Bees in a Bag

CR 5
By Siegez
"The scent of burning meat filters through the night, barely discernible in the humid air following the rainstorm earlier. It is accompanied by the sound of a crackling fire, raucous gutteral laughter, and a strange intermittent droning."

"You come to a small village, burnt out and desolate. Four Orcs, still bloodied from their last conquest, sit around a camp fire roasting indiscernable bits of meat. Next to one of them lies a child sized burlap sack that occassionally moves."

The players stumble upon a band of Orc raiders in a burned out village. One of the Orcs throws a bag with a hornet’s nest in it at the players.

*The Orcs are weary and wrapped up in their meal. Unless the party is making a lot of noise they probably won’t by the Orcs. When combat starts, all of the Orcs fight to the death. Orcs are on Bestiary pg 222 [SRD Link].
*The Orc next to the bag has minor spellcasting ability (1 Burning Hands, 1 Entangle, both DC 11). Though the implication is that there is a child in the bag, it actually contains a nest of live hornets (Bestiary pg 275 [SRD Link]). If he notices more than 1 player approaching he throws it at them, letting loose the swarm. Note that he only has to hit the square, not the player; the square has an AC of 5 and the bag has a range increment of 10. He follows this up with an Entangle spell. If the hornets turn on him he puts them down with Burning Hands; otherwise he saves it for a clear shot on at least 2 players.
*Of the other 3, one moves in to attack a martial looking character with his falchion. The other two throw 2 javelins each, all dipped in Blue Whinnis (Core pg 558 [SRD Link]), and then move in to attack.

*There may have been a bounty for these particular Orcs; alternatively, the players may be asked to find their leader and deal with him. A good way to slip in some of that extra gold.
*The holy symbol belonged to a priestess who had travelled to the town to give it Erastil’s blessings. Her body is no where to be found. Finding her could be a quest in itself, perhaps another way to slip in that extra treasure.
*The necklace may have gained some magical properties, possibly even sentience, through being present at the slaughter of the town. It may compel the possessor to seek vengeance, perhaps even to a degree that Erastil finds personally insulting (given that it’s his holy symbol).

VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.0/5 (4 votes cast)
Bees in a Bag, 4.0 out of 5 based on 4 ratings
*Since this was a poor village, and Orcs raiding poor villages tend to be poor themselves, treasure is sparse (about 1000 gold short of the norm for this CR). Add that in later so the players aren't short-changed, perhaps in on of the plot hooks.
*There are a few small and/or rusty trinkets, worth a total of 50 gold.
*There is a finely crafted holy symbol of Erastil worth 500 gold. It is a necklace adorned with freshwater pearls and bones of small predators, mostly owls. The centerpiece is a simple but well-made bow and arrow charm carved from an antler.
Posted in Encounters
  • venn177

    The name alone sells me on this. I’m in love.

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