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  • Fireblood and Silver, Part 1 – The Silvercrown Mines

The mountains to Greybanner’s east once belonged to an order of warriors known as the Reavers. But the Reavers have long since dissolved, leaving their mountains to the native giants and trolls and, more recently, the Silvercrown Mining Company. Yet the old Reaver tunnels have not remained silent. Old allies of the Reavers still remain and have laid claim to the ruins, bringing them into conflict with wayward miners. Should anyone wish to search the tunnels for their old secrets, they must be ready to face these reptilian residents and their many tricks and traps.

The party has returned from both Verdantguard and the MacHale Manor and is now ready for the third of the Greybanner adventures. This new quest takes them eastward to the Titan’s Spine mountains and Silvercrown Mines, where trolls, giants, and a den of kobolds await. The characters must venture into the old Reaver tunnels to discover their secrets, which may help in the future. But doing so will bring them face-to-face with the aforementioned reptiles, who are not fond of trespassers.

To learn more about Greybanner’s adventures, refer back to the adventure index or the previous entry, ‘In Walls That Talk’, which takes the party to the infamously haunted MacHale Manor…

Adventure Hooks

The adventures that follow the party’s expedition in ‘Into the Bramblejade‘ do not follow a strict, specific order. They will instead occur when the characters come across them. This means that the group has multiple paths to discovering the adventure hooks at different points in the story, either from other adventures or around town. Some of these rely on the characters’ curiosity or chance encounters with other townsfolk. Others are more direct, allowing you to better ensure they find the hooks if the party is ever directionless.

A Wayward Giant. The Titan’s Spine is home to many dangers that the Silvercrown miners must be wary of. When one appears, members of the town militia are dispatched to help, but the current events of the Grant Tournament are stretching the guards thin. The appearance of a hill giant wandering close to the mines has forced Captain Ashbrand to enlist additional help from adventurers. The characters may hear of this if they seek out employment from Ashbrand (see the Tasks table of the Greyguard Barracks). He may also approach them with the issue if they have previously completed an assignment from him, such as driving bandits out of the MacHale Manor (see ‘Bandit Rendezvous’, under the ‘Adventure Hooks‘ section of the ‘In Walls That Talk’ adventure).

In meeting with the party, Ashbrand is curt and professional, clearly explaining the terms of the job. A stray hill giant has been seen close to a section of the mines and needs to be carefully redirected back into the deeper mountains. Once the giant has been pushed further up the mountain it should continue back toward its home on its own. This must be done without killing or causing the giant undue distress, for fear of it calling for its kin. Miners are not permitted into the area until the giant has been dealt with. Ashbrand comments that he would like to see the matter resolved quickly so that he can stop receiving daily visits from the Silvercrown company’s owner and town councilwoman, Mariana Harkness. In exchange, he offers the group a payment of 200 gp.

Should the party accept, Captain Ashbrand directs them to the Silvercrown Mining Outpost and instructs them to meet with its foreman, Jasker Adris. He explains that Adris can further enlighten them on the giant’s location and where it needs to be taken.

Repairing the Reaver Plate. In the trophy room of the MacHale Manor is a unique treasure: an incomplete suit of armor marked as that of Reaver champions (see area 20 of MacHale Manor, in the ‘In Walls That Talk‘ adventure). The armor is damaged and missing pieces, leaving its enchantment inert. But it can be repaired. A character that attempts to attune to the armor, succeeds on a DC 13 Intelligence (Arcana) check to inspect it, or that observes it while under the effect of the detect magic spell can deduce that the armor’s enchantment can be restored through the recovery of its missing plates. This information can also be gleaned from reading ‘The MacHale Trophy Room(see the ‘Treasure’ section of area 15 of MacHale Manor) or from having an expert mage or smith inspect the armor. Elias Gilderoy’s reading of documents brought from the house can also lead to him learning of the armor, which he then mentions to the party. No one in Greybanner is aware of the armor’s history or the location of these pieces, leaving the Reaver tunnels as the most obvious place to begin looking. A possible heading and the allure of an enchanted suit of armor may be all it takes to see a group of adventurers rushing to the mountain depths.

Relics of the War. The secret journals of Vincent MacHale harken to the battles that led to Greybanner’s founding and the Reavers’ involvement (see sections 1 and 3 of ‘Vincent MacHale’s Research‘ under ‘Studying Vincent’s Research‘, in the ‘In Walls That Talk‘ adventure). These include an oil that Gorim Steinsson used to negate devils’ natural healing, as well the crowns worn by the leaders of the Eyes of Blood, one of which Alessia used in her spell to seal Harazai. Vincent names the Reaver tunnels both as the place where more oil may be found and where the crowns were taken in the battle’s aftermath. With a potential reawakening of Harazai swiftly approaching, characters that seek to slay the devil may be prompted to arm themselves with the tools that helped others do so once before. And if they wish to find them, they must enter the Reavers’ old tunnels.

