DM Notes 1.11 (Blackmoor Supplement)

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The Service[edit]

Taking the Nineteenth seat amongst the Right Folk falls to a vote amongst it’s standing members - Molly has worked hard to earn or buy their trust and whilst she has persuaded a good number of them, there is a hard core that either refuse to help or are demanding too much in return. Molly has rallied her forces and opted for a riskier strategy - a motion will be tabled that if The Mollies were to perform some service then in return they would earn the right to a seat. It is risky because she knows that her enemies will push for a service so near to impossible that her plans will be permanently stymied.

She has not left it entirely to chance however. The Grandfather’s Meal is an annual meeting of the leaders of the Right Folk, here the great plans are put into process in a ceremony that is older than living memory. Of course nothing is decided at the ceremony - that will take weeks of negotiation, instead the leaders set out what they want to have resolved before they next meet. The most pressing matter on the minds of all present is the move against the Right Folk by The Earl of Bowcaster.

Eight months ago the Earl attempted to strike at the heart of the Right Folk setting up an ambush in which he hoped to decapitate the clans. In fact, whilst many high ranking members were slain, none of the leaders were caught in the trap - though the consequences have had a serious impact on the stability of the Right Folk with many more junior members struggling to fill the shoes of the departed.

Molly knows that responding to the Earl’s audacity will be at the top of the agenda, and she has engineered things so that the clan’s proposed service is at the bottom of the agenda. She has been spending resources and considerable effort to get a foothold in the Earl’s household, this has not been easy as he has in his service a woman that was once a senior member of the Right Folk herself.

The pieces fall into place - The Mollies have the impossible task of putting the House of Bowcaster on it’s knees - and in return for this service they will of course be able to take the Nineteenth Seat.

The Sister’s Fate[edit]

The Earl is the head of the single largest house in court. Bowcaster married Lady Sandrel, The Maid of Seven Roads, three years ago uniting the House of Bowcaster with the estate of the largest trading house in the kingdom of Caister. When his new wife's father died without a male heir she inherited his fortune and when she died in labour last year the estate remained with Bowcaster.

The Earl certainly has expensive tastes and there are many that say that his marriage to Seven Roads came at an extremely convenient time. Certainly a great deal of effort was made to reinvent Lady Sandrel as a member of court before the marriage but in reality many still secretly maintain that she was a rich commoner.

The estates of Bowcaster are within a day's coach ride of the city, you do not think that there is a secret way from Wunderland that will be detailed in your notes. Whilst there may well be one to be discovered you would need to find it from above ground and not below. However, Bowcaster does also maintain a significant household in Blackmoor and you might find a route into there if you wish.

The spy in the household is Celia, assistant to the under-castelan who has noticed that there is a regular outgoing to the Order of Saint Gossil at Greyfriars since the arrival of the late Lady Sandrel. This in itself is not unusual but when she asked about it she was told in no uncertain terms that it was not her concern and to leave well alone. A little digging and she found that there was more to this - she raised it with a retired maid that had arrived at Bowcaster in service to Lady Sandrel. Since her death she has been let go and Celia has adopted her as a friend. Upon raising Greyfriars, Mrs Darney, became terrified and has not spoken to Celia since.

The housekeeper knows that Lady Sandrel had a younger sister named Daedo and that she was spirited away to Greyfriars Nunnery when the marriage was arranged. Lady Sandrel knew that the alternative was probably assassination and hoped to keep her sister out of harms way. Mrs Darney fears that stirring trouble might bring death to the young woman.

Greyfriars Nunnery is a place that is not spoken of in polite company, many inconvenient daughters of court have been spirited away there, for safety or to avoid inconvenient questions of inheritance. The law does not give any rights of inheritance to daughters, but grandsons will inherit and so keeping second and third daughters celibate and quiet is a fact of life.

What happens behind the doors of Greyfriars nunnery is a dark secret, the Abbot rules by fear and violence, with his virgin wards living in terror of him and his Sisters of Mercy. Daedo has lived in this place for three years, she has become pregnant and hoped that this might somehow protect her. Normally the Abbot has the means to deal with this unfortunate side effect of the rape that he uses as a means to keep his charges in terror but this time he has another plan.

