The Lost Huntress (5e Quest)
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In the local town the players may be staying at, there is a slight ruckus as a young woman with a bow and arrow is thrown out of an item shop. She looks dirty and beaten, yet she just yells back at the shopkeeper, who remarks on these "useless Huntresses living like rats outside our fair town." The woman eventually slinks away, defeated. There is a lot of talk in this town which the players are aware of, about a small band of women who call themselves Huntresses, followers of Artemis. They initially came to kill a beast but by the work of fate gone amuck, they had lost one of their own to the fearsome creature which now infests the wild near the town.
Many believe the Huntresses have unleashed the wrath of some unspeakable evil and want to drive them away. However, the women are adamant about staying until they have avenged their fallen comrade. This has been going on for a few days, and the Huntresses seem to have run out of funds. They were kicked out of the inn and now seem to have no supplies. Their leader drops by the item shops daily to request assistance but the townspeople have grown tired of lending ear and now all see these women as annoyances drawing trouble.
The players help the huntresses, or at least opt to help the town be rid of these women, by hunting the beast they seek. This part of hunting, tracking and staking out will take the longest time and is the main quest body. Upon killing the beast alongside the huntresses, if the players were amicable all the way, they will be declared honorary friends of the huntresses and welcome to their circle. At this point, they will be given a parting gift from the huntresses, who will then leave shortly.
If there is a good aligned character, particularly chaotic, then they may be inclined to help the huntresses or at least get involved. A more lawful character may wish to help the town be rid of these people. If they do not get involved at the initial prompt, they may encounter the beast either out in the wild or when it intrudes suddenly in the town. This makes an uproar and the town will likely search for able bodies to help hunt the creature down, offering monetary reward. If the party starts this way, they will be confronted with the huntresses in their hunt, and only the huntresses have the foolproof way of finding the beast, which the DM is privy to make up.
The story mainly starts in a town the party stumbles into, surrounded by wilderness. As the story goes on, the party will be drawn into prolonged periods in the wild to hunt.
The start of the journey is in civilization. It is a location not too close to others, granting it the feel of a rural setting, but still populous enough that it isn't dead of activity and people are still lively.
The town doesn't have much, honestly. There is the tavern, which has an optional blocked trapdoor down to the whorehouse and local distillery. In the distillery, there is a barrel with the tavern's emergency funds, worth about 120 gp. To find it among other barrels, players must succeed a Investigation check of DC 16. Miscellaneous houses dot the town streets that generally PCs should not access. The local guild is a small building, virtually a shack. It has a notice board and a few tables for sitting. Next to it is the town hall. The town has a weak, but still high enough, wall around it to section it off from the forest. If anyone should attempt to climb it, it requires an Athletics check, and the DC is equal to 12. the wall also has 13 AC if anyone should attack it, and every 5 foot segment has 15 hit points. Lastly, the town general store doubles as an inn, with lodging upstairs.
The town is populated by humans. They have the stat block of a commoner.
This is where a majority of the beginning conflict takes place. The players meet the huntresses here, and witness the townsfolk's displeasure for them. They can also pick up bits and pieces of lore about the monster and the huntresses religion.
This is the woods or general wilderness which surrounds the town periphery.
There is mainly coniferous trees here, so the canopies are thick and hard to see if one is flying at that level. This also means that those flying above the canopy cannot see anything past the treetops. There is at least one river here sustaining the wildlife. As it is wild, there is little like manufactured traps and such.
There are the usual critters that lurk around the wilderness. But due to the beast which lurks, most of the obvious harmless creatures are diminished, leaving only those wily or tough enough to survive.
As the party pursues the beast, if they manage to catch the beast in the wild and wound it, it may retreat to its den, which constitutes this scene. The players may also stumble upon this location if they successfully track it while it is away or asleep.
The den of the beast has a foul smell and bones litter the floor inside. A successful Nature check of DC 15 would reveal the signs of one of the following creatures, based on the scaling to player levels and party size:
|Party Size||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3|
The huntresses will stay to inspect the cave for the remains of their comrade who they believe to be dead. They will want the players to stand guard. If the beast is still in the cave, then the fight begins immediately, with the huntresses searching for remains at its conclusion, going as far as to gut the beast.
At the end of the battle with the beast, if the players successfully kill it or at least forced it to flee, they advance a level.
At the end of the adventure, the huntresses see the player party as allies and offer them one of their +1 longbows as a gift for their help.
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