The Bandit’s Nest – Level 3, 5e Campaign

Setting: Renpola is a medium-sized town with minor strategic value to the Wernetov Kingdom.  Centrally located, it lies in the southern foothills of the Seven Brothers mountains and serves as a secondary trading hub.  Merchants who don’t wish to travel to the capital city of Fetheron or the coastal towns come here.  The population is diverse with a generous mix of all races, common and exotic alike.  The town council is a representation of business and community leaders, headed by an elected Maester and Matron.  There are major roads leading to the east, west, and south, and a handful of minor roads in other directions, including north.  The town has a strong enough reputation in the kingdom that their walls are mostly decorative these days.  They have enjoyed many years of peace.

Your introduction:  You are members of a quasi-mercenary police force, the Vigilant.  Each of you has your own reasons for joining the Vigilant; the rules are simple, the assignments pay reasonably well, and the Overseer doesn’t mind looking the other way if things get messy sometimes.  You’ve been called to Renpola to help the Head Cleric with a serious problem.

In the Temple of Sune, Goddess of Life:

The clerics wring their hands in frustration as the air hangs heavy with illness and despair.  The beds in the hospital are nearly full, and an orderly rushes past you to the head cleric and whispers something in her ear before dashing back the way he came.

“It’s getting worse,” the staunch woman says to you curtly.  “There are more people waiting outside.”  She pauses and looks over her shoulder as two younger clerics lift away a body wrapped in soiled sheets.  “They may not have to wait long.”

The Head Cleric of the town of Renpola, Helgia, escorts you away from the main hospital hall and into her office and waves you to sit in the chairs opposite her.  You can now take a moment to examine her properly as she pauses to find her next words: while still a servant of Sune, a goddess of light and peace, the Head Cleric has definitely seen her share of battles.  She is a hardened woman whose beauty lies in in the laugh lines around her mouth and the quickness in her eyes as well as the furrows in her brow.  Her hands fold and unfold with conflict as she reads the paper on the desk in front of her, then she looks up at you.

You’re curious.  As a cleric temple of Sune, it is unheard of for so many people to be allowed to fall ill.  The service of Sune employs only the finest clerics with the utmost faith, so healing the ill and even resurrecting the dead should be no issue.

“I lied to the Maester and Matron,” Helgia says, “when I told them I didn’t know what was causing the plague, as we have been powerless to reverse it.”  She takes a deep breath.  “In my defense, I was not certain at the time, but now, it is without question.  We have fallen under a curse, a very, very old one.”  She passes the page over to you for examination.

“Some weeks ago, a band of thieves decided to take up residence in a scared temple nearby.  The place is a ruins, of course.  It belongs to Kelemvor, the god of death and balance, and consort of Sune.  By disturbing stillness there, the balance between the two is thrown off, and this is the result.”  She waves towards the hospital wing.

“Balance must be restored,” Helgia continues as she removes a pouch from her desk drawer.  “The Maester would have demanded that the town guard handle it, that they were responsible for letting the thieves take root.  Unfortunately, the task cannot be carried out by anyone who has lived under the light of Sune; it must be an impartial stranger.  You must take this offering of a new accord to the temple, find the old offering, and bring the old one back to me.  With that, I can appease both Kelemvor and Sune and reverse the process, and maybe even return some of the ones who were taken from us.”

Maybe? You would like to know why there is doubt.

“The longer the balance is disturbed,” the cleric says gravely, “the more of a toll Kelemvor will demand.  Only by the grace of the gods can we restore life, and if They do not will it…”  Her voice trails off.

“You have your assignment,” she says curtly, snapping herself back to the business at hand.  “The Overseer assures me that you are more than up to the task, that you are capable of handling these thieves.  Be warned that as a temple of Kelemvor, there is likely far more to than just bandits to deal with, though.”

She hands you the pouch with the offering inside, a statue of perhaps questionable taste but clearly depicting the accord between the two godly lovers.

“Visit the armory and take what you need.  It’s not much, but we will assist however we can.”

Your adventure begins.

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