Let’s Start With A Hole In Some Dirt

1. So…something akin to a halfling’s den set into a low hill, but this is more of a long oval of dirt with a hole in one side that’s small enough to require a human to crawl in on hands and knees to get inside.

2. It’s well within the King’s Forest, off a path that was once a road wide enough to allow coach and horse traffic of the sort that includes important nobles and Crownsworn officials.

3. The path is little more than a foot trail now, and that too is fast disappearing. As is the mansion-keep that sat at one end of the path, the keep’s walls fallen down and grown over. The state of the mansion? That’s up to you, Dear Reader.

4. Outlaws like to camp in the area, because adventurers and the agents of nobles and debt collectors continue to seek out the mansion-keep. Easy pickings for fresh clothes, news, weapons and bedmates.

5. It used to be that explorers would come regularly, the adventurers to search for lost riches and the debt collectors to find anything worth hauling off and selling to pay for debts owed (even worked stone blocks can be resold). Nowadays the outlaws have to supply the rumors, which is fine because supply runs are necessary from time to time and such is a good chance to hear the latest news while spreading rumors (the better to determine if the Crown has finally decided to move en masse on the ruin and clear out anyone using it as a place to spring ambushes on the unwary).

6. The hole in the ground is set into one of two mounds of earth that flanked the road, a squat tower sprouting out of each mound. These marked the border of the estate in the woods that is now an abandoned ruin.

7. The left-hand tower collapsed in on itself, the fallen stone filling up the space within the mound. Some unknown force dashed aside the exposed tower over the right-hand mound, and bushes and ground cover overgrew it. The space inside the mound partially collapsed, but adventurers cleared out the splintered wood that was all that was left of the door that led into the mound of dirt (set into the estate side of the mound) and found nothing of value in the oval cavity beyond the ruined door.

8. The outlaw camp is small, maybe 10-15 persons depending on their health and their willingness to take in new additions. They like to keep moving through the woods, the better to keep from being caught.

9. A pair of rangers have tracked the outlaws, but haven’t moved against them. The outlaws are good at blundering into forest dangers and lingering traps in the ruins they explore (the ruin near the hole in the mound is one of a handful in the area–each suffered the same troubles that drove off or slew the occupants of the buildings that once stood proud in the woods).

10. In the wintertime, the hole in the mound stays warm and dry. There is a lingering magic there that once kept the place comfortable. The rangers use the space to rest in (it’s easier for one to rest while the other is on watch) and are careful to keep it hidden. The outlaws do not know about it.

Read more: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?488643-5th-Edition-and-Cormyr-Flexing-My-Idea-Muscle-and-Thinking-Out-Loud/page7#ixzz4efkR7Dtx

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