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A wedding-themed investigation encounter for 5th-level parties in D&D 5E.

The day of Lady Calvus and Etriel’s wedding is fast approaching. Harrowcrest is decorating its streets and preparing the old chapel, everyone absorbed in their individual duties and buzzing with excitement. But the party cannot share in the festivities, at least not quite yet. There is a wedding crasher somewhere in town, preparing to attack the bride and groom, who he sees as monsters. The characters must stop him.

This is Part 2 of the encounter. Be sure to read Part 1 first to get to know the town of Harrowcrest and its residents!

Hunting the Hunter

The party may hear about a job in Harrowcrest in a nearby town, by a posted bounty, or by merely arriving in Harrowcrest itself. Once they express interest or are recognized as capable adventurers, they are directed to Harrowcrest Manor to meet with Lady Calvus. She explains that her and Etriel’s wedding is in only two days and that news of an infamous monster hunter, Abram van Sloan, has reached them. His intentions are easy to infer. But the lady, her groom, and their wedding parties, while capable, are too busy to track the hunter down. Waiting for him to strike and then killing him would only disrupt their wedding in the most distasteful way. Therefore, she requests that an external party deal with the monster hunter.

Lady Calvus offers the party a sum of 500 gp to remove the threat of the monster hunter, with an additional 200 gp if they can prevent him from disrupting the wedding in any way. Doing so requires them to set up their own plans and security. They are given a loose itinerary of the wedding proceedings and promised the cooperation of the town, who have been made aware of the party’s purpose. Maisie Holloway and Barnabas Fletch are available for further information about Harrowcrest but are also busy with their respective responsibilities.

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The Wedding of Lady Calvus and Etriel

The characters are made aware of the wedding’s schedule upon accepting the job. They are tasked with preventing any disruptions to it, ideally by removing the threat before he is able to strike. The schedule is as follows:

Early afternoon. Harrowcrest begins the festivities in the early afternoon, the day after the party’s arrival, with decorations and stalls set in the town square. The wedding parties are hidden in their own preparations during this time. Lady Calvus is within Harrowcrest Manor while Etriel is already in the town chapel, itself hidden amongst its gardens on the northern edge of town.

Dusk. As the sun sets, the town’s leaders and friends of the bride and groom are called into the gardens of the local chapel; one of the town’s oldest buildings, stripped of any previous consecration. Shortly after, once the last of the sunlight fades, the guests are ushered inside and the ceremony begins.

Lady Calvus makes her way to the chapel as this happens, in an enclosed carriage with her mother. The carriage moves through the streets and the crowd’s cheers to arrive at the chapel’s door. Esmerelda enters and the ceremony continues.

Night. The chapel doors open and the guests return to the gardens as the ceremony concludes. Several minutes later, once drinks have been served, the new Lord and Lady Calvus emerge onto the chapel steps and give a speech to the people. They thank the town and their friends for their support and kindness, and pledge to continue fostering Harrowcrest’s prosperity.

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These celebrations continue for some hours, with the celebrants in the gardens moving to join the rest of the town. Esmerelda and Etriel retire first, heading back to the Manor. The rest of the wedding parties and townsfolk will gradually disperse, emptying the streets as dawn arrives and the following day’s cleaning work begins. The newlyweds plan to remain in town and help for a day before they leave for their honeymoon and their families return to their respective homes.

You may wish to give the characters an additional day before the wedding, depending on the size of Harrowcrest. They will be spending their time investigating and, while they are acting under a time limit, they can also cover a lot of ground in a full day. The intention is to give them time to formulate and carry out their own plans without oversimplifying the encounter by giving them too much time.

Map and Asset Downloads

In addition to specially-made tokens, we also have multiple maps and assets that are perfect for creating your own Harrowcrest, Manor, and local chapel.

Feel free to Right Click > Save our character tokens too! They are .webm video files that are compatible with Roll20, FoundryVTT, and most modern virtual tabletops. You can also find static .png files at the end of the article.

