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The Old Mill

by Hayley Hummerston

An encounter for low-level Basic D&D parties. This is set in Threshold, Karameikos, as it is based on a seed idea in the Basic Player's Guide, but should fit into any town which has an old crowded mercantile area. In my adventure the dungeon was being used by goblins to mount raids on the town and the tunnel led to an abandoned keep in the forest outside Threshold, and then on to their base, but you are free to make of it what you will. Any feedback would be appreciated!

The PC's are wandering in the rough area on Fogor's Isle when they hear a man scream. They head towards the scream and see a man being attacked by a Giant Centipede. There is rubble nearby if they wish to attack it with rocks. The man is a merchant, Carst (0-level human), who complains of centipedes and rats raiding his warehouse. Carst is impressed with the performance of the party and offers them 200gp plus cures (credit note issued on local chapel) to clean out the Old Mill next door of the pests which are eating into his profits.

(1) Carst's Warehouse. Large double entrance doors to the north lead into a central area to load carts. The floor is well-swept packed earth. At the sides are stacked sacks of nuts and fruit. Bales of fur and smaller casks (brandy) sit on racks to the west. A trapdoor above with a movable ladder leads to (4) and a door on the north leads to (2)

(2) Carst's Clerks. There are two small desks near the door, covered with paper (invoices, bills, etc) at which Carst's two clerks (0-level men) sit on stools. A plain wardrobe (unlocked) against the north wall behind them (containing their cloaks and hats, paper, pens, ink and a petty cash box with 500cp, 100sp and 10gp) sits beside a large plain trunk (for ledger books, bills and invoices, etc). Door to west leads to (3)

(3) Carst's Office. In the northwest corner under a window, is a large uncluttered desk with a large chair behind it which belongs to Carst. A secret panel under the desk contains gems worth 1500gp and 973 gp in various coins. There are three more chairs in front for visitors. On the east wall is a well-carved wood cabinet. It is locked and trapped with a needle that stings for 1 HP damage and leaves an indelible purple dye. It contains private papers and two flasks (the blue one is Cure Light Wounds and the red is Neutralise Poison). Carst buys new potions at the local chapel when a flask is used up and keeps the only key around his neck. A door on the east wall leads to (2) and a barred window to the north overlooks the street.

(4) Warehouse Attic. This low-ceiling area is covered with more cloth bales and sacks of grain. A crane stands near the trapdoor leading down.

(5) The Old Mill. This is filthy, muddy and its roof and upper floor have mainly fallen down. A pack of normal rats live in a lair in the rubble in the northeast corner. Rats: 15 @1 HP; AC9; THAC0 19; 1-6 + 5% disease;5 XP. A ledge around the east and south walls is all that is left of the upper floor. In the southwest corner is a large pile of fallen timber which surrounds a hole in the floor - it is visible from the ledge. There are some roof beams nearby - strong enough to support bodies descending on ropes for the 10 feet to the floor of (a) below.

(a) Underground Room. A muddy and damp stone room, with several holes in the stonework now in the east, south and northwest. A thin trickle of water leads east. A secret door panel covers a storage area with a rope ladder, key to the gate in (g) and 4 hooded cloaks.

(b) Fire Beetles' Lair. Fire Beetles (6) - 6, 5, 9, 4, 5, 7 HP; AC 4; THAC0 18 ;bite 2-8; 15 XP. Some of these may also be found as wandering monsters.

(c) Giant Centipede Lair. Giant Centipedes (7) - 4, 1,2 ,2, 1, 3, 4 HP; AC 9; THAC0 19; bite poison disables for 10 days; 5 XP. The thin trickle of water continues east.

(d) Pool. Dark and slimy, formed from runoff of rainwater, containing rusted key, old boot, animal bones, coins amounting to 22gp and a ruby and quartz necklace (1100gp)

(e) Crab Spider. This will drop from the ceiling into middle of party, automatically having surprise unless any characters mention they are watching the ceiling. Crab Spider: 4 HP; AC7;THAC0 18; bites for d8 + poison: save at +2 or die in 1-4 turns; 25 XP)

(f) Tunnel. This tunnel starts as a natural hole, but becomes a wide and straight new construction.

(g) Cave. This is the home of a Horned Chameleon: 20 HP; AC 2; THAC0 14; Bite 2d4/ horn 1-6/tail knocks down. The treasure in its mud nest amounts to 32gp, 22sp. The gate in northeast has a string alarm.

(h) Tunnel. Dwarves will observe this is a new construction - the walls are wet but not slimy. There is a bucket with rancid meat near the gate to the west. Secret doors to south lead to (i) and (j). The new part of the tunnel continues for about 60 paces, slowly narrowing, until it joins with an older corridor which, after 1000 paces, comes out in a ruined keep in the woods on the western side of the river.

(i) Conference Room. 7 goblin guards watch through a peep-hole if warned by the alarm in (g). Goblins: 1, 4, 2, 4, 1, 1, 7 HP; AC 6; THAC0 19; 1-6 with short sword; 5 XP. They will not reveal themselves unless the party appears weak or the door is found, but will instead follow the party and report to their headquarters. If they are losing a battle, they will try to escape through (j). There is also a table, 6 chairs, wardrobe with two cloaks and some sacks. On the table are a map of Threshold, pens and paper. There is an open door to the east and a secret door to the north leads to (h).

(j) Guard Room. 7 bedrolls and 4 rough straw mattresses cover the floor. Personal possessions of the goblin guards in (i) are here - mainly poor quality clothing and spare weapons except for 44gp and 60sp in coins in a pouch under the bed. A secret door to the north leads to (h).