Greybanner, Part 3: The Greybanner Region

Greybanner has many buildings and businesses of note for travelers. It is a town of activity and interest. But there is much more in the surrounding region. Roads cut through the thick, brambled forest to find mines and the Lumberyard, while others cross the rocky hills of the western plains. Each path presents its own risks. The cover of rocks and cliffs make for easy road-side ambushes, and giants and kobolds move above and below the mountains, respectively. Even the southern forest is sick with a blight that plagues its wildlife. A new danger and a new adventure awaits in every direction.

We’ve already covered everything in Greybanner, so now it’s time for everything around it. There are a number of locations that might draw your players’ attention and its important to know what is in each and what they might find along the way. Each one should prove unique from the last, for a new experience every session. You can run your own adventures or use ours (coming soon!), which will cover exactly what players will uncover in each location.

Be sure to also check out our previous sections:

Points of Interest

These descriptions are overviews of the locations, giving an understanding of their context, appearance, and function. Future sections will cover the adventures that they feature in, going into more detail about the locations and how players might interact with them.

Silvercrown Mines

A road runs east from Greybanner, cutting through the forest to reach the Silvercrown Mines at the base of the Titan’s Spine mountains. It is primarily used by workers and transport caravans. The 12-mile journey takes roughly 4 hours at a normal traveling pace, arriving at the central mining compound. Carts move to and from the mines at the start of every week to transport miners, who mostly work in shifts of two weeks, with a week’s break in between. Additional, protected carts are also used to transport the mines’ products, either to the Craftsmen’s Yard or beyond, to other towns.

At the opposite edge of the forest, where the slopes of the mountains begin to rise, is the Silvercrown Mining Compound. Thick, wooden palisade walls surround several buildings, with a guard tower and entrance gate on either side. Two guards are posted at each gate and one in each tower. The building closest to the front entrance is the office and quarters of Foreman Jasker Adris (LN male dwarf guard), who oversees the operations of the mines. He is a straightforward man whose mind is constantly preoccupied with his many duties. This likely comes from his many years of working under Mariana Harkness having forced him to remain focused on continuous results. His bluntness can grate on the workers, though they understand it is preferable to answering directly to Harkness.

The compound also houses a stable and the workers’ barracks. The former exists to house the horses and vehicles that the mine requires, tended to by a rotating selection of miners. Opposite the stable is the two-story barracks. Its upper level is the dedicated sleeping area for the miners, with rows of bunks similar to the Greybanner Bunkhouse. Downstairs is a storage area for their gear, as well as the communal kitchen and dining room. This eating area is fondly nicknamed ‘The Dustprint Tavern’, owing to the dirt that is brought in on workers’ boots and the ‘ale’ that the miners ferment in barrels behind the building.

Outside of the compound is the mountain’s foot, where a significant portion of stone has been mined away to supply Greybanner’s masonry. As the quarry expands to either side, this clearing has been used for the machinery and work of offloading, crushing, and cleaning the mine’s iron, silver, and lead ore. Mining tunnels and shafts cut further into the mountain, their entrances extending only a small way up the mountainside for the sake of safety. Minecart tracks and tunnel supports are visible in perpetual torchlight, and the sounds of work echo out of the tunnels at all hours of the day. Most of the shafts connect to the natural, meandering cave networks within the mountains, descending deeper as they expand. The land near the mines shows evidence of previous camps and tunnel entrances, abandoned in the past due to cave-ins or other dangers.

South of the compound is a smuggling tunnel. Once another mineshaft, it was exhausted and later abandoned when a cave-in cost the life of Mariana’s predecessor, Oscar Villenor. She has since used outsourced labor to extend the tunnel through where the mountains are thinnest. The tunnel is now one of few direct routes through the mountains for those that know of it. Others will only find the overgrown, seemingly collapsed original entrance, near which is the secret path. Mariana uses this to trade with eastern settlements, smuggling through the road only she knows. She has made a tidy sum of gold by undercutting competitors with goods that are untouched by certain trade taxes.

Anyone looking for work can speak to Foreman Jasker Adris. Untrained personnel without mining experience can assist with labor around the mines, though they are not permitted within the tunnels. These workers earn 8 sp for every 8 hours of work and are also provided a bed and food in the barracks.