If Vincent’s research is given to Elias Gilderoy to study, he is likely to discover the mentions of the oil and crown. He passes this information on to the party as soon as he can, stressing the potential usefulness of both items and prompting the characters to search for them.

Dissuading the Den. Captain Ashbrand is not the only person in town with jobs that need doing. Characters listening for rumors or hearsay in Greybanner’s taverns may also hear of a problem that has been plaguing the Silvercrown Mining Company; one which Mariana Harkness and Foreman Adris have been trying to keep quiet for unknown reasons (see the Rumors table of the Greybanner Bunkhouse). Should the party approach either of the two, they are met with reticence and are immediately questioned over how they heard such a rumor. If the characters then show earnestness in helping, their assistance is skeptically considered. Adris defers them to Harkness if he is spoken to in Greybanner, showing visible frustration, while Harkness herself requests that the characters speak with her in the Silvercrown office.

Mariana Harkness is discerning and professional in her meeting with the party. She only shares information that is strictly pertinent and does not entertain questions outside of the bounds of the immediate task. She describes an issue in one of the mines’ tunnels, which has disrupted work and prevented them from expanding the mine nearby. A vanguard of kobolds has taken control of the area, having originated from deeper in the mountain, and has been openly hostile to anyone that ventured close to them. Harkness stresses that the kobolds are well-equipped and not to be underestimated. Her request is simple: remove the kobolds from the tunnels and ensure they do not return.

Harkness explains the need for secrecy in dealing with the kobolds, as word of an encroaching kobold den is likely to cause unrest in the miners and other townsfolk. Currently, only she and Foreman Adris are aware of the full situation. She stresses that the kobold scouts are not something to cause panic over but must be dealt with before they become too firmly entrenched. Harkness offers the party 350 gp for completion of the task, to be paid a day later after she has been able to confirm that the kobolds are gone.

A Vault of Traps and Scales - Banner - Small
The kobolds that are occupying the tunnels will include many of our own variants from our previous encounter, ‘A Vault of Traps and Scales‘.

Investigating Harkness. Mariana Harkness’s many private dealings cannot remain hidden forever. The truth of the Greybanner Arena, her role in the Eyes of Blood, and the suspicious history of her ownership of the Silvercrown Mining Company; the scent of any one of these secrets may lead to the party investigating her and her many connections. These inquiries may lead to them discovering a connection between Harkness and a hidden business venture involving a secret tunnel through the mountains. The party is able to investigate the existence and purpose of this tunnel by traveling to the mines. If Elias Gilderoy has been made aware of Harkness’s connection to the Eyes of Blood and he has no more pressing ways to combat the cult, he encourages the characters to locate the tunnel.

Mariana Harkness and her fellow conspirators may know of the party’s actions against the Eyes of Blood, depending on their previous adventures and actions. If she is aware of them and hears that the characters are headed for the mines, Harkness does what she can to learn of their intentions. She also dispatches a small group of Ironwind mercenaries to ambush the party (see the ‘Harkness’s mercenaries’ section of ‘The Silvercrown Mines‘).

The Silvercrown Mines

The forest parts suddenly as you near where the ground climbs toward the mountains. The cleared area extends in both directions along the mountains’ feet and descends into an expansive quarry that exposes distant tunnels, pathways, and working areas dotted across the rocky slopes. Looking directly in front of you, you spot where the many removed trees were taken. Palisade walls surround an outpost consisting of three large structures, with gates both facing you and visible on the opposite side and a guard tower beside each. The mountains rise beyond these many smaller sights, ascending into the heavens in jagged grey ridges that boastfully justify their name of ‘the Titan’s Spine’.

The Silvercrown Mines are located at the base of the Titan’s Spine mountains, east of Greybanner. Just under half a mile of the forest has been cleared to make space for the central outpost and its many connected mining shafts, the entrances of which are centered in the quarry and scattered across the mountains’ feet. Paths and tracks run between these tunnels and the outpost, though some have smaller work areas erected nearer to them, with shelters, storage areas, and basic workstations.

The Silvercrown Mining Company’s inception came simply from Greybanner’s need for stone and metals during its earliest development. The Reavers of the mountains helped Greybanner’s people locate and mine for what was needed, creating the industry that would later be headed by an early town councilor, Lionel Rutherford. As the Reavers dwindled, Rutherford officially established the Silvercrown company as a means of laying claim to the area. He initially intended for it to be passed down in his family as an inherited fortune; a plan that failed quickly after his death, with other councilors vying for ownership. Since then, the company has been passed to and acquired by numerous people. The most recent is councilwoman Mariana Harkness, who took control after her predecessor, Oscar Villenor, died in a tunnel collapse 15 years ago.

