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Green Eggs in Hamh
Author: John Walborn
System: d20 Dungeons and Dragons
Requirements: A Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition adventure for any size party of any level. There is the potential t
The city of Hamh is besieged by a terrible plague. If no one comes to their aid, the entire village will be forced to abandon their homes or perish.
Graphic: Hamh area
A Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition adventure for any size party of any level. There is the potential that low level characters, if they misstep, could die.
The village of Hamh has been comfortably nestled against the Hornsea for nearly three centuries. It is a quiet place, hundreds of miles from the King's city, its only neighbor a tiny hamlet named Ashur. The ninety people of Hamh are simple folk, eaking their living by tilling the soil and raising all forms of livestock to sell at market in some of the larger cities. It is all the life they care to know.
Approximately six months ago, during the winter months when food is rashioned and the people struggle for survival, a wizard arrived in Hamh. He called himself "Byfar", an elf of indeterminate age with a perpetual sneer. He was on a quest to find a particular book, he told them, one that might have fallen into the hands of the village at some point in history. They knew nothing of it, nor did they care to assist the ill-tempered, pointy eared stranger.
Byfar was angry. They treated him badly and refused to offer shelter. Byfar was able to provide his own shelter, of course, but it was the principle of the thing. In a rage, he vanished. But he returned several months later, a week before the adventure begins, and cursed the town of Hamh.
There, in the graveyard shared by Hamh and Ashur, Byfar invoked a spell he found in his travels. "The Midnight Scourge" it was called, crafted by a man named Cipram. Byfar was not absolutely sure what havoc the powerful spell would bring about, and he did not care. Once he was done, he teleported back to the King's city and his home, leaving Hamh to deal with the evil they, he reasoned, had brought upon themselves.
THE MIDNIGHT SCOURGE
Once invoked upon hallowed grounds of burial, the Midnight Scourge lies dormant. Its magical energy seeps into the ground and waits. Then, on the following midnight and every midnight until the spell expires (one week for every caster level, 14 weeks in Byfar's case), a green and noxious mist rises from the ground of the graveyard.
Anyone caught in the graveyard during this event must make a saving throw versus Fortitude, DC 18. If they miss the save, they become violently ill and must save again on each consecutive midnight. If they miss three times in a row, they die. If they make the save and are not exposed to the poison again (see below), they will recover in a week.
The curse, however, does not stop there. At about half-past midnight, the mist settles on the ground of the graveyard, leaving droplets of moisture on the ground that look almost exactly like dew (with an ever-so-slight green tint, DC 30 to spot if looking at the droplets specifically) and a faint odor of death. If anyone walks in this dew (inevitable if entering the graveyard) before 6 AM, when it finally vaporizes, their shoes are poisoned and will, upon the next midnight, emit tiny whisps of green vapor. These vapors are barely visible (DC 20 to spot) and will not harm adults, but infants and small livestock may be affected.
THE VILLAGE OF HAMH
The people of Hamh are distraught. Their chickens have been infected with a strange disease, causing them to lay green, poisonous eggs. Additionally, though they have not linked the two, there has been a suspiciously high rate of infant illness and death within the village.
Fetzweld, Male Gnome (N/G)
Fetzweld is the town mayor. Has been for two score. Unfortunately, the town does not need a mayor, so he is left to his own devices. Fetzweld is practically blind and wears thick spectacles, a device most of the towns folk have never seen. Even with them, however, the poor, old gnome can barely see. To make matters worse, his mind has begun to slip in recent years, leaving him to live with his imagination as his friend. He would have starved to death by now, except that a sympathetic farmer's wife leaves food on his table every afternoon.
Borek, Male Human (L/N)
Borek, a retired soldier from the King's prestigious First Army, is the smartest person in town. He's built the largest farm and makes the best use of it, making him also the wealthiest person in town. Though he's been instrumental in organizing a militia when wolves encroached upon the village, for the most part his gruff manner keeps the neighbors at bay. As if that wasn't bad enough, he has been in a particularly foul mood since the death of his infant daughter a few days ago.
Gentry, Male Human (N/G)
Gentry fills many roles in the town. He is a farmer and also a carpenter. Thus, it falls to him to make coffins for the dead of Hamh. Part of his service as coffin maker includes travelling to the graveyard in the early morning and digging a hole just deep enough for the shallow coffin. He was the first to return to Hamh with tainted boots and it was his chickens that first developed the mysterious illness. A few days later, the first baby died. The baby's early morning burial, complete with a dozen mourners, compounded Hamh's problem.
Laethe, Female Human (L/G)
Laethe's husband died just after the plague began. He was weeping at his newborn daughter's grave when the mists took him. Now, Laethe is left with no husband and six children. The two youngest, one-year-old twins, are deathly ill.
The town, now in the summer months, is in serious trouble. The lack of usable eggs and the rampant illness is having a grave impact on the village's efforts to stock up food for the winter. With the curse's expiration date well into fall, they cannot afford to wait for a cure. They have little (that they know of), but will give anything if a solution can be found.
If questioned, the people can tell the party that Gentry's farm was the first infected. They have not yet associated that fact with his job as coffin maker and grave digger. In fact, they have not associated the illness with the graveyard at all. That is something the party will have to figure out. Eventually, if they are not able to pinpoint the graveyard on their own, the party should be allowed to see the vapor rising from a pair of boots or some similar hint.
Infected boots will have to be burned. Extensive handling of the boots (at any time of day) will require a saving throw as if the person was caught in the mist at the graveyard. As far as the graveyard, the are two possible solutions. First, the graveyard could simply be avoided. If someone is watching, they will notice in fourteen weeks time that the curse has ended. Second, the graveyard could be sprinkled around the edges with holy water and blessed by a priest / Cleric. This would have to be done each day or the plague will return on the next. Remember, though, that the town cannot be infected unless someone enters the graveyard and takes the poison back with them.
If the PC's rid Hamh of its curse, the people will be eternally grateful. In fact, they will try to throw a huge party in their honor... It is all the reward they can offer. If the PC's do not attend for whatever reason, the quest is over and there is no reward. If the Pc's attend the party, the gnomish mayor, in a moment of clarity, will show up and award them with a book and two gems (of random value, at least a total of 100 GP).
He will explain that they were found a century ago in an abandoned house not far from the town, clutched to the chest of a skeleton. The book is quite old and is called "The History of Kalan". It has no apparent significant value. But a lore master or historian would pay up to two thousand gold pieces for it, as it proves the existence of Kalan, a legendary city concealed in the mists of the Grey Peaks.
If the party keeps the book and studies it closely for a month or more, they will gain enough information to find the kingdom... But I will leave that for another day.