Random Encounters04/12/2004

The Hamlet of Relmouth

Relmouth was never officially founded. Instead it grew from a desire to extract marble from a nearby quarry. Before the quarry got into full production, the workers lived in tents. Since the quarry was a rich one, though, those in charge decided that they needed a place for workers to live. The workers in turn wanted all the assorted facilities associated with daily living and ongoing quarrying. To get matters started, a gentleman named Gunther built an inn that served as a warm dry place for workers who could afford it and for visitors to sleep and eat. As his inn grew, so too did the town's number of small wooden huts and tiny cottages.

While the town bonded in friendship and camaraderie over the efforts to build each other adequate housing (and while some grew grumpy over lack of sleep while taking part in these activities), news of the rich quarry reached people from other towns who wanted to take advantage of the opportunities the quarry promised. Among them was a couple who also hoped to serve the workers and ancillary businesses around the quarry by providing baked foods, woven goods, garden crops, and other crafted or grown items.

Unfortunately, months after the small hamlet finally settled into a daily routine, which included more sleep and free time for the residents now that the building had slowed down, the people of Relmouth found all their hopes dashed when someone discovered a secret tomb. In it, a fabulous gem briefly promised to turn the quarry into a highly profitable excavation where each worker would be festooned with ancient jewelry and live in luxury for the rest of their lives. Those hopes were slashed much like the faces and bodies of the quarry workers when the gem released a horror that resides in Relmouth to this day.

The misfortune continued as more people from Relmouth, ever hopeful that the quarry would restart after the terrible tragedy, went missing. A husband and wife separated abruptly and with no known reason, people did not act themselves, and treacherous woods filled with unspeakable horror have all made Relmouth a remote place that few visit for any reason.

Still, the discovery of the tomb is news that is prone to attract a special breed: adventurers.

The First House on the Left

Go right at the fork in the road and the hamlet of Relmouth awaits. The first house on the left in Relmouth squats quietly away from the other houses, with its rambling boards bent and twisted by age, weather, and perhaps the weight of something that lives in the cramped attic. . . .

Gunther's Strange Guest

A strange, slight man arrived shortly before the quarry closed down. Soon after the man's arrival, Gunther started to behave a bit oddly and the Stranger didn't seem like he was going to leave anytime soon. This Stranger still sticks around and looks for visitors to Relmouth.

The Corner Case

The bent house on the corner of Relmouth keeps a secret. A couple owned the house, but one of them has since gone missing -- at least that's what everyone likes to think. Either way, the people of Relmouth are going to regret ignoring the strange case of the corner house.

The Creeping Forest

The area surrounding Relmouth is dense, dark forest. The sun never reaches some parts of it, which is fine according to a malicious and intelligent creature that waits patiently for victims to wander too close. But the hunting has not been going well. Intelligent as it is, the creature is beginning to suspect that someone in Relmouth is stealing all the good victims. Perhaps it's time for a visit into town . . . .

Game Resources: To get the best use of the material in this article, have the following resources on hand: A map of the village, Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, Monster Manual, Monster Manual II.

About the Author

Eric Haddock is an assistant producer of online media for Wizards of the Coast.

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