The Damp Mine is a great example of a mine battle map, with shafts connecting to natural caverns and cart tracks leading out. You can find its exterior here, and interior here.

Greybanner Lumberyard

The Greybanner Lumberyard is a 1 hour journey south-east, at a normal traveling pace, along a road similar to the Mines’. Lumberers regularly walk the distance before and after their daily shifts, often competing for a seat on any carts transporting the deliveries of wood. The path is scenic, hemmed by towering trees and lush grass and underbrush. The latter half of the journey follows the edge of the Fellgrata river that runs down from the mountains, before crossing a large wooden bridge to arrive at the lumber mill itself.

The central mill is a wide clearing with a single small building, a number of sheltered work stations, and the primary sawmill. Stacks of logs and planks await loading onto carts, as well as barrels of the syrup harvested to be sold to the Carlisles of the Targe and Tankard. The sole building, a one-room cabin resting to the side of the bridge, acts as an on-site office for Gelbris Ivarrson. He spends most of his day here or working in the forest, leaving for the Headquarters in the mid-afternoon. The shelter beside it has been decorated with tables and stools for workers’ breaks, though many prefer to sit on the bridge overlooking the river. Opposite the building and on the river’s edge is the sawmill, built on a stone base that supports an ever-turning water wheel.

Roadside Forest Tokens Page 1
Many of our Roadside Forest Tokens are perfect for decorating the Lumberyard’s various logging sites. The pack also includes a number of rocks, bushes, and other assets. You can find them here.

A worn path leads out the other side of the clearing, quickly breaking into a sprawl of pathways. Lumberers are assigned into teams, each one sent to a different area to work before transporting the logs back to the central mill. This system, by rotating these areas as they are exhausted, has allowed the mill to continue functioning within the forest without stripping it of its resources. Trees are replanted before the workers move on. Naturally fertile soil, along with residual magic from those that once lived in the area, causes the saplings to grow quickly into the strong, dense trees that fill the forest.

A visitor to Greybanner can speak to Gelbris for work. Temporary lumberers earn 1 gp for each day of work (8 hours), assisting the workers with their tasks.

MacHale Estate

North of Greybanner is a hill on the forest’s edge, atop which is the abandoned MacHale estate. The house was built centuries ago as the MacHale family continued to settle into their lordship. It distanced them from Greybanner, largely representing the family relinquishing control of the town. They maintained ownership, though the town quickly saw less and less of the MacHales. This schism grew for generations until they eventually relocated to the capital, abandoning the house entirely. It has since become the source of many rumors and tales used to scare children into silence, though anyone that attempts to enter the premises will often return swearing the stories to be true.

The estate is hemmed by stone walls and a rusted iron gate, overlooking the town from its perch. A paved pathway leads through the front garden of hedges and a central fountain, all now overgrown and static. Stairs then lead to the manor itself. The building is far larger than any home in Greybanner, constructed from what was once fine timber and stone. The two stories, attic, and cellar have fallen to disrepair. It has not collapsed, though the exterior is dull and stagnant, sickly plants creeping up its borders. Furnishing and decorations still cover the interior as if the family had simply vanished, betrayed only by a thick layer of dust and evidence of previous thieves.

The MacHale Estate has seen no official residents or visitors for multiple more generations. The people of Greybanner see it instead as a reminder of history and an objection against what they would call ‘lordly meddling’. They spread rumors and tell stories of vengeful ghosts and specters, and the shadows of long-dead MacHales. These are mostly used to entertain any excitable tourists and warn local teenagers away from breaking into the property. Plenty still tried, until a boy accepted the dare of staying a full night and was later found injured and with an addled mind. Two generations later, the stories of the Estate still carry an air of hesitance and skeptical belief.

Who can resist a good haunted mansion? You can download our premade Haunted Estate, just the building, or furnish your own…

Verdantguard Tower

A ruined tower remains, dejected, deep in the southern forest. The Verdantguard Tower was originally constructed by Vincent MacHale as a show of respect for both Alessia the Thorn and her followers. It was built in the clearing in which she was buried, giving a home to those that continued her druidic traditions. Unfortunately, the group that occupied the tower dwindled and its basement crypt became their shared tomb. Without a safe path to the tower or pressing need for an outpost, Greybanner abandoned Verdantguard, just as it did Alessia’s teachings.

