Hooks & Plots:
Dark Rising
By: Matt Rosengren
Difficulty: Level 2+
Game: Dungeons & Dragons (D&D)

This adventure hook can lead to various different adventures, depending on how the situation evolves. It starts with hamlet of mostly Dwarves and Gnomes that is under thread from a large Goblinoid army. The exact nature of the threat (e.g. are the Goblins actively attacking, forcing citizens to pay tribute, or simply living in the same area with tensions rising due to competition for resources) and the level of the players can give rise to different types of adventure. The army could be used in any campaign, and connected with other powerful enemies (e.g. an evil druid cult).

Important characters:

Good guys:

Randal (Chaotic Good), Elf, Rogue 6. An Elven thief with no love for Goblinoids.

Thane Falhard (Lawful Good), Dwarf, Cleric 15. The religious and political leader of the hamlet of Rock Bottom.

Hamlet of Rock Bottom:
Population: 50 Dwarves, 50 Gnomes, 30 Half-Elves, 25 Elves, 10 Humans, 6 Halflings.
Powerful characters: Randal, Thane Falhard, 4 Dwarf Clerics (3 lvl3, 1 lvl5), 6 Elf or Half-Elf Clerics (3 lvl2, 2 lvl5, 1 lvl8), 3 Gnome Clerics (2 lvl3, 1 lvl5), 3 Human Clerics (2 lvl3, 1 lvl5).
Sites of interest: 1 good tavern ("The Drunk Dragon"), 4 temples, 8 shrines, and 1 mages tower.

Bad guys:

Eloim (Neutral Evil), Elf, Druid 5/Cleric 4. The leader of the Goblin gang.

Gob (Neutral Evil), Goblin, Ranger 3. The Chief Goblin of the Goblin gang.

Hash (Neutral Evil), Hobgoblin, Cleric 3. The shaman of the Goblin gang.

Buralk (Neutral Evil), Bugbear, Barbarian 3. The most powerful warrior of the Goblin gang.

Goblinoid army:

Gob's Goblins:
Gob plus 300 common troops:.
50 Worg riders (fighters lvl4), plus 50 Worgs.
25 archers (fighters lvl2).
25 axemen (barbarians lvl2).
100 rogues (lvl3).
50 swordsmen (fighters lvl2).
25 rangers (lvl1).
20 clerics (16 lvl2, 3 lvl4, 1 lvl5).
5 wizards (lvl3, Int 16).
Any Goblin stronghold contains any mixture of these troops. If Gob dies, this group of Goblins disbands.

Hash's Dark Templar:
Hash plus 400 common troops and 100 special units:
200 swordsmen (fighters lvl4).
150 archers (fighters lvl2).
25 wizards (lvl5, Int 16).
25 clerics (lvl5, Wis/Cha 18).
75 Black Dragons (age category depends on players; suggested "young" or younger).
20 Trolls.
4 Ogres.
1 Ogre Mage (Sorcerer 4).
A massive force, for security reasons. If Hash dies, a new leader is "elected" by fighting duels.

Buralk's ravagers:
Buralk plus 1200 common troops and 1000 special units.
400 axemen (barbarians lvl6).
250 rangers (lvl5).
250 archers (fighters lvl3).
100 dragon shamans (lvl3) [note: the dragon shaman is a class introduced in the Player's Handbook II supplement].
50 clerics (lvl3).
150 cavalry (fighter lvl8).
500 Trolls.
500 Ogres.
As the main army, they are to be feared and respected.

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