Forest Road battle map
For more information regarding the locations surrounding Greybanner, including the Titan’s Spine mountains and the Silvercrown Mines, refer to the previous entry, ‘Greybanner, Part 3 – The Greybanner Region‘.

Journey to the mines. The journey from Greybanner to the Silvercrown Mines is 12 miles long. A rough gravel road, wide enough for two carts, cuts through the forest with only minor bends and turns to connect the town to the Silvercrown Mining Outpost. Traveling the road takes 4 hours at a normal traveling pace.

Transport carts move to and from the outpost shortly after dawn every 5 days, taking miners to begin their work. If the characters tell the cart driver that they have business with Foreman Adris, or that they are working for Mariana Harkness, they are allowed to join the miners on the transport. The miners converse amongst themselves, making jokes about current events, their work, and Harkness, and inquire about the party’s business. They do not pry if the characters remain secretive unless they mention that they are working for Harkness. Doing so makes the miners immediately apprehensive of the party and causes them to question further. Answering the miners’ questions and joining in with their conversation helps earn their favor, which may later extend to the miners’ foreman and supervisor (see the ‘Friends of a friend’ section of ‘Foreman Jasker Adris‘ and the ‘Reputation preceding them’ section of ‘Supervisor Crena Dorel‘, both under the ‘Silvercrown Mining Outpost‘).

Giant in the quarry. If the characters have traveled to the mines as part of the ‘A Wayward Giant’ adventure hook or have heard about the hill giant’s presence within the last 3 days, they may hear it as they approach. A character that succeeds on a DC 16 Wisdom (Perception) check when arriving at the Silvercrown Mines notices the distant sound of rocks and wood breaking echoing from within the quarry. They are unable to see the source of the commotion without moving to the edge of the quarry but can learn more within the mining outpost.

Harkness’s mercenaries. The party may already be actively opposing the Eyes of Blood and their schemes or have taken actions against them. This puts them in opposition to Mariana Harkness. If Harkness knows of the characters’ resistance to the cult and hears that they are headed for the Silvercrown Mines, she pays a small group of Ironwind mercenaries to follow the adventurers. An example of how she may learn of these factors is by meeting with Gabrien Hereca and, as a result, having a spy follow the party (see the ‘Mariana Harkness‘ and ‘Gabrien Hereca‘ sections of ‘Moving Forward‘, in the Conclusion section of the ‘In Walls That Talk‘ adventure).

The Ironwind mercenary tattoo

The group that is sent after the party consists of a scout, a spy, and a cult fanatic. This spy is not the same one that Harkness may have hired to stalk the party within Greybanner. They are given the task of assassinating the characters but are instructed to do so without directly engaging them so as to not expose their involvement. As part of this, the three discard any identifying items before setting out, though each does have a tattoo marking them as an Ironwind mercenary hidden beneath clothing somewhere on their body.

The mercenary group begins by waiting amidst other crowds and groups outside the Greybanner Bunkhouse to see when the party leaves town. They follow 5 minutes behind the characters, being sure to keep out of sight should they catch up to the party. When reaching the mining outpost, the mercenaries remain hiding in the treeline with a clear view of both of the outpost’s gates.

The mercenaries’ actions after reaching the outpost are dependent on what the party does and where they go. Their possible attempts on the characters’ lives are covered in the ‘Harkness’s mercenaries’ section of each location where they may occur.

Should the party come into contact with the mercenaries without realizing who they are or why they are there, the latter group claims to be headed for the mines in search of temporary employment. They feign being a trio of good friends attracted to Greybanner by word of the festivities. The three joke that they spent more of their gold celebrating and gambling during the opening days than they had intended and need a way to recoup their losses. If asked about their weapons, they mention the danger of the forest and say that they thought it best to be prepared. All of this is a deception. The mercenaries are sure to keep their lies as simple as possible, giving only minimal information, and do not speak over each other, all to prevent their stories from contradicting or becoming suspicious.

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Silvercrown Mining Outpost

A scruffy-looking guard pays your approach a curious but unconcerned look from the watchtower, his two compatriots on either side of the open gate only briefly glancing away from their conversation. The smell of earth, smoke, and a strangely aromatic, bitter scent greets you as you step through the palisade walls and into an open square. This area is surrounded by three buildings: the smallest to your immediate left, a larger, barn-like building on the far left, and what appears to be a stable and vehicle storage on the far right. Extending from the barn to the right of the gate you entered from is a series of canvas shades protecting storage spaces of barrels, crates, and several workbenches. The rest of the area is left open, frequent traffic having stripped the grass away to dull mud and gravel. Workers move through the yard, some hurrying and others meandering but all paying little attention to you. They seem most concentrated in the barn structure, where you can hear loud conversations and movement, and from which the curious, fermented fragrance drifts.