The tower is now a broken ruin of its former glory. Foliage climbs and pierces its walls where the bricks have begun to crumble and any remnants of its inhabitants have long since disappeared. The structure still stands, though even entering might risk its collapse. A spiraling stone staircase connects the corner of each level, eventually opening onto the roof, while separate steps descend into the hill to find the crypt beneath. The tomb, with its druids being buried without possessions and stories of their magic twisted into cautionary tales, has remained untouched for generations. Greybanner residents have no need to travel to the tower and therefore scarcely know of its status. Few even remember the importance it once held.

Perhaps a result of Alessia’s burial, Verdantguard attracts the flora and fauna around it. The nearby forest is lush and verdant, and beasts congregate densely around the tower. It is unknown if this same magic is responsible for the creatures that stalk the forest, or if Alessia’s followers once held them back. Regardless, reaching Verdantguard is not a safe journey. Even the lumberers of Greybanner avoid straying near in fear of the dire wolf-led packs and canopy webs of giant spiders. Wayward groups have even claimed to have seen ettercaps and other, similar monstrosities.

Fireblood Kobold Den

Like the forest, various creatures also stalk the eastern mountain range. Most stay in the rocky peaks, rarely wandering down to threaten the Silvercrown miners. The same cannot be said for the kobolds of the Fireblood clan. Devious reptilians with a penchant for fire and acids, the kobolds come into infrequent contact with the mineshafts and workers. These conflicts arise as the kobolds seek to expand their territory or steal the glistening ores of the mines. They are usually in small groups, allowing the militia-trained miners to stand their ground and force the kobolds to retreat. The Silvercrowns must act quickly, however, as the kobolds become increasingly dangerous if given the opportunity to establish defenses in a tunnel.

The Fireblood den is further in the mountains and protected by hidden entrances and trapped tunnels. Its specific location and structure are unknown. Previous attacks on researchers suggest that it is close to the ruins of a Reaver outpost, though none have attempted to follow the kobolds after an attack. Attempts to negotiate have likewise proven dangerous and ineffective against the territorial reptiles. They do not seek confrontation but are known to viciously defend against any perceived threat.

The exact reason for the name ‘Fireblood’ is unknown to Greybanner. Many have pointed out the kobolds’ use of scalding acids in their traps and weaponry, though research has never progressed further. In truth, the name originates from their chosen creature of worship. The clan has long served as custodians, carers, and followers of a bloodline of mountain remorhazes. They protect the creatures from the mountain giants that once hunted them, believing them to be beasts of great power. The kobolds’ intervention in breeding and providing for the remorhazes has been the primary reason for their survival.

In exchange for their service, the kobolds are able to harvest resources from the remorhazes, both living and dead. Their uniquely blue hide creates effective armor and remorhaz blood and digestive liquids burn like a fiery acid. These chemicals are often found in the kobolds’ traps and weaponry, allowing them to combat the mountain trolls that would otherwise threaten the den. Kobolds that kill a troll will often wear trophies from its body, while many more sport tattoos, burnt onto them with remorhaz blood, to show their rank or personal triumphs.

Geographic Features

While not always common, travelers may find dangers in the surrounding wilderness. Your party may have to face these beasts and creatures if they leave the road, and who knows what they might find? In addition to random encounters, our upcoming adventures into these regions will have many more battles and creatures for players to face.

Western Plains

Plains of shining grass and sparse rocky outcroppings extend to the west of Greybanner. The grasslands stretch into the horizon, with days of travel separating each town from its neighbors. Roads, worn by consistent travel of carts and horses, connect the villages and many isolated farmsteads, as well as the larger main road to the south. Centuries of landscaping and farming have left the area largely flat, with occasional hills that form around stone ridges and spires. Between them, frequent rain has created small lakes and creeks. These features are exaggerated as one continues north, where the terrain grows rockier and harsher and the weather is more chaotic. Otherwise, the region is quiet, accented by the clean-smelling wind that rolls through the tall grass and sparse collection of trees.