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Uninvited Guests

A pair of monster hunters are preparing to stop the wedding and put an end to Lady Calvus, Etriel, and their wedding parties. They have prepared a plan to do so, with contingencies in place in case of resistance. The party is that resistance. But can they succeed in discovering and putting a stop to the attack?

Abram van Sloan, Monster Hunter

(LN male human)

Beneath a wide-brimmed, leather hat and a mess of ragged hair are a set of piercing eyes that burn with determination. The man wears a long coat of the same leather, covering armor and belts of gadgets, tools, and flasks. In his hand is a crossbow, its body modified with a strange loading mechanism.

Abram van Sloan is a man consumed by the will to hunt monsters. He was once a member of a religious sect of monster-slayers, all driven by the same ambition to rid the world of what they saw as villains and aberrations. But Abram’s zealous nature always surpassed even that of his compatriots. He lacked any of the nuanced understanding of his comrades and saw the world in a strict black and white. This forced the others away, further isolating Abram in his increasingly dogmatic ideology. He recently cast aside any formal affiliation, freeing himself of their ‘moral constraints’ and traveling with his loyal sidekick, Stewart Davis.

The two now live a life similar to that of adventurers. They drift from town to town, hunting whatever quarry catches their attention. These small jobs have done little to satisfy Abram, though the sheer volume of their work has spread stories of a monster-slayer who appears, hunts his mark, then leaves again once the reward is paid. 

Over their travels, Abram’s continued success has deepened his zealotry into an unhinged lust for the hunt, while also feeding his over-confidence. The kill is all that matters to him. Abram does not care for fame or heroics and only accepts payment as a means to reach his next, greater target. This same lack of care extends to his attitudes towards Stewart, his “useful assistant”.

Abram has spent the past several weeks putting together disparate information concerning Harrowcrest; the town’s curious prosperity, stories of vampires in the mountains, and rumors from visitors to the region. Traveling to the town in unassuming disguises, the pair quickly learned about the coming wedding. They made contact with Maximus Brandt and Abram quickly discerned the man’s dissatisfaction and secret desires. Their alliance seemed only a natural pairing.

Abram and Davis now operate out of a secret room beneath the Peakshade Inn. They spend their days hidden, preparing their weaponry and plans with the help of Maximus and nightly, stealthy expeditions through town. Meanwhile, the stark clash of Abram’s beliefs with those of Harrowcrest continues to agitate him. With the wedding so close and Abram reaching a tipping point, they are ready to strike.

In addition to his own abilities, Abram van Sloan carries a wooden stake, 10 silvered bolts, 3 bags of caltrops, 2 bottles of holy water, 2 sunlight grenades, and his specially-crafted repeater crossbow. His shortsword is silvered, as is Stewart’s dagger.

The monster-slayer is a gladiator, modified to operate from a distance and given abilities resembling both the paladin and ranger classes. Abram van Sloan’s stat block is a monster-slayer with his additional gadgets and weapons included, for the sake of easy reference.

Van Sloan’s Repeater

Weapon (light crossbow), Uncommon (requires attunement)

A beautifully crafted crossbow with etched metal plating and gold filigree across its body. A cylindrical chamber sits below the covered firing mechanism, able to be loaded with a number of bolts at once.

You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. In addition, this weapon does not possess the loading property of a regular light crossbow.

Chains of dawn. When you hit a creature with an attack from the repeater, you can choose to have the bolt bind the target in glowing chains of radiant energy. The target takes an extra 1d8 radiant damage and must succeed on a DC 14 Strength saving throw or be restrained for 1 minute. While restrained by the chains, the target is treated as if it is in direct sunlight. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, breaking the chains on a success. Once you have used this property, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Sunlight Grenade

A spherical glass bottle, reinforced with metal caging. Clear oil swirls inside. At its top is a metal loop that attaches to a secondary inner compartment, separating a small amount of bright blue liquid from the oil.

As an action, you can prime this grenade and throw it up to 60 feet. The grenade detonates on impact and sheds bright light in a 30-foot radius and dim light for an additional 30 feet, for 1 minute. This light is sunlight. 