The headquarters of the Silvercrown Mines’ operations is the mining outpost. The small settlement is created as a space to house miners during their stays at the mines, as well as a base of operations for their foreman, Jasker Adris. Jasker’s office is the small building, closest to the western gate, and includes the foreman’s workspace, a storage closet that includes cleaning supplies and other necessities, and a small bedroom and bathroom for Jasker to use while he stays at the outpost. Clockwise from the office is an open area featuring a firepit and several logs used as seating. Beyond that is the barn-like structure that houses the miners’ living area, nicknamed the ‘Dustprint Tavern’. The final building is a basic stable and storage area for the carts, wheelbarrows, and other vehicles that the miners use.

Exterior walls. The outpost is protected by a palisade wall, constructed from the logs of the surrounding forest and designed to ward off potential attacks from wandering giants and other dangers. The wall ranges from 10 to 12 feet tall and each log is sharpened to a point at its top. Gates of the same logs open at the eastern and western ends of the outpost, beside each of which is a 15-foot watchtower positioned to look over the wall.

A guard is posted in either watchtower at all times, while two more are positioned at each gate. These guards are chosen from miners who have received training as part of the town militia. They open the gates for anyone that approaches, particularly during the Tournament when it is common for travelers to seek employment, though the watchtower guards keep a written record of everyone passing through their respective gate.

The Dustprint Tavern. The largest of the buildings in the outpost is a barn-like structure created to house the many miners working at a given time. It holds a large meeting and dining area on its ground floor, equipped with a kitchen, a storage room for the workers’ gear, and other necessary amenities. Above that is a large communal resting area with rows of bunks and smaller storage chests for personal items. There are enough bunks to house the regular number of rostered miners with only several extra for Tournament workers, often leading to many of the latter staying in tents in the clearing beside the building.

The miners have nicknamed their barracks, particularly its ground floor, the ‘Dustprint Tavern’. This name derives firstly from the dirt and dust that is tracked across the floor by the workers’ boots at the end of the workday. Its title as a tavern, while meant with some sarcasm, is earned from the miners’ tradition of fermenting mead in barrels that are stacked by the building and that give off the odd aroma that characters notice when entering the area. This mead is fermented with what the townsfolk call ‘rustberries’; orange berries found in clusters in bushes at the mountains’ feet, which carry a bitter and curiously metallic flavor that transfers into the mead and gains a faint spice as it ferments. The resulting ‘Dustprint mead’ is a staple for miners coming off of their shifts. Its flavor’s initial resemblance to blood also leads to many raucous jokes when newcomers first taste the alcohol.

Silvercrown miners. At least 40 miners stay in the outpost and work the mines at a time. Most follow a roster of spending 10 days working and then 5 days off, due to the hours of work required each day and the travel distance from Greybanner making daily transit uneconomical. This roster does not apply to additional labor, such as if the characters or other Tournament-goers seek employment, which is assigned and paid on a day-to-day basis. The work in the mines begins before dawn, which itself is delayed by the eastern mountains blocking the sunrise, and ends shortly before dusk. Other workers are assigned to maintaining the yard and standing guard at the gates and watchtowers, the latter of which continues throughout the night.

Speaking with the miners can reveal small pieces of information about current events. In addition to their general knowledge and any other relevant information, the miners are aware of the most prominent rumors in Greybanner (see the Rumors table of the ‘Greybanner Bunkhouse). They are also able to explain the situation and protocols surrounding the mountains’ giants if asked or if there is one currently in the quarry. If a character has befriended the miners, such as by speaking to them on a transport cart to the outpost or by gossiping with Crena Dorel (see the ‘Journey to the mines’ section of ‘The Silvercrown Mines‘ or the ‘Reputation preceding them’ section of ‘Supervisor Crena Dorel‘), they may also mention the presence of kobolds in tunnels near the mines.

If asked about the Reaver tunnels, senior miners are able to recall a story of ‘Old Glaven’. They recount a tale of Glaven, an older worker from before the time of anyone currently working the mines, who entered and became lost in the tunnels, where he spent close to 2 days wandering in darkness before he was found. Glaven was terrified when he made it back into the mining tunnels. He spoke only once of what caused him such distress and pieces of the story have morphed or been lost over time. One miner says that Glaven screamed about an “evil that leaked from the carving.” Another claims that he had been driven mad after seeing monsters and faces in the darkness. Others say that Glaven touched a portal to a demonic plane, as he was found with no major injuries other than the inside of his left hand being scraped and bloody. None of the miners are ultimately sure of what happened to Glaven and many believe that the stories are little more than cautionary tales.

The stories of Old Glaven all hold some element of truth and relate to him stumbling into a chamber affected by a cursed artifact of the Eyes of Blood. The full explanation of what transpired will be included in the section covering the room that Glaven found.

