Madness in the Cards
The village of Talar is located 25 miles northwest of Brindol on the edge of the Thornwastes. Besides local residences, this small farming community only has a small inn and an abandoned tower. In a village of under a thousand souls, only a handful of exceptional people have information or merchandise of interest to adventurers.
1. Outer Gate and Walls. Two guards are posted at the outer gate.
2. Green Dragon Inn. This spacious inn and tavern serves as the public house for the region.
3. Market Square. Every other day or so, carts and wagons gather in the square and offer goods to the people of Talar. Once each week, the official Market Day calls villagers to shop and socialize in the square.
4. Stables. Travelers can stable their mounts here for 2 sp per day. Rarely (d20: 1-2), the stable master has a riding horse or wagon for sale.
5. Smithy. Thair Coalstriker has a ready supply of simple weapons, but military weapons require one day to complete, and superior weapons require a week of work.
6. Mottled Tower. Falrinth the Prescient is a sage and scholar who knows a great deal about the area.
7. Bairwin’s Grand Shoppe. Bairwin Wildarson is the proprietor of this shop.
8. Warrior Guild. Rond Kelfem, captain of the Talar Regulars, also oversees the Warrior Guild, which trains villagers in the use of weapons and shields.
9. Tenements. Village residents who don’t own farms or who work inside the village walls live in these apartments or in homes (labeled H on the map) on the west side of the village.
10. Temple. This large stone structure is the village temple. Of the several deities worshiped by locals, Avandra, goddess of luck and change, is the most prominent.
11. Inner Gate. Two guards are stationed here and question any who seek to visit Lord Padraig in his manor.
12. Siege Supplies. Water, flour, and other basic foodstuffs are stored here to feed the villagers in the event of a siege.
13. Barracks. The Regulars bunk here.
14. Manor House. Staffed by five servants, the manor house where Lord Padraig lives with his wife and four sons is a beautiful example of stone architecture in a village otherwise constructed of wood and thatch.
Green Dragon Inn
The Green Dragon is a typical two-story village tavern and traveler’s inn. Its outer walls are dressed stone, while internal walls and the floor are stout oak boards laid over thick joists. The roof is slate, and a small beer cellar is found under the common room. Inside and outside shutters keep the evening chill at bay.
The common room takes up the majority of the first floor, with a large fireplace opposite the bar filling the area with warmth and light. The walls are covered in faded tapestries showing hunting and woodland scenes. The second floor houses the inn’s guests.
Rooms are available for 5 sp a night. Bernath the innkeeper can also provide hearty meals (2 sp for stew, thick-cut bread, and boiled vegetables) and ale (2 sp a pitcher). The wine in his cellar is carefully kept for wealthy patrons. Before opening a bottle, however, he demands payment up front (5 gp).
Most of the folk in the tavern are villagers relaxing after a hard day’s work. A few travelers round out the clientele.
Alira Vond: A merchant from the distant North
Bairwin Wildarson: The halfling proprietor of Bairwin’s Grand Shoppe (area 7 on the map) traveled the world, or so he claims, before setting up shop in Talar ten years ago. He occasionally has common magic items for sale in his shop, with a 25% chance (d20: 1-5) that any given item the adventurers desire is available.
Bernath: The owner of the Green Dragon (male human; Diplomacy +7, Insight +6) is a jovial, portly widower who welcomes one and all to his establishment.
Delphina Moongem: Delphina turned away from the forest of her elven family to live an urban existence. Delphina can be found in the square on Market Day selling wildflowers from her cart. She is happy to tell visitors about Talar. She collects wildflowers north of the village, and she has seen orcs around the ruined abbey in the Gardbury Downs.
Eilian the Old: This aged human farmer is a regular customer at the Green Dragon (area 2), taking a seat at a table in the corner every night. His farm is down in the valley along the King’s Road.
Ernest Padraig: The hereditary lord of Talar resides in the manor house (area 14 on the map), and also frequents the Green Dragon Inn (area 2).
Falrinth: Sage who lives and works in the Mottled Tower
Grundelmar: Dwarven Priest of Amaunator in Talar’s temple. His aide, Sister Linora performs sacrifices in the temple three times per week, but otherwise she is not present. She prefers to travel among the homes outside the walls, dispensing care to villagers and animals and helping with various farm projects. Although Linora is not a cleric, she is a non-heroic priest of Avandra (Luck). She doesn’t have access to cleric powers, but she can muster a little curative and restorative magic.
Leucis: This frail cloth merchant (male tiefling; Bluff +12, Diplomacy +12) is deep in his cups when the PCs arrive. Leucis’s business has taken a downturn recently.
Niall: Bernath’s twelve-year-old son (male human; Thievery +6) is ostensibly in the common room to help his father. In reality, he is a daring, mischievous sort who doesn’t think twice about helping himself to a traveler’s unattended possessions.
Rond Kelfem: This rugged, close-lipped human soldier is the captain of the Talar regulars, and he also oversees the Warrior Guild. He can be found at the guild headquarters (area 8 on the map), in the barracks (area 13), or on guard duty, depending on the time of day.
Sariel: This slim female eladrin carries the weapons and armor of a warrior. She sits on her own, humming a tuneless song while nursing her ale. Though she is polite to anyone conversing with her, she is tightlipped as to her reasons for being in Talar. The other patrons ignore her, often while discussing spurious explanations for her presence.
Serten: Portly human male servant and apprentice to Sage Falrinth.
Thair Coalstriker: This dwarf owns the village smithy. His main business consists of forging and repairing farm implements and cooking pots, but he’s a skilled weapon· and armorsmith and welcomes the opportunity to take on these more challenging tasks. He can make common magic weapons and armor.