Any creature within 30 feet of where the grenade lands, or that starts its turn within 30 feet of the active grenade, must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be blinded until the start of its next turn. Undead have disadvantage on this saving throw.

Stewart Davis

(NG male half-elf)

A bookish man with straw-like hair, cut in a bowl and flaring out at the sides. He fights the cold with thick, brown robes and a heavy cloak, out of which peeks an expression of nerves and panicked calculation.

Once a member of the same order of monster hunters as Abram, Stewart Davis supported the more active hunters by way of crafting and repairing equipment and administering medicinal aid. Assisting from the background, far from any true danger, always suited him. Though Davis shares their aspirations, he has been forever gripped by an anxious and cowardly disposition. This made him a perfect target for Abram’s rhetoric.

Abram van Sloan found Davis to be co-dependent and impressionable and spent a great deal of time speaking with him, monologuing his own beliefs until Davis began to accept them. Upon leaving, Davis had absorbed enough of Abram’s words to leave alongside him, traveling and supporting him through their adventures. But this time has helped mature Stewart along a path contrary to Abram. While the hunter grows more unhinged and fanatical, his companion is questioning the morality of their endeavors, especially as they now prepare to attack a wedding amidst a town of people who live happily alongside these ‘monsters’.

Stewart’s specialty is in crafting and maintaining Abram’s gear. Though he has some combat ability, his preference is always to remain safe and protected. His personality is the same way. Stewart shies away from confrontation and quickly panics when cornered. Abram prefers to keep Stewart hidden due to the weakness this represents to him, were Stewart to be separated and interrogated.

Stewart is an upgraded acolyte with small changes made to allow him to fill a supportive role to Abram. His ability to empower an ally is his only true strength; Stewart has little hope in a personal fight.

A Special Collaboration

This project is our special way of celebrating Valentine’s Day together with our friend Alex Miller, AKA the Boy King of Idaho.

Boy King of Idaho

Hi all – I’m Alex and I compose under the name the Boy King of Idaho. I write unique and immersive music and ambient soundscapes for D&D and other tabletop rpgs. I write big battle tracks, sweet and quiet ditties, dark and sinister tones, and even some synthy and sci-fi vibes – everything a session might need.

I release multiple songs and ambient soundscapes each week over on my Patreon, where you can also find a collection of free tracks to stream and download.
Check it out at: www.patreon.com/boykingofidaho

Alex has composed The Battle for Harrowcrest Manor specially to accompany this part of the adventure! Please feel free to download it, or hit play below and enjoy it as you read further:

Abram’s Attack

Abram van Sloan and Stewart Davis seek to destroy Lady Calvus and Etriel, as well as B’zevlaba and Typhest, if they are able. The characters are aware of this from their briefing. They are also told that the hunters are notoriously resourceful and likely have multiple, pre-planned avenues of attack.

Abram’s initial plans are the following:

Isolate and banish Etriel. As Lady Calvus begins the day within Harrowcrest Manor, Abram’s first target is Etriel. He must first isolate the incubus from his bone devil and lich friends. Fortunately, Maximus Brandt is prepared to help. Brandt reports a catering emergency near midday, personally ensuring that word reaches Etriel first, who takes it upon himself to solve the issue rather than burdening Esmerelda or Maisie Holloway. When Etriel arrives, Brandt tells him that the food stores have been tampered with and leads him down into the Peakshade’s cellar.

Abram and Davis await them, hidden. Abram emerges and threatens Brandt, who maintains his guise of ignorance for the entire ordeal. Davis uses the opportunity to first cast bane on Etriel before attempting to use a scroll of banishment (DC 14 Wisdom check to use the scroll). If Etriel succeeds on his DC 15 Charisma saving throw, Abram will resort to trying to kill him while keeping Brandt as a hostage and retreating into the streets to use the crowd as a diversion.

Part of the reason for this first attack taking place beneath the Peakshade is to give the characters a final chance to discover the hunters’ hideout. While it is now empty of weapons, the plans and notes inside tell the party that Abram has also hidden traps in town, as well as of his alliance with Maximus Brandt. Of course, the characters don’t have much time and must act on this quickly.