Giant in the quarry. If the party travels to the outpost as a result of the ‘A Wayward Giant’ adventure hook or within 3 days of hearing of the giant’s presence, such as from Captain Ashbrand, work in the mines has been suspended. The miners are instead gathered in the Dustprint Tavern and around the outpost. Many are celebrating the time off but there is a persistent air of annoyance and anxiety over what is happening as they wait for the situation to be resolved.

Temporary employment. Those seeking to make additional gold can approach Foreman Adris to aid in the mines’ operations for daily pay (see the ‘Temporary employment’ section of ‘Foreman Jasker Adris‘). These workers are assigned to 8-hour shifts carrying out general labor around the outpost and mines. This includes cleaning, tending to horses, or assisting with more complicated tasks that they are qualified to carry out, such as repairs of vehicles and tools. They are paid 8 sp at the end of every shift and are given food and a bed within the barracks. During the Tournament, when there is an influx of these workers, some are required to sleep in tents beside the Dustprint Tavern, in which case the tents and bedrolls are provided to them. Temporary workers are not permitted within the mining tunnels due to the potential danger. A senior miner named Crena Dorel is also assigned to oversee them, amidst carrying out her own duties (see the ‘Supervisor Crena Dorel‘ section).

Foreman Jasker Adris

(LN male dwarf guard)

An aged dwarven man absentmindedly scratches at the two braids that his dark beard is tied into. He wears what looks to be high-quality clothing, though it is discolored and worn from time spent working in a dusty environment, further betrayed by the additional padding on his boots, knees, and gloves. He furrows his brow before releasing his expression as he notices you.

Jasker Adris is the current foreman of the Silvercrown Mines. He is in charge of all of the outpost’s operations and workers and answers only to Mariana Harkness, who rarely visits the mines herself. This forces Adris to frequently act as a buffer between Harkness and the miners, protecting his workers from her harsh and uncaring approach to business as much as he can. He has a deep loyalty to the people of the Silvercrown company, owing to his own history. Jasker was born and raised in Greybanner and has spent much of his life working for the company, even becoming close friends with Oscar Villenor, who trained Jasker as his intended successor. Despite Oscar’s death and Harkness’s swift acquisition of the company, Jasker remains unbowed in his efforts. In return, the miners look to him as an appreciated and respected leader.

Jasker’s strong sense of integrity often brings him into conflict with Mariana Harkness. He has developed an ever-increasing distaste for her callousness and distrust for the many actions she takes without his knowledge or approval. This has led to Adris making inquiries into Harkness’s secretive dealings. What little investigation he has been able to do without being noticed has reinforced his prior suspicions. Everything points back to the tunnel that cost Villenor his life. Jasker recently used the distraction of the Tournament’s opening ceremony to personally visit the tunnel, where he discovered a secret entrance bypassing the collapsed section of the shaft. This is the only tangible evidence he has been able to gather.

He does his best to keep all of this hidden, of course. Jasker knows that the miners’ allegiance to him can only carry him so far. Overstepping what little leniency Harkness allows him would mean leaving the workers to the mercy of whatever sycophant she would replace him with. This makes Jasker brusque with anyone he is not familiar with that comes to the mines, as their actions will reflect upon him. His first act is to ascertain their intentions, trustworthiness, and competence, and it is only after doing so that he will entertain their request.

Lately, Foreman Adris spends the majority of his time at the mining outpost, only returning to Greybanner for 2 days in every 10. He can most often be found in his office unless a pressing issue requires him elsewhere. Many details of the party’s conversation with Adris likely depend on the adventure hooks or other reason that brought them to the mines. His response may also be influenced by another character vouching for the party, the possible presence of a hill giant in the quarry, and any information that the characters may provide about Mariana Harkness. As such, these conversations and the information that Jasker gives are most likely to include the following:

Friends of a friend. Adris is more likely to trust and listen to characters that have already earned the favor of someone close to him. If the party became friends with a group of miners on the way to the outpost, Adris overhears them speaking to each other when they depart from the transport cart. This goes a small way to showing the party’s character to Adris. The foreman may also have heard about the characters if they have previously spoken with the Greyblades, which Jasker’s daughter, Estelle Adris, is a member of. Estelle also mentions the party to her father if they have succeeded in at least three rounds of the Arena’s Silversteel Challenge. Based on what Estelle said, Jasker may have greater trust in the party or their fighting ability. Finally, a character befriending the mining supervisor Crena Dorel causes her to vouch for said character. Crena knows Jasker well and helps the party appeal to him, granting them advantage on particular Charisma checks (see the ‘Reputation preceding them’ section of ‘Crena Dorel‘).

Giant in the quarry. If the party is following the ‘A Wayward Giant’ adventure hook or was informed of the giant’s presence within the last 3 days, the giant is still in the quarry when they arrive. As a result, all work is suspended until it is dealt with. Adris does not accept new workers or permit anyone to enter the mines but does allow them to stay in the outpost in the meantime. This is likely to put a stop to whatever the party’s intentions were. Should they speak with Adris, he is willing to have them take up the task of redirecting the giant, assuring them that he will send a letter to Captain Ashbrand to have them receive the reward upon returning to Greybanner. He also promises to hear any other requests they have once work has resumed.

