lancel and his men are the highest-ranked members of the adventurers’ guild. His reputation is such that he is known in Crimsonwall for his deeds. He is a great swordsman.
  • New Members. Chief Lancel is looking for new spellcasting members for his inner-circle retinue.

7. Figo’s General Store

One-story house (stone walls and tiled roof). Wooden sign (carved image of a vase and a sickle).

  • Wares. Figo’s General Store has an ample selection of farming tools, fertilizers, cattle feed, iron tools, grains, and flours. There are a few weapons and adventuring gear. 2-in-6 chance any item is currently in stock.

8. Red Water Inn

Two-story building (wooden beams and red-tiled roof). Stone fountain (shoots red-tinted water).

  • Popular Location. The Red Water Inn is a well-known tavern that caters to all kinds of clientele.
  • Fist-Fight Contest. Twice a week the locals gather for a fist-fighting event. The winner can drink all night for free.
Aufia Hardin

Features (ordinary face, brown eyes). Build (5’9’’ tall, slender).

  • Innkeeper. Aufia is kind and honest. She makes people feel welcome but has little tolerance for drunkards.

9. The Docks

Wooden piers (old and algae-stained). Warehouses (shippable goods and cargo). Strict security (soldiers and guards).

  • The Monopoly. Houses Hargen and Jirlund control the docks and shipments. They own a great number of cargo vessels too but allow others to operate for a 20% fee. Many independent entrepreneurs look down on these practices.
Officer Larkins

Sophisticated (nice clothes, smokes cigars). Features (square face, full beard).

  • Tax Compliance. Gustaff Larkins is a shipment inspector that works for the Crane and Hargen families. He inspects outgoing shipments for their value and taxes them appropriately. Both for the duchy and Hargen family’s profit.

10. Barrow Fort

Largest building (10 guest chambers, three-story fortified manor). Security (15’ tall stone wall, and 4d6 soldiers).

  • Visibility. The whole town and the regions beyond the outer walls are visible from Barrow Fort’s watchtowers.
  • Repurposed Sections. The fort has not been on military duty in decades. The Hargen family has adapted some areas so that it fits a large family instead of a garrison. It is more of a fortified manor than a proper fortress.
  • Secret Tunnel. There is a tunnel that goes from Barrow Fort to a hidden cave 5 miles southeast of the town. It has never been used but the Hargens all know about it, should the need arise.
Lord Lucas Hargen

Aristocrat (delicate manners and etiquette). Build (6’1’’, overweight, slow).

  • Absent-Minded Elite. Lord Hargen displays a distasteful disregard for the needs of the peasantry. He has adapted much too well to a life of luxury.
  • Weapon Collection. Lord Hargen collects masterwork weaponry of elven and Dewborn origin. He is known to pay well for retrieving valuable weapons.

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