Ambush Lady Calvus. Esmerelda Calvus presents a greater threat to Abram and must be dealt with carefully. Abram has hidden two sunlight grenades within lanterns in the town square, along the path that Esmerelda’s carriage will follow. The grenades are connected to a tripwire strung at a height that only the carriage will activate. To the undiscerning eye, the wire is invisible amidst other decorations strung across the streets.

The carriage trips the wire and sets off the sunlight grenades as it passes. The resulting explosions stop the horses in their tracks and ignite confusion in the crowd. Davis is positioned in the crowd and uses this opportunity to spread caltrops on the ground beside the carriage. Abram, meanwhile, is positioned at a second-story window in the Peakshade. If Lady Calvus does not leave the carriage, he begins loosing warning shots. The danger presented to her mother forces her out. Once she does step out, Abram uses his crossbow’s chains of dawn to bind her within the grenades’ sunlight before he continues firing. Abram carries additional grenades in case she escapes or makes for her resting place in the Manor.

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The Smoky City Street battle map, available in the Modular Rooftop Assets Pack

Stay one step ahead. Abram is intelligent and prepared, but the truth is that he cannot plan for everything and must be flexible, especially given his adversaries’ overwhelming power. His primary contingency plan is to use the crowd of townsfolk celebrating in the square. Not only do they allow him to blend in, but Etriel, Calvus, and Barnabas all hesitate to attack if there is the chance of hurting innocents. This allows Abram to reposition and prepare for another strike. Likewise, he is aware of their aversion to disrupting the event, which makes them unlikely to call on each other for help.

This all goes double for the party’s interjection. The characters represent a major threat but are not Abram’s target. He does what he can to slow and evade any pursuers while focusing on his true targets, even diverting Davis to distract them as a last resort. While Abram does judge the characters to be just as bad as a vampire and incubus due to their choice to directly assist them, and will not show them mercy, he is also aware that he cannot risk an open confrontation. 

All of these plans are what will happen if the party does nothing to prevent Abram’s attack. They may play out very differently based on what preparations the characters make. Prior to the wedding, the characters should have the opportunity to discover Brandt’s involvement, Abram’s hideout with the locations of his ambushes and hidden sunlight grenades, and even to interrogate Davis. These possibilities make it difficult to plan exactly what will happen and makes it important to play into both Abram’s intelligence, confidence, and fervent conviction as he reacts to his plan falling apart. His reliance on ambushes also makes him ill-suited to drawn-out conflict against an entire party.

Part of the reason for this is the objective of the encounter: to prevent any disruption to the wedding. This has many possibilities of failure. To balance this, focus on Abram’s preparations and the party’s work to counter them; Abram himself can remain hidden until it comes time to enact his plan. This is where the encounter’s challenge stems from, rather than a difficult fight with Abram, as the former will grant them a huge advantage in the latter combat or preclude it entirely. If they do succeed in foiling his plans, even if it is before the wedding even begins, do not feel that the above encounters and combat are ‘wasted’. Instead, reward the party’s hard work with the satisfaction of turning the tables on Abram and controlling the confrontation. They are then free to join in with the wedding celebrations, enjoy their victory, and, of course, be paid.

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Troy McConnell

Boy King of Idaho

Hi all – I’m Alex and I compose under the name the Boy King of Idaho. I write unique and immersive music and ambient soundscapes for D&D and other tabletop rpgs. I write big battle tracks, sweet and quiet ditties, dark and sinister tones, and even some synthy and sci-fi vibes – everything a session might need.

I release multiple songs and ambient soundscapes each week over on my Patreon, where you can also find a collection of free tracks to stream and download. Check it out at: www.patreon.com/boykingofidaho

You can also further support David Wilson, our talented token artist, by buying him a cup of coffee.

Buy David Wilson a coffee

Do you prefer static tokens, or do our animated tokens not work with your setup? Please feel free to download the static versions below:

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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.

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