If the party heard about the wandering giant but did not take the job or waited more than 3 days to travel to the mines, the task was instead completed by the Greyblades, a group of Greybanner locals participating in the Tournament’s Silversteel Challenge. Work has since resumed for the miners. The members of the Greyblades can also be found celebrating and telling stories of their success in Greybanner.

Temporary employment. A character looking for employment in the mines must meet with Adris upon arriving at the outpost. The foreman questions the character about any experience they might have performing similar labor and reiterates the terms of the employment. Once he is satisfied with the discussion, Adris directs the character to where they can find the equipment they need and explains their assigned tasks (see the ‘Temporary employment’ section of the ‘Silvercrown Mining Outpost’). He then introduces them to Crena Dorel, who is to act as their supervisor (see ‘Crena Dorel‘, under the ‘Silvercrown Mining Outpost‘). He also shows them where they can eat and sleep in the barracks. If the character speaks with Adris any time between midday and night, he assigns them to an initial half-day of work for 4 sp.

Opposing Harkness. Foreman Adris has already conducted his own investigation into Mariana Harkness’s dealings and discovered the existence of a secret entrance connecting to the collapsed southern tunnel. Unfortunately, his professional proximity to Harkness prevents him from delving further without her finding out. The party, meanwhile, may have found evidence that Harkness is involved in a smuggling business that allows her to import goods from east of the mountains while avoiding particular taxes.

If the characters recount this information to Adris or present him with documents that could show it, he is able to put the pieces together and deduce that the tunnel must be being used to facilitate the smuggling. This also means that the tunnel must extend to another entrance further east. A character that is aware of the secret tunnel and the smuggling business can also make a DC 14 Intelligence (Investigation) check to come to the same conclusion, if they have not already. This realization may affect the conversation with Adris, particularly for the ‘A Wayward Giant’ and ‘Investigating Harkness’ adventure hooks. Showing their opposition to Harkness also makes the party more trustworthy in Adris’s eyes, making him more amenable to helping them.

‘A Wayward Giant’. Adris is happy to meet a party that has arrived to deal with the wandering giant and expresses inherent trust if it was Captain Ashbrand that sent them. He is eager to have it dealt with so that work can resume and gives the characters a briefing on the situation with little questioning other than whether they are capable of the task and from whom they heard of it. He explains that the hill giant has come as close as the quarry. The guards posted in the eastern watchtower have been tasked with monitoring it to ensure that it does not wander any closer and have most recently reported that the giant is simply investigating the quarry’s machinery.

The objective that Adris gives the characters is simple in concept. They are to lure the giant away without causing it significant harm, as its cries or death could attract its kin. Adris tells them that there are mountain paths to both the north and south of the quarry that they could direct the giant to, though he advises the south, as the thicker foliage would allow the characters to more easily remain hidden. This changes if Adris deduces or is told that the southern tunnel is being used for smuggling by Harkness (see the ‘Opposing Harkness’ section). If he is, he instead instructs the party to lure the giant into the secret entrance to have it wander to the other side, where “it can become the smugglers’ problem.”

Adris provides the party with a set of 4 firecracker flares and a single firework flare to help in moving the giant. He can also provide a flint and fire steel; the same that is found in a tinderbox. Adris explains how to use them and that they are an effective way of startling hill giants, which tend to run away from unexpected displays of pyrotechnics. He mentions that the characters should keep the more powerful firework flare to give the giant a final scare when they are far enough up the mountain slope or inside the tunnel. This should send it fleeing. Adris says that those flares are all he can offer them, though magic with similar effects may also work. Finally, he warns against relying solely on the flares, as using them too frequently may cause the giant to panic and enter a frenzy.

Firecracker Flare

A foot-long baton encased in some form of hardened paper that has been painted red. One end widens where a cap of the same material is covering the last two inches.

As an action, you can light the fuze under the cap and toss the flare up to 30 feet. The fuze can be set to ignite the flare immediately or with a delay of up to 30 seconds. When the flare ignites, it produces flashes of light that last for 1 minute. These flashes produce bright light in a radius of 10 feet and dim light for an additional 10 feet for this duration.

Firework Flare

A foot-long baton encased in some form of hardened paper that has been painted red. One end widens where a cap of the same material is covering the last two inches, while the opposite end is marked with two painted white lines.

As an action, you can light the fuze under the cap and toss the flare up to 30 feet. The fuze can be set to ignite the flare immediately or with a delay of up to 30 seconds. When the flare ignites, it produces blinding flashes of colorful light that last until the end of your next turn. These flashes produce bright light in a radius of 20 feet and dim light for an additional 20 feet for this duration. A creature that begins its turn within 20 feet of the flare or that moves within 20 feet of the flare for the first time on its turn must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be blinded until the start of its next turn.