Farmlands and Steadings. Even prior to Greybanner’s founding, the plains were filled with farmlands. Its original settlers had carved the region into plots of land, each spreading out as far as it could manage. It was these settlers that became the targets of the mountain-dwelling Reavers and Verdantguard druids until the Gallows’ Sons mercenaries offered their protection for a tidy sum. The advent of Greybanner put an end to this, but the history of conflict had given the farmers a distinctly territorial attitude. Many of the existing farms are still owned by the same families and their descendants.

These farms continue to supply Greybanner and its neighbors. Their shared history has fostered a camaraderie that persists to this day, helping to connect the towns both physically and culturally. Farms to the south mostly produce wheat and other grains, while the increasingly rocky terrain to the north shifts their focus to hardier root vegetables and cattle. Greybanner’s location means that it sees an equal share of both, particularly as festival approach and trade increases.

We have a number of hand-drawn battle maps for encounters on rocky plains. The Twisting Trail is just one of them, found here. Be sure to also check out the rest of our gallery for more.

Predators on the Plains. The lack of wealth in the region means that bandits and highwaymen are a rare sight. This unfortunately changes as a tournament or event draws attention, with many combat-ready opportunists taking advantage of the isolated roads to prey on travelers. Between these seasons and particularly in winter, as the north grows colder, reports of gnoll scouts and even farm raids increase. The beast men will travel south to avoid snowfall and to hunt the wildlife and farm animals. Many of the northern farmers are accustomed to setting traps or scaring these small groups away, though it is not unheard of for a tribe to grow enraged and retaliate.

These dangers have created room for adventurers and mercenaries to make gold in the protection of travelers. This is most common for merchants riding to Greybanner for a tournament, as many will be carrying expensive, exotic wares. A lack of ability to protect themselves makes them ideal prey. The rocky terrain also makes for easy ambushes, with stones, hills, and thick shrubbery allowing bandits to remain unseen. Those with protection may still find wolves and other plains beasts to be a threat.

The Bramblejade Forest

The land surrounding Greybanner and the southern road’s east and south are covered in a dense, lush forest. Trees tower over land covered in thick grass and shrubbery and split by rivers that run down from the nearby mountains. The largest of these, the Fellgrata river, is still only wide and deep enough for small vessels, making boat travel unpopular. The Lumberyard’s clearing is to the river’s side and is the furthest most people travel into the forest. Even its workers never stray far. A pervasive fear of becoming lost in the dense woods and falling prey to its inhabitants lingers in the minds of Greybanner, owed to the forest’s history and the stories that surround it.

While the outer forest is primarily safe, venturing deeper will find the foliage becoming more dangerous and unkempt. Since the deaths of Alessia and the Verdantguard druids, the forest’s center grows unabated. Trees grow taller and thicker, the ground rises and falls in chaotic ridges, and vicious beasts have taken residence. Magic has twisted these beasts in chaotic ways and made many of them violent and unpredictable. Those in the forest’s deepest recesses even exhibit a corrupting blight that now slowly creeps through the surrounding creatures and land. Few are aware of this, given the isolated depth of the forest, but adventurers traveling deep into the Bramblejade are sure to face its most monstrous residents.

Verdantguard Druids. In the days before Greybanner, a druidic clan tended to the forest, led by Alessia the Thorn. They existed as members of its ecosystem, guarding it against both outsiders and itself. It is a location of old magic, once used by ancient orders as a focal point of rituals. The direct effects of these are gone, but the ground and roots remain suffused with powerful energies. It was the prerogative of the druids to keep this magic in balance. The blight followed closely after their deaths.

The druids’ teachings and purpose have long since faded, though written records remain in the destitute Verdantguard Tower, describing their battle to keep the forest in check. These books and journals are the last remaining sources of truth to the origin of the Bramblejade’s magic and blight. Most assume that the blight existed centuries prior, and the druids worked to stave it off. Were one to locate these journals, they may learn that this is not true. Alessia bore a curse of guilt that she took to her grave, infecting her own magic as it returned to the earth.

We will cover Alessia’s curse and how it became the blight in greater detail, in a future section. Players that travel to Verdantguard will be able to find these journals and discover the truth for themselves.