Abbot Humility knows that the presence of a legitimate heir to the estate of Seven Roads will give him an excellent means of blackmailing The Earl of Bowcaster and so he quickly arranged a secret wedding between Daedo and one of the Curates, he then discovered the wedding and had the curate flogged to death along with the friar that performed the wedding. Next he made sure that there were four other pregnancies amongst the other inmates so that he could be confident that he can present a male heir rather than a useless girl. Now he waits for time to deliver him a legitimate heir to the fortune of Bowcaster.

Greyfriars nunnery is in the heart of The Greywilds, a bleak forest in which the Abbot has permitted many wild creatures to make their home. If the players can get to the nunnery then they will have to discover its secret and then battle the abbot and his paladins in order to rescue the inmates from their ordeal. How they reveal the fates of all of these inconvenient daughters of court may have a dramatic impact on court. If the thieves can control the legitimate heir to the Seven Roads fortune then they will be able to bring down the House of Bowcaster.

The Bowcaster Estate[edit]

A principal obstacle to operating in the estate will be the Earl’s Spymaster. Shevlin was one of the Right Folk but sold her services to the Earl and now sits at the head of a web of spies and thugs and agents operating through Bowcaster and Blackmoor. She will not confront the party head on but is likely to try and separate them and assassinate them if she can.

Shevlin - Half Elven Assassin: AC: 15, HP: 78, Shortsword: +7 (1d6 + 3 + 7d6 poison or half on DC 15 Con save), Light Crossbow +7 (1d8 + 3 + 7d6 poison or half on DC 15 Con save), Stunning bolt: +7 (1d4+3 and 15 Con save versus poison or poisoned), Multi-attack: Makes two shortsword attacks, Assassinate: Automatic critical on hit with advantage, Evasion.

Shevlin often uses half orc berserkers to help out when she needs a little muscle.

Half-orc Berserker: AC: 13, HP: 67, Greataxe: + 5 (1d12 + 3), Reckless: Attack with advantage and attacks against are at advantage, Aggressive: Can move speed to enemy as a bonus action, {{{4}}}

A dwarven gladiator named Fennick has also thrown his lot in with the House of Bowcaster:

Fennick - Dwarven Gladiator: AC: 19, HP: 112, Battle Axe +7 (2d8+4), Shield Bash +7 (2d4+4 and DC 15 Str or knocked prone), Handaxe: +7 (2d6+4), Multiattack: Makes three melee attacks or two missile attacks, Brave: Saves with advantage against fear, Parry: As a reaction adds 3 to AC against an attack he can see, Brute: Does an extra damage dice.

Shevlin might try and lure someone out to the docks for a secret meeting pretending to be an unknown ally - if she does then she will have set up a drowning trap where the target falls through the pier into a tangle of weighted fishing nets (Dex 20 to avoid falling, Dex 15 to avoid the nets) in the nets the target will be restrained and underwater cutting out of the nets requires doing 30hp of damage to them - they are immune to bludgeoning and resistant to piercing damage.

Onward to Greyfriars[edit]

Investigation on the Bowcaster estate should lead the party to Greyfriars though they may choose to call in on Blackmoor on the way. Asking about Greyfriars nunnery will draw a blank in most circles - only the most senior of courtiers will know of it, however if the party think to as Buttercroft then he might be persuaded to tell them about the public face of the nunnery.

Greyfriars is a nunnery, that offers a service where inconvenient, unloved and embarrassing ladies of court are retired from public life. The nunnery takes a regular fee and keeps the ladies healthy and well fed and away from the company of men so that no complications on the difficulties of succession can arise. It would be fair to say that most of the residents are not willing brides of the church but for many of them it is far better than the alternative.

To discover the realities of life in Greyfriars the party will have to get from the nearest village, Churchmead, through the Wildwood and scale the walls of the Nunnery itself. This made extremely difficult because the Abbot has encouraged many dangerous creatures to migrate to the woods and a safe road is only guaranteed when in the company of his Paladins of the Road. The abbot also maintains spies in Churchmead and they will let him know via carrier pigeon if there are questions being asked so he will be ready and waiting for their arrival.

