The Crown of Idbol Bark
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The Crown of Idbol Bark is a tabletop role-playing adventure in which the party the party attempts to arrest an upstart "king", usually taking two to four hours to complete.
This adventure is set in the year 80pc, during the Reconstruction Era of the tragically funny fantasy world, Teraum. Several decades after the apocalyptic disappearance of magic, humanity is forming itself into a new empire. And on the edges of the world, rumors that magic is returning have begun to spread.
This adventure was written by me, emsenn, and is released for the benefit of the public under the terms included in the "License" supplement. It was made possible with financial contributions from humans like you. If you would like to offer corrections or opinions about this adventure, please send an email to my public inbox or, if appropriate, my personal email. If you're viewing this online, you're encouraged to download a local copy.
The Crown of Idbol Bark
In which the party attempts to arrest an upstart "king".
The independent town of Belcaer, in the rocky marshland of the Gloaming, is suffering the aggression of a nearby bandit camp, led by someone who goes by the name King Brag. Travelers are being mugged, and farmers are reporting missing livestock.
An official of the Chandlers Guild named Abeth Harbrook believes she has located where the "king" is hiding: Jacob's Folly, a limestone tower built and abandoned in the forgotten past.
She's posted a bulletin offering to pay anyone who captures the "king," and the party has come to her office in the town's Guildhouse, a large pine timber building.
Who is "King Brag", really?
Using This Adventure
NOTE: Don't read past this point unless you're the narrator.
Before beginning the session, your party should know:
- How much does each of them weigh, with and without equipment?
- Is anyone a high-ranking officer in the Chandlers Guild?
- Does anyone have familiarity with accents in the Gloaming or Green Delta?
- Belcaer: A town of about four-hundred residents and two-hundred travelers, located on the trade road between Ack and Tayopopopolis, two distant cities. It is built on a short mesa with a single road leading into it, and has recently been experiencing an economic boom. It is located in a region known as…
- The Gloaming: A vast region of fens and marshes, broken up by mesas and rock outcroppings. The region is sparsely populated and relatively lawless.
- Jacob's Folly: A four-storey limestone tower built about eight miles west of Belcaer. It's unknown when or why it was built - it is far from any road or notable landmark.
- Abeth Harbrook: The local ranking member of the Chandlers Guild, a large commercial organization with offices in many towns, villages, and cities across the human world.
- King Brag: A goblin who lives with his clan in Jacob's Folly.
Scene One: Receiving the Quest
The party has a meeting with Abeth Harbrook, the local representative of the Chandlers Guild. Her office is located in the Guildhouse, a recently constructed pine timber building at the edge of Belcaer.
She will tell the party:
- In the early spring, travelers passing by began to be mugged.
- Later in spring, livestock began to disappear. Mostly horses.
- Early in summer, graffiti reading King Brag was here began appearing on barns and silos.
- Rumors are that the bandits responsible are living in Jacob's Folly, a tower eight miles west of Belcaer.
If the party risks questioning her further, Abeth may reveal that victims report the bandits as exceptionally tall individuals in long cloaks and masks. She didn't share this information at first because she doesn't give much credit to the rumors of farmers.
Scene Two: Travel to the Tower
The tower is approximately eight miles away, and given the rocky and marshy terrain, would be hard to get to on horseback. It'll probably take three to five hours to travel to on foot.
Because of the limestone outcroppings that break up the Gloaming, Jacob's Folly is not visible until the party has nearly entered the field in which it was constructed.
If traveling at night or in inclement weather, the party risks getting lost, though knowledge of navigation would help.
If the party travels quietly (such as at night or in inclement weather,) as they approach the tower, they will remain undetected until reaching "Scene Three."
Otherwise, they will be met by a group of "bandits" on the road, who declare, in sqeaky rough voices, that declares they are in the territory of King Brag, and must surrender their money and supplies.
Each bandit is actually two goblins in a long cloak, one standing on the others shoulders and wearing a mask.
Scene Three: The Tower Exterior
Jacob's Folly is a four-storey limestone tower, approximately eighty feet tall and with a thirty-foot diameter. The tower's entrance has been sealed with the same limestone bricks as the tower - but there are a couple of windows near the top, and there are pine planks shoved into the mortar in a rough ladder up to the windows. (Placing more than 120lb of weight on any single plank risks breaking it, getting riskier for every 10lb.)
There are goblins working around the tower, digging toilets and tearing up grass and stuffing it in sacks. If any goblin notices the party, they'll quietly rush toward the tower, informing other goblins on their way. Upon reaching the tower, they will climb boards wedged into its mortar to climb up and into windows located near the top of the building.
Some goblins will remain outside the tower, hiding behind rock outcroppings and throwing stones and debris at the party. If the party risks engaging with any of those goblins, goblins at the top of the tower will have time to start burning straw on the roof the tower, which they will drop on the party when they approach the bottom of the tower.