Wonderdraft Map Icons, tokens
Looking to create an overland map of the region? With 143 tokens, our Wonderdraft World Map Assets pack would be perfect. Take a closer look here.

Outer Forest. The noise of Greybanner’s center and the Lumberyard prevent most of the forest’s creatures from ever venturing out and towards town. The area immediately surrounding them is safe, though stepping off the road will quickly take one into the beasts’ territory. This outer section of the forest does not exhibit the characteristic symptoms of the deeper Bramblejade. It covers a 4-mile border of the forest south of Greybanner, as well as extending to the east and north of the town, along the mountain’s feet. The Lumberyard exists within this border.

This area is much like any regular forest or woodland. Fertile soil has allowed the growth of lush grass and moss, dotted with colorful bushes that coat the roots of trees. The few denizens changed by the magic of the deep forest, or driven out from it by predators, are much larger than their unaffected counterparts. These are the most common dangers to find, alongside territorial elk, wolf packs, and other beasts.

Inner Bramblejade. Hemmed in by the outer forest, the inner Bramblejade shows the effects of its old magic. The same plants grow larger and matted, with roots that split the earth among the eponymous brambles. Trees tower above the overgrowth, their canopies sprawling to cover much of the sky and reducing the area to consistent dim light. Yet, where there is light, the colors of nature are vibrant and saturated with the green from which the forest received its name.

The creatures of the central forest show similar effects. Regular forest life grows larger and more dangerous, and other monstrosities all hunt each other in far closer proximity than the outer forest. Corpses and other discarded remains protrude from the forest floor in various states of decomposition. Above, nests and webs string between many of the trees.

Blighted Heart. The center of the forest, surrounding the Verdantguard Tower, is where the blighted magic is most present. Patches of stinking grey moss infect many trees and rancid moisture hangs in the air. A thick canopy blocks all but a few rays of sunlight. While the leaves above rustle and sway, the density of trees blocks any wind, holding the area in a silent stasis. The only sound is that of one’s own footsteps and those of the creatures lurking through shadows. Should these creatures show themselves, many are victims of the same blight. Sharp, bone-like protrusions grow from their skin and they move and hunt with undiscerning frenzy.

The growing layer of brambled overgrowth and webbing catches at travelers’ boots. Players moving through the area do so at half of their normal speed.

The Verdantguard Tower is located towards the center of the blighted region. It rests on a hilled clearing, its structure rising above the canopy. This hill holds the source of the corruption: the crypt of Alessia the Thorn and her Verdantguard druids. The magic that flows outwards from their tomb both lures and creates the blighted creatures. The worst of them, a nest of ettercaps with necrotic mutations, has taken residence beneath the Tower.

Random Encounters. The Bramblejade Random Encounters table provides ideas for the sort of encounters that can take place here. Check for an encounter once per day by rolling a d20. On a 15 or higher, the characters have an encounter at some point during the day or night (equal chance of each). The nature of the encounter depends on which region of the forest the players are in. If the result on the table is blank, the characters do not have an encounter.

If the players have an encounter while in the Blighted Heart, roll an additional d20 for each creature they encounter. On a 16 or higher, that creature is blighted. A blighted creature is filled with rage and bloodthirst and gains both the ‘Blighted Regeneration’ and ‘Blighted Mind’ abilities.

Blighted Regeneration. The blighted creature regains hit points equal to half of one of its hit dice, plus its Constitution modifier, at the start of every turn if it has at least 1 hit point.
Blighted Mind. The blighted creature’s Intelligence is reduced to 2 and it is immune to being charmed and frightened.

Bramblejade Random Encounters

d20Outer ForestInner Bramblejade
1-21d6 boars1d6 boars
31d4 boars and 1 giant boar1d4 boars and 1 giant boar
4-52d4 wolves2d4 wolves
61d6 wolves and 1d3 dire wolves1d6 wolves and 1d3 dire wolves
71d8 giant badgers1d8 giant badgers
81d6 giant goats1d6 giant goats
91d4 black bears1d4 black bears
101d4 elk1d4 elk
111d2 giant elk
122d4 giant rats and 1d4 swarms of rats
131d4 giant rats, 1d4 diseased giant rats, and 1d4 swarms of rats
142d6 stirges
151d4 giant wolf spiders and 1d3 swarms of insects (spiders)
161d3 giant spiders
171d3 gricks
181d3 ankhegs
191 owlbear
202 ettercaps

Our random encounter tables are designed as additions to the structured adventures. As such, the creatures and numbers are balanced for parties of level 2 or 3. They have the possibility of being very easy or very difficult for players. If a rolled encounter seems like it would not be appropriate for your players, feel free to make adjustments. Likewise, always keep in mind how your party is traveling. Are they being stealthy or cautious? There is always the possibility of them getting a surprise round, and vice versa.