The Wildwood[edit]

The wild hunt is a collection of wood-elves that enjoy the freedom of the forest, they see all strangers in the forest as prey and will hunt the party down, though they will flee if they take heavy losses.

Wood Elf Mage: AC: 15, HP: 40, Dagger +5 (1d4+2), Spellcasting DC 14: Fire bolt, magic missile, shield, misty step, suggestion, counterspell, fireball, fly, greater invisibility, ice storm, cone of cold, Mounted combat from Giant Elk.

Pseudodragon Familiar: AC: 13, HP: 7, Bite: +4 (1d4+2), Sting: +4 (1d4+2 Con 11 or poisoned), Magic resistance

Wood Elf Veteran: AC: 17, HP: 58, Longsword: +5 (1d8+3), Shortsword: +5 (1d6+3), Longbow: +3 (1d8+1), Multiattack: Two melee attacks plus one shortsword attack.

Giant Elk: AC: 14, HP: 42, Ram: +6 (2d6+4), Hooves: +6 (4d8+4 versus prone), Charge: Move 20 feet and make a Ram attack, on a hit target take an extra 2d6 damage and Str 14 save or knocked prone.

Blink Dog: AC: 13, HP: 22, Bite: +3 (1d6+1), Teleport: Makes a bite attack and teleports.

Rivals to the wild hunt are the wolves, led by a family of werewolves.

Werewolf Packleader: AC: 12, HP: 112, Bite +7 (1d8+2 Con 12 or cursed with lycanthropy), Claws: +7 (2d4+2), Multiattack: two bite and one claw attacks, Pack leader: All allies within sight attack at advantage any enemy that is engaged by another ally.

Werewolf: AC: 12, HP: 58, Bite: +4 (1d8+2 Con 12 or cursed with lycanthropy), Claws: +4 (2d4+2), Multiattack: one bite and one claw attack.

Wolf: AC: 13, HP: 11, Bite: +4 (2d4+2 Str 11 or knocked prone), Pack tactics: Wolf has advantage if an incapacitated ally is adjacent to enemy.

Greyfriars Nunnery[edit]

The Order of Saint Gossil has existed at Greyfriars for over one hundred years and in that time has a long tradition of taking in wards from the great families of Caister - it was initially founded by a family that wanted to find a home for a fourth daughter considered too plain to to find a match.

It is likely that the Abbot is expecting trouble but he will not be sure of numbers and will be expecting something pretty unsubtle. Spying on the nunnery is easy, there are windows and surrounding forest with trees that provide a lookout point into the grounds. On top of that there all of the noises of a working place of worship and detention.

The Paladins and the Sisters of Mercy are all completely evil - blinded by the dogmatic, unquestioning obedience to the demands of their thoroughly corrupt Abbot. Now, they will fight to the death to prevent discovery of their work, and are prepared to kill all of the nuns rather than allow them release back into the world. In fact, this is part of the deal that the Abbott offers the noble families of Blackmoor - those that come in as the brides of Saint Gossil will never leave alive.

If the players are detected lurking about outside then it is likely that a party of paladins and a Sister of Mercy will be sent out to look for them. Otherwise, infiltrating players might be confronted by one or two paladins who will raise the alarm and attack drawing reinforcements from the 50 strong contingent.

Paladin of St Gossil: AC: 19, HP: 58, Longsword: +5 (1d8+3), Multiattack: Makes two longsword attacks, Divine Smite: On a hit +2d8 radiant (recharge 5-6)

Sister of Mercy: AC: 13, HP: 27, Mace +2 (1d6), Spellcaster DC 13, +5 to Hit: cure wounds, guiding bolt, sanctuary, spiritual weapon, dispel magic, spirit guardians

The Abbot is not keen to confront the players but if he has to then it will be backed up by all of his remaining paladins and sisters of mercy. If it is clear that everything is discovered then he will try and save his life by promising to testify against Bowcaster and anyone else that the party want. If he is dead then they will never be able to convince anyone that they really have Daedo and the legitimate heir to the Seven Roads estate.