The task of removing the giant from the quarry may not lead the characters to the Reaver tunnels and the adventure within, particularly if they have taken the job from Captain Ashbrand as a way to make gold. While following Adris’s advice may cause the party to discover the southern tunnel, it is not a problem if they do not. Successfully redirecting the giant will earn them the foreman’s respect and a degree of trust. This improves his disposition towards them and makes him more likely to hear their other requests, which will come in useful if any of the other adventure hooks bring them back to the Silvercrown Mines.

‘Repairing the Reaver Plate’ and ‘Relics of the War’. If the party comes to the mining outpost with the objective of finding the Reaver tunnels, they must first speak with Adris to receive permission and directions to venture into the deeper mines. Adris meets their request with skeptical curiosity. He questions their reasons for seeking the tunnels, already assuming that adventurers traveling to such a dangerous ruin must be in search of something in particular. Adris wishes to know every detail about what they are after, how they learned about it, and what they plan to do with it, though he carries out his interrogation already expecting the characters to withhold details.

Adris must be swayed if he is to allow the party to move freely in the tunnels. The simplest way that this can be accomplished is through conversation and effective Charisma skill checks. If the party has worked for or with Mariana Harkness and Adris is aware of the connection, he is less trusting of the characters. The opposite goes for Elias Gilderoy. Adris knows of Elias’s resistance to Harkness and the council and so is more open to characters who mention working with him, such as for their trip to Verdantguard Tower. Otherwise, Adris is more open to those who answer his questions and do not attempt to hide their intentions.

If the characters succeed in receiving the foreman’s assistance, he gives them directions through the mines that will take them to a sealed entrance to the Reaver tunnels. He also warns them that kobolds have been spotted in that section of the mine and that the characters should not underestimate them. Adris offers the party the job of removing the kobolds, as per the ‘Dissuading the Den’ adventure hook, and asks them to keep the presence of the kobolds to themselves, explaining the need to keep the matter quiet until it is dealt with.

Should Adris remain unconvinced, his response depends on whether the party has a connection to Mariana Harkness. If they do not, Adris sees an opportunity in having the party enter the southern tunnel and potentially discover evidence that may incriminate Harkness. He denies them entrance to the active mines but mentions that they can go to the abandoned tunnel to the south, which he believes may connect to a Reaver hall, though they do so at their own risk. If Adris is not swayed and the party is connected to Harkness, however, Adris declines their requests and does not offer an alternative.

‘Dissuading the Den’. The party may also meet with Adris to ask him about the presence of a kobold vanguard force. Jasker’s initial reaction to this is to question how the party heard of the situation. He sighs in frustration if the characters tell him that they heard a rumor in either Greybanner or the Dustprint Tavern, knowing that his workers are not only aware of the matter, but are openly talking about it. Once he is sure of the characters’ willingness to help, he continues. If this conversation occurs in Greybanner, Adris tells the party to take the issue to Mariana Harkness herself, knowing that he cannot authorize paying the party without risking her ire. Should the party instead have this meeting after already journeying to the mining outpost, the foreman skips this step, citing the urgency of the matter. He does offer to speak to Harkness about paying them, should the characters succeed, though he doubts that she will be generous.

Adris explains what he knows of the situation once the aforementioned matters have been settled. A contingent of kobolds has moved into one of the fringe tunnels, preventing the mines from being expanded in that direction. There has been little conflict with them so far but any contact has been hostile and the kobolds are believed to be a scouting force for a larger den. If not dealt with, the den will take complete control of more and more territory. They must be driven out in order to keep the miners safe and allow for the mines to continue expanding. Until then, work has been directed away from the affected area and news of the kobolds has been contained to prevent the miners from becoming restless. Adris mentions this with a chuckle if the characters followed a rumor to the outpost.

Snake Den RPG Battle Map - Featured Image
We also have an older article covering a number of tips for running kobolds, including how their den may be constructed and how they may act in combat. Have a look at ‘How to Run Kobolds‘ or the complete PDF of ‘Goblin & Kobold Encounters‘!

‘Investigating Harkness’. Finally, the party may be investigating the Silvercrown Mines after discovering Mariana Harkness’s corruption or ties to the Eyes of Blood. Adris is extremely reticent to speak to the party about this and only entertains the idea of aiding the characters if they convince him that they already have information that may help incriminate her. If they can do this, Adris laments that there is little he can do to openly help the party but does encourage them to oppose her. He tells the characters of the presence of the kobolds, as in the ‘Dissuading the Den’ adventure hook, and explains that the task of removing the kobolds can act as an alibi for their meeting and the party searching the tunnels. He does the same for the ‘A Wayward Giant’ adventure hook if there is a hill giant in the quarry. Adris then gives them the location of the southern tunnel and prompts them to start there.