If approaching in the evening, the party risks being noticed by an owlbear mother that nests on the top of the tower, who will swoop down and harass them, making the goblins aware of them. The owlbear mother will attempt to carry any small (<120lb) adventurer into its nest, where two hungry owlbear hatchlings are waiting for them.
An adventurer who gets to the roof of Jacob's Folly would be able to take those hatchlings and raise them, but unless the mother is killed, she will follow her hatchlings to the ends of the world and try and get them back.
Climbing the goblins' improvised ladder is a risk, a rung at any point might break, and depending on how bad the fall is, an adventurer could break a bone, develop a fear of heights, or even die.
Scene Four: The Tower Interior
When the party enters the room at the top of the tower, through the window on the fourth storey, they'll find an empty stone room with some sticks, dry piles of dung, buckets, and a large brass dish that's clearly been used for fires. The goblins will retreat down underneath the trap door on the ground floor.
There are three other "floors" inside the tower, though they are empty except for more dirty straw and dung. There is a large, heavy wood door in the floor at the ground level.
Scene Five: The Tower Basement
The trap door has no stairs under it - there is a ladder the goblins use, but they removed it as they retreated from the party. The party will be unable to see the ladder before they dropped the ~7 feet into the first level of the tower's basement.
The room is circular, a bit wider in diameter than the tower above, and is full of farm tools and preserved foodstuff and grains.
Among the approximately two-dozen goblins in this room is one wearing a "crown" made of twisted-together silverware: Idbol Bark, leader of this group of goblins.
Resolving this combat is an exercise for the narrator. Abeth Harbrook will accept Idbol Brag, alive or dead, as evidence of the party's success, or Idbol Brag's crown, along with an explanation of how they came to acquire it.
Once Idbol Brag and his goblins have been eliminated or disbanded:
- Abeth Harbrook has to face the reality that goblins were living near the town.
- Who has possession of the Crown of Idbol Bark? Each utensil in it was magic in some way, prior to the Collapse. To the right person, or in the right future, it might be quite valuable.
Brave Old World Rules
Brave Old World is a set of rules for telling a story by having a structured conversation. It requires a six-sided dice (two is easier), a sheet of paper, something to write with, and two to six players (four to six is better).
One player takes the role of narrator, who starts and guides the story, and the others take the roles of adventurers, characters in that story. The story and characters may be created by the players as a group, or sourced from pre-written Adventures.
Narrators can either make-up the premise for a story, or use a pre-written adventure. Adventurers can either make-up their identity, or use a template from an adventure. If things are being made-up, it's important tha
The narrator says where the adventurers are and what is happening around them. The adventurers say what it is they'd like to do. When an adventurer takes a risk, they roll two six-sided die (or one dice twice) and add the results.
- If they roll a 10 or more (10+), they succeed at what they attempted.
- If they roll a 7 through 9 (7-9), they partially succeed, accomplishing what they attempted but with a cost or consequence.
- If they roll a 6 or less (6-), they fail, and something is going to happen.
If the adventurer is knowledgeable about or skilled at what triggered the roll, they can add 1 (+1) to their result.
After an player rolls, the narrator says how the game world reacts to their result, and the conversation continues, with players then saying how their adventurer would respond to those reactions.
This continues until players run out of time or reach a good stopping point in the story.
- A high-ranking investigator from the Chandlers Guild. They're
here because the Guild is upset with Abeth Harbrook for not solving
the problem already. Among other qualities, they're skilled at
negotation and knowledgeable about bureaucracy.
- How do they feel about Ms. Holbrook's performance?
- A local rancher. They're here because King Brag's associates
stole their favorite horse. Among other qualities, they're skilled
at navigating the Gloaming and knowledgeable about local flora
- What was their horse's name?
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- The largest human city, located in the Green Delta.
- A small town in the Gloaming region.
- Chandlers Guild
- A commercial organization which operates in advertising, apiculture, bookbinding, candlemaking, among other fields.
- The chaotic and destructive disappearance of all magic which occurred roughly 80 years prior to this adventure.
- A region to the southeast of the Green Delta and west of the Unseen Sea. Sparsely populated, the region is covered in fens broken by rocky outcroppings.
- Goblins are a race of humanoids that are beginning to reappear along the outskirts of populated areas, after vanishing 80 years ago during the Collapse.
- Green Delta
- A densely-populated region to the northeast of the Gloaming.
- One of the largest buildings in Belcaer, home to the offices of the Chandlers Guild, among others.
- Harbook, Abeth
- The primary representative of the Chandlers Guild in the town of Belcaer, with an office in the Guildhouse.
- Jacob's Folly
- A limestone tower built by a dead wizard, outside the town of Belcaer.
- Unseen Sea
- A vast desert of unknown size extending southwest from the Gloaming.
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