{{5e Monster Summary|Abbott Humility|19|49|Mace +5 (1d6), Sacred flame (Dex 16 or 2d8+4 radiant), Read thoughts: Wis 16 or read thoughts and cast suggestion, Spellcaster +8 DC 16: Sanctuary, Command, Cure Wounds, Guiding Bolt, Blindness, Silence, Hold Person, Dispel Magic, Bestow Curse, Spirit Guardians, Guardian of Faith, Banishment, Stone Shape, Contagion.}

Two Meetings In the Woodland[edit]

Along the path to the nunnery, the party are hailed by a bard in the company of a young man - it is Sylvanus the Rakshasa who has been seeking the party as an agent of Maglubiyet. Now that he has met them he can read a scroll that will permit the demon lord to scry on them and his obligation is completed. He will probably be tempted to torment them after that, sending the young paladin wannabe he has charmed to fight them, but he will stop short of killing them as he knows that this might displease his employer.

Sylvanus, Rakshasa Warlock (5): AC: 16, HP: 136, Saves: Wis: +8, Cha: +10, Claw: +10 (2d6+2 and target is cursed), Multi-attack: two claw attacks, Innate Spellcaster: Detect thoughts, disguise self, mage hand, minor illusion, 3/day: charm person, detect magic, invisibility, major image, suggestion, 1/day: dominate person, fly, plane shift, true seeing, Dark one’s blessing: +10 HP when foe defeated, Pact of the Tome: Thornwhip +10 (2d6 and target pulled 10’), Sacred Flame (Dex 18 or 2d8 radiant), Ray of Frost +10 (2d8 Cold, target move reduced to 10), Eldritch Invocations: Misty Visions (silent image at will), Eldritch Spear, Repelling Blast, Warlock Spells, cantrips: Eldritch blast +10 (1d10 two targets at 600’ pushes target 10’), Poison Spray (Con 18 or 2d12), True Strike; Twice per day can cast one of: Hunger of Hadar, Vampiric Touch +10 (3d6 necrotic, heal half), Cloud of Daggers (6d4 slashing), Crown of Madness (Wis 18 or charmed), Hellish Rebuke (Dex 18 or 4d10 fire), Hex (+1d6 damage on target and disadvantage versus one save type), Spell Sniper: Double range on roll to attack spells, ignore half and three quarters cover, Chill Touch: +10 (2d8 necrotic, target can’t heal, 240’).

Appearing as a peregrine falcon, Astrud is a Deva sent partly as a messenger to the party and partly as a witness. Maglubiyet’s interest in the party has created an imbalance that permits the normally impotent gods to have some action here - they cannot interfere with things too much but Astrud is a messenger that is able to spell out Sylvanus’s motivations and what is falling into place. He will explain that Maglubiyet has lost face in this very visible and desolation of his worshipers - Githob, the goblin chief whose tomb the party desecrated was a significant priest from a time when the Goblin gods waxed supreme - now, genocidal tomb robbers have disturbed his rest and made him look weak - he has sworn to avenge this.

The connections between the outer planes and the material plane have become tenuous however and these ancient gods can only really act through proxies now. When they do it creates an imbalance which permits their diametrically opposed forces to act as well.

Astrud can also tell the party that Greyfriars is a place of great evil - if the bells of St Gossil’s are permitted to ring then a great evil will befall the place - the party should prevent this at all costs.

The Quarry[edit]

The great works that have been completed on Greyfriars have need a steady supply of stone and hidden in the heart of the woods there is a stonemason and a quarry, the party discover it when they find the crushed stone paved road, built to take the heavy carts in times past. The quarryman is in fact an aged stone giant named Slater and if he meets the party he will accept that they are giant friends and gladly exchange news of the Ordning of Gaunt for protection and comfort for the night.

Slater can also tell the party something of the layout and produce a sketch of the principal buildings. He will further tell them that spies at Churchmead communicate with the abbott via carrier pigeon and that the abbott encourages the creatures that they have fought so far. He might also mention the Perytons as well. The Ancient Flock As old as the wildwoods themselves and certainly predating the monastery, a flock of Peryton dominate the skies to the north of Greyfriars. Their elder is occasionally contacted by the abbot and encouraged to perform a service in return for a gift of one of the less valuable inmates.