The Titan’s Spine Mountain Range

Beyond the forest to Greybanner’s east is a long mountain range that towers above the landscape. It curves from the north to the south-east, cutting Greybanner off from settlements on the other side. The rocky slopes climb gradually, with ridges and crests that extend into the forest. Between them are rivers, flowing and dividing between trees to eventually collect in lakes. Below the petrified surface is a hive of natural caves, themselves connecting to monster lairs, kobold tunnels, and the structures of Gorim Steinsson’s Reavers. Silvercrown mineshafts, both inhabited and abandoned, dig into the feet of the mountain and often stumble into these tunnels. The terrain far above is rocky and uneven, devoid of all but the hardiest plant and animal life.

The mountains earned their name from a fairy tale of the colossal being whose body formed the range. The story likely stems from the very real giants inhabiting its peaks, wandering its spires and inner valleys in tribes. Groups will often come to blows with each other and are especially protective against any smaller races that try to invade their lands. This is most common for the kobolds living deep below in caverns and dens. The Fireblood clan claims ownership of the lower mountains with fierce defensive control despite remaining mostly hidden. Expansion efforts often lead to kobold scouting parties running into the giants above or the miners around them.

We have a number of maps and assets for everything players might find above or below the mountain peaks…

Mountain Giants. While the base of the mountain is the domain of the Silvercrowns and the Bramblejade, the mountain peaks belong to giants. Several races of giants live in the mountainous terrain. The most populous is the ettin, who move in nomadic tribes. Fortunately for the surrounding towns, the ettins’ argumentative and temperamental nature means that these tribes frequently come into conflict. Arguments develop into fights, often leading to groups being destroyed or changing as individuals choose new allegiances. This has almost completely prevented the giants from ever organizing and threatening the surrounding land. Few still try, when a particularly confident raiding party seeks to attack the ‘lowlanders’.

Aside from the ettin, lone ogres and hill giants also stalk the rocky slopes. Less intelligent than their two-headed cousins, these other giants rarely form large groups or tribes. They will often engage in brief fights to establish a leader amongst themselves, going forward in small parties to aid in hunting and survival. These parties tend to break down once the group exceeds four or five members, as any semblance of a command structure dissolves to infighting. Regardless, even a single giant presents an enormous danger for a wayward miner. If one ever strays near the Silvercrown compound, militiamen are brought to herd it away, making sure not to draw its anger or the wrath of others that might hear its cries of pain.

The most frequent issue for both miners and kobolds is the native mountain trolls. Malicious, powerful, and surprisingly intelligent, the trolls hunt the mountains for prey of any kind. They will often choose to attack defenseless groups of miners and Fireblood scouting parties for food, lurking both in the peaks and the tunnels below. The Silvercrowns are forced to avoid the trolls at all costs, lacking the Firebloods’ experience and resources for killing them.

Reaver Strongholds. The mountains’ interior is a confusing web of tunnels from various points in history. Mineshafts and kobold burrows awkwardly avoid each other, both occasionally breaking into the oldest of the structures: the dungeonous halls of Gorim Steinsson’s Reavers. These ruins of carved stone were once pieces of larger strongholds, now divided by cave-ins, breaching tunnels, and modifications made by new residents. Occasional rooms and remnants are found throughout the mountains, though most entrances seem to have been hidden in rockslides.

The original content and purpose of the strongholds have largely been lost. Researchers have made scarce forrays into the tunnels, as doing so means encroaching on the territory of the Firebloods and giants. What they have found suggests that the Reavers were a powerful tribe of barbarians, likely of a half-giant race. They worshipped gods of storm and stone, hence living in tunnels at a raised altitude. Curiously, some of these tunnels are of a larger scale than others, leading some scholars to believe that they existed prior to the Reavers and belonged to another, larger race. These halls are the deepest in the mountains, unfortunately, which has prevented any further exploration.

