Matrimony or Bust! (EL 6)
Author: Matthew J. Finch
Copyright 2002, Matthew J. Finch, all rights reserved. No claim is made to any intellectual property of others, including WOTC.
All content is Open Game Content other than the name and non-game specific descriptions.
This encounter can take place on any road that passes near a small village (referred to as Three Oaks in the text).
A man and a woman are walking down the road hand in hand, obviously in love. From their garb, they appear to be villagers. As soon as they spot the holy symbol on (the name of the partyís cleric), they begin waving, and jog toward the party.
The man and woman introduce themselves as Gilbert Blueberry and Gertrude Winkle. They are indeed peasants from Three Oaks, a nearby village, and they are looking for a cleric to marry them immediately. If the cleric wonít marry them, they proceed on their way (but donít give the cleric any reason to weasel out of the job Ė the couple have been engaged for a year, and they are deeply in love). If the marriage proceeds, it will be interrupted by the Sheriff of Three Oaks and six of his men at arms, demanding that the ceremony cease immediately. The couple has not paid the requisite tax to the Baron which would allow them to be wed. If the party discusses it, Gilbert and Gertrude will explain that the tax is ruinously high (itís 200 gps). The sheriff will agree that the tax is high, but thatís the Baronís business, and heíll fight to defend the baronís right.
Sheriff of Three Oaks, male human Ftr4: CR 4; SZ M; HD 4d10+4; hps 32; Init +5 (+1 Dex, +4 Improved Init); Spd 20 ft., Mounted 50 ft; AC 19 (+1 dex, +6 banded mail, +2 shield); Atks lance +_ melee (+4 base, +2 Str), longsword + melee (+4 base, +2 Str); or heavy crossbow +5 ranged (+1 dex, +4 base); SA: ride by attack AL LE; SV Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +0; Str 14 Dex 12 Con 12 Int 11 Wis 9 Cha 10.
Skills: Ride +10, Swim +5, Handle Animal +6
Feats: Mounted Combat, Mounted Archery, Ride-by attack, Toughness, Improved Initiative.
Gear: Banded Mail, heavy lance, long sword, large steel shield, heavy crossbow, 40 bolts, potion of cure moderate wounds, purse with 200 gps, letter stating that the bearer is on the business of Baron Croydon of Three Oaks.
Warhorse "Steadfast": Warhorse, Heavy: CR 2; SZ: L; HD 4d8+12 (30 hp); init +1 (Dex); Spd 50 ft; AC 14 (-1 size, +1 dex, +4 natural); Atk 2 hooves +6 melee (1d6+4), bite +1 melee (1d4+2); SQ Scent; AL N; SV Fort +7, Ref +5, Wil +2; Str 18, Dex 13, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 6. Skills: Listen +7, Spot +7 Feats: none.
Men at arms (6): male human War1: CR Ĺ; Medium Humanoid; HD 1d8+3 (7 hp); Init +0; Spd 20 ft.; AC 16 (+4 scale mail, +2 large shield); Atks +2 melee (+1 base, +1 weapon focus); or + 1 ranged (+1 base); Damage shortspear 1d8, light crossbow 1d8; SA none; SQ none; AL N; SV Fort + 2, Ref +0, Will +0; Str 11 Dex 11 Con 11 Int 11 Wis 11 Cha 11
Skills: Swim +1, Climb +1, Intimidate +2, Spot +2, Listen +2.
Feats: weapon focus (short spear), toughness
Gear: scale armor, large shield, short spear, light crossbow, 30 bolts, 20 gps each.
Tactics: Although the troop has missile weapons, they know they are stronger in melee, and they will seek to engage immediately if a fight develops. If the Sheriff wins, the party may be imprisoned in the Baronís castle, sent on a quest, assessed a fine, or made to sit in the stocks, any of which is a delightful prospect for their villainous DM.