If the party cannot convince Adris, he deems it too risky to help them and denies them access to the mines. He tells them that they are not permitted within the quarry or tunnels but does offhandedly mention the southern tunnel, saying something to the effect of, “You can sniff around the old southern shafts all you like but I won’t have you disrupting my workers.”

As always, the responses given for Adris are guidelines, not a definitive script. These discussions with Adris are pieces of the whole conversation and are not mutually exclusive from each other. The party may be meeting with him after following multiple adventure hooks, such as searching for Reaver tunnels and also investigating Mariana Harkness. This can change how Adris treats the characters and reacts to their requests, particularly by introducing additional factors and affecting how much he trusts them. It is important to keep this in mind when playing Adris, as the combination of different factors may lead him to respond in a way that is not represented in one of the above examples. Do your best to focus on having him respond naturally based on his character and the conversation, while using the above as guidelines for each prompt.

Supervisor Crena Dorel

(NG female human commoner)

A human woman steps forward. She pays you a courteous smile, wipes a smudge of dirt from her brow, and tucks a loose handful of greying hair back under her helmet, before extending a gloved hand forward in a handshake. The rest of her attire matches, with the usual covers and mining tools stained in several days’ worth of dust.

The oldest and most respected of the miners is Crena Dorel. Crena has worked the mines longer than even the foreman and her seniority has earned her a great deal of sway amongst the workers. Even as her age and decades of work have drained much of her strength, Crena still operates as a supervisor and right-hand to Foreman Adris, much in the same way that he once did to Oscar Villenor. Crena is a kind and confident individual who prefers to keep out of Adris and Harkness’s administrative conflict, largely as a favor to Adris, as Crena is otherwise vocal about her disdain for Harkness. This is often betrayed by Crena’s weakness for gossip. Her talkative habits do make her a favorite among her colleagues, even those who spend only a handful of days at the outpost, as well as a useful source of information for anyone looking to know about the latest events around the Silvercrown Mines.

Crena is the supervisor assigned to any characters looking for work in the mines and can also be found and spoken to around the outpost, or in the Dustprint Tavern at night. She is friendly and inviting to anyone that approaches her and happily drinks with the party after a day of work. A character that does so, or that listens to Crena speaking with other miners, hears her mention the rumor of kobolds in the mines. If the characters are already aware of this rumor, Crena is discussing a random other rumor from Greybanner (see the Rumors table of the ‘Greybanner Bunkhouse‘). She is more than happy to discuss any other topics the party brings up, though she holds back from anything that might negatively impact Foreman Adris or Crena’s fellow miners.

Reputation preceding them. Should anyone traveling to the mines have had notable success in the Greybanner Arena, Crena knows about it. She recognizes the party if they have succeeded in at least two rounds of the Silversteel Challenge, or a particular member if they have won at least two bouts in the Grand Tournament. The number of required successes is reduced by one if the characters or their allies have spread word of them around town (as per the rules of ‘Spreading the Word’ in the ‘Betting‘ section of the Arena’s ‘Activities for the Characters‘).

Crena is excited to talk with known fighters about the events of their previous battles, their upcoming bouts and opponents, and any rumors that have spread about them. She is particularly interested in detailed insights and secrets that she can then gossip about in town.

If the party took a transport cart to the mining outpost and spoke with the other miners on the way, Crena is also aware of anything the characters told the miners (see the ‘Journey to the mines’ section of ‘The Silvercrown Mines‘). The level of detail of her knowledge depends on how much time passes between the party arriving at the outpost and speaking with Crena, though the miners quickly share everything that was said with the resident gossip. Crena then asks the characters about anything they said that interests her.

Openly sharing information that excites Crena helps earn her trust. She will then aid characters that she likes in convincing Foreman Adris to allow them to venture into the mines or take up dangerous tasks. Crena’s assistance gives the character advantage on appropriate Charisma checks when speaking with Adris.

Crena also remembers the most interesting details of anything the party tells her or of what occurs during the party’s adventure in the mines. She later tells an embellished version of the tale in Greybanner, causing it to spread around town.

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Troy McConnell

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David Wilson

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What’s Next

The third Greybanner adventure has only just begun! The next section will cover the quarry and other details around the tunnels’ entrances, before finally venturing into the Reaver tunnels themselves. While you wait for that, you can refer back to previous sections in the Adventure Index and leave any thoughts, ideas, or critiques in the comments.

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About the author

Troy McConnell

Part-time DM and author of 2-Minute Tabletop's encounters, map lore, and characters. Basically, I write about all the campaign ideas that I don't have time to run. All with the assistance of my feline familiar, Wink.

You can support my writing efforts on Patreon.

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