Dungeon Trap Tokens, preview 2
Did someone mention dungeon traps? We have an entire set of Dungeon Trap Tokens, found here.
A coming adventure will also include many unique traps and triggers for the Firebloods to use against intruders.

Most of the known stronghold tunnels are now used by the Fireblood Clan. Carved stone and brick walls allow the kobolds to easily hide their traps and adjacent tunnel networks, as well as quickly expanding their dens with preexisting spaces. Some of the dungeons even have their own traps and mechanisms. Using them is one of the key methods for the kobolds’ expansion, with scouting parties reinforcing an area’s defenses before moving further units in. This keeps the Silvercrowns anxious, as unnoticed kobold scouts can quickly develop into a much larger incursion.

Fireblood Patrols. Their dens are underground, but small groups of kobolds sneak throughout the mountains in search of prey and treasure. Once per day, before rolling for random encounters, roll a Wisdom (Perception) check for the kobolds (d20 – 2). On a 15 or higher, a scouting party of kobolds notices the players. If the players are moving stealthily, the kobolds’ Wisdom (Perception) check is instead contested by the players’ Dexterity (Stealth) checks. If the players or a creature deals thunder damage, a shrieker shrieks, or a harpy uses its luring song, make the kobolds’ Wisdom (Perception) again, at advantage if the players are underground, as the sound echoes.

The kobolds will then attempt to lure the players towards danger, or vice versa, increasing the likelihood of a random encounter. Once a fight breaks out, 1d4 + 1 kobolds will strike from the shadows. If the players are fighting any kind of giant, roll a d20. On an 11 or higher, the kobolds will assist the players in fighting the giant.

Kobold attackers will keep to the shadows and attempt to remain hidden. They will attack from afar, being sure to avoid drawing too much attention to themselves. They will flee and regroup if attacked. After a fight, the kobolds will wait in hiding for a few minutes after the victors have left to then scavenge the battlefield for anything of value. That group of kobolds will then stop following the players.

Random Encounters. The Titan’s Spine Random Encounters table provides ideas for the sort of encounters that can take place here. Check for an encounter once per day by rolling a d20. On an 18 (15 if a group of kobolds is following) or higher, the characters have an encounter at some point during the day or night (equal chance of each). Roll a d20 and consult the table.

Titan’s Spine Random Encounters

d20Above GroundUnderground
1-22d4 goats1d6 shriekers and 2d4 violet fungi
3-42d4 giant goat1d6 giant lizards
5-62d4 vultures2d6 stirges
71 giant vulture and 1d4 vultures1d4 + 1 darkmantles
81 ettin1d3 rust monsters
91d3 harpies1d6 dust mephits
101 hill giant1 gargoyle
11-122d4 blood hawks1d6 swarms of bats
13-141d3 giant eagles1d4 giant bats and 1d6 swarms of bats
15-162d4 kobolds2d4 kobolds
171 ogre2 gricks
181d3 brown bears2d4 grimlocks
192d6 stirges2d4 giant rats and 1d6 swarms of rats
201 troll1 troll
Luminescent Cave battle map, banner
Giants are dangerous, but the greatest threat in the Titan’s Spine is kobolds. If you’re looking for a resource on running kobold dens and units, refer to our prior article, ‘How to Run Kobolds‘. It’s part of our ‘Encounters by Creature: Goblins & Kobolds‘ and covers everything you need to know about the crafty little reptiles.

What’s Next

Finally, we have covered everything in and around the town of Greybanner. Our next section will begin the adventure, covering its introduction before we move onto the Tournament and adventure paths. As always, your feedback is invaluable for improving our content. If you have any corrections or comments, please leave them down below! We love hearing what you think!

Like how this is all coming along? You can support the writer (me) directly on my Patreon. Doing so comes with unique bonuses like early access, discounts, and even the option of getting your character in the adventure as an arena fighter!

Mining for ideas or lost in a forest of planning? Our articles and gallery might be just what you need…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.