Peryton Elder: AC: 13, HP: 54, Gore: +7 (1d8+3), Talons +7 (2d4+3), Multi-attack: one gore and one talon attack, Dive: straight line of 30 for +2d8, Flyby: does not provoke opportunity

Peryton: AC: 13, HP: 33, Gore: +5 (1d8+3), Talons +5 (2d4+3), Multi-attack: one gore and one talon attack, Dive: straight line of 30 for +2d8, Flyby: does not provoke opportunity


Gaining Entry to the Confinement[edit]

The ditch in front of this part of wall has broken down somewhat and is more of an area of marshy ground - making it difficult terrain to cross and quite noisy as well - anyone in heavy armour must make a strength DC 15 check each turn that they start in the marsh or be restrained.

The buildings on the south side of the old cloister are three storey brick built however their outer walls have been reinforced with a stone outer layer with buttresses at sif foot intervals. At the base, between buttresses the wall is within the range of a stoneshape - note that the south eastern watchtower has a clear view of that wall however.

Immediately beyond the wall is a passageway leading between two ground floor rooms, to the west is the shared living area and the east is a room shared between three Sisters of Mercy. Both of these rooms connect through to a front lobby and staircase. Stationed in the lobby are two paladins on watch and rotated out regularly.

At the top of the staircase is an open landing looking down into the lobby below and up to the top floor, there are four rooms, one in each corner of the building accommodating the four inmates that are folding surrogate children for Danae, should hers prove to be female. The front rooms have barred windows that look out into the vegetable gardens.

The top storey is built into the eaves of the building, the staircase comes up through a trapdoor and beyond this is a single floor, hastily repurposed from storage to a bedroom for Danae, another young inmate who is acting as a maid and another Sister of Mercy.

If the party enter through the wall then they will be quickly detected by the Sisters of Mercy on the ground floor - at night time one will always be awake, in the daytime there will be two awake and most of the inmates will be here as well. The first priority will be to raise the alarm and fall back to the paladins and support them. The paladins are on high alert - they know that there are enemies at the gates (though not their nature) - they have signal horns and will raise an alarm quickly. Then they will try and establish the nature of the alarm and if they can hold the doors to the lobby they will try and get the inmates out. If they feel overwhelmed then they will retreat up the stairs and try and defend Danae in the loft.

Support from outside will be quick but not in high numbers - the duty watch is expecting action from outside and so they have to come off the walls via a ladder into the courtyard. Also they will suspect a diversion so only five of the on-watch will respond immediately. If they cannot win the day then they will attempt to seal the party into the building until reinforced.

Reinforcements will put fifteen men onto the walls and have another fifteen armed and armoured within five minutes. Another twenty will join them within 5 more minutes. If the party make their way out then that group of twenty will come after them along with ten sisters of mercy. When Danae revealed her pregnancy to the Abbot he stripped her and presented her to all of the paladin guard so that they could each individually revile her. In fact each one was told to carefully fix the locket that she wore in his mind and they are now able to locate it.

If the party make their way into the newer convent and the Abbe feels that there is a significant risk that the other inmates might escape then he will ring the great bell of St Gossill’s - the inmates know that this is a drill to go down to the secure rooms in the cellars. The Sisters of Mercy know that this is a sign to go down to the execution room in the cellars and kill all of the inmates.


Locked into the Abbot‘s guest suite, the assassin knows that Clary’s might return with support and so she has laid a trap. The spellbook has had all of the pages cut out of it and it is then placed on the table in the room and covered with contact poison (DC 15 Con to take half of 7d6 poison and become poisoned). She has placed a human form in the bed under the covers with her wig splayed across the pillow next to a gloved hand resting on the hilt of a wicked dagger.

Meanwhile she has lifted the floorboards and found a crawlspace below where she is resting - she has already attuned to the ring of seeing and the rod of lowly power. She has a set of poisoned spikes prepared which she can hammer through the floorboard to make an attack for 1d3 + 7d6 poison damage (using the ring of seeing) and she has many smoke bombs that will completely obscure vision in the room (except for her using the ring).

The alarm is rung then the guard outside her door will be called away and she will make her escape. Initially she will make her way into the newer buildings assuming that is where Danae is being held. If the party make their way out of the nunnery then she will return and extract the truth from the abbot before heading back Churchmead hoping to pick up the trail. She has no skill in tracking through the woods and does not think that the paladins have the means to track either.

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