A TFT adventure for 3 to 4 beginning characters.
(C) 2001, 2004 By Richard W. Smith
This adventure is designed for a wizard, 1 or 2 fighters and a thief. If there are 4 characters then each should have from 32 to 35 attributes. If there is only one fighter, each of the characters should be from 35 to 40 attributes.
In a small town that the characters are based in or visiting, a rich merchant has died. His children are fighting over the inheritance. Everyone in town has strong feelings over what the will should be and it is the center of gossip everywhere. It is intended that the children be memorable characters that will become permanent parts of the campaign.
The town has a population of around 120 adults. It is on a river where an overland trade route crosses the river at a ferry. The Hasturs are a merchant family that own the ferry, several warehouses, and 3 river vessels that trade up and down stream.
The family consists of:
Mordant Hastur. Just died. He was selfish and mean and not very popular in town.
Emmeni Hastur. Eldest Daughter. Has a very good understanding of business and numbers. She knows the workings of the business better than anyone. She has a ruthless streak and can be very rude to people who are slow to understand or who don't do what she wants.
Mort Hastur. Eldest Son. A lazy drunkard, Mort has always been able to manipulate people into doing what he wants. He has a gang of tough friends that will fight for him.
Sheena Carrol. Youngest Daughter (married). She has 4 children that Mordant loved. Her husband worked for Mordant for several years as a mate on the ships and when he married Sheena he was promoted to Captain. Her husband (called Preetem) was killed fighting off a pirate attack 2 years ago. Sheena moved back into Mordant's house after Preetem died with her children. The kids are 7, 5, 4 and 2 years old and loved the crusty old man who spoiled them badly. They morn the death of Mordant more than anyone else in the town. Sheena Carrol is a very shy women who stutters and will do almost anything to avoid talking in public.
Zaff Hastur. Youngest son. Zaff is a canny trader who risked a small fortune buying and selling magic items. His gamble paid off and has made a lot of money for the family in the last 3 years (almost as much as all the rest of the families' investments put together). He is a very friendly person, who is willing to go to a lot of effort to help people in trouble. Many people in town owe him favors and he is easily the most popular person in the family.
Major assets owned by the family:
Dancing Current. Medium sized river boat worth $4,500. This vessel can carry 55 tonnes of cargo and usually makes about $600 per year. It is quite new and should last for 10 more years. This is the vessel that Preetem died defending from the pirates.
Strong Current. Medium sized river boat worth $2,700. This vessel can carry 45 tonnes of cargo and usually makes about $400 per year. It is old and is beginning to leak badly and is in need of $400 repairs. If fixed up it would likely last another 4 or 5 years.
Chuckling Current. Small river boat worth $1,500. This vessel can carry 20 tonnes of cargo and used to make $150 per year. It is old but very well maintained, it should last for 10 years. Zaff has taken over this vessel and has used it for his magic item trade, under his management it is making from $800 to $1,200 per year.
The ferry and two docks. It costs 2 copper pieces to go across the river for a passenger on foot. It costs $1 for a horse and $2 per cart. It costs quite a bit to pay the men to pole the ferry across the river but even so it makes from $100 to $250 per year. The ferry is in good shape (it will last 8 or so years) and is worth $600.
3 Warehouses. The largest (and best defended) was used for family goods, the other two are rented out to merchants who want to store goods, waiting for boats or caravans to come in. The 3 buildings are worth about $200 each. The family warehouse has $3,000 of goods in it. The 2 warehouses that are rented out earn about $150 a year each.
Family Town house. This is a small secure building across the street from the "Traveling Tea Tavern" (a high price restaurant / bar where merchants get together to haggle over trade goods). It is a working house with few comforts. It is worth $600 and costs $55 per year to maintain.
Family Manor. This includes 400 hectares of land which are about half oat fields and half orchards. This house is a hollow square with a lovely garden in the center. The house is really a fortress, almost a small castle and could fight off most forces that don't have siege equipment. It is worth $7,500 (with another $10,000 worth of items inside). The lands produce a profit of $500 per year (after paying for the upkeep on the Manor house).
Note the incomes for the assets above are AVERAGE. Some years the asset might produce two or three times as much money, other years it might lose money. The Ferry and Warehouse rentals have the most consistent income (as well as being the easiest to manage).
Bank account. The family has $3,800 in cash. Additionally each child has $600 in private spending money.
Mordant Hastur had an early will which evenly divided his estate between his 3 eldest children. After Zaff was born this will had a post script added to it saying that he should be supported by Emmeni Hastur and that her share should be 10% larger than the others to help support him and get him started in business when he was old enough.
When Zaff came of age, Mordant made a new will. This newer will said that each child should get about 1/4 of the estate. In particular Emmeni would get the manor house & the Chuckling Current. Mort Hastur should get the Dancing Current. Sheena Carrol (then Sheena Hastur) would get the Strong Current and Zaff would get the warehouses and the ferry and most of the bank account. Since Emmeni got the best deal she would owe the others several thousand silvers to be paid off over 5 years.
1 year ago Mordant made a new will. He was angry at Mort's laziness & impressed at how well Zaff was doing in the magic item business. The new will gives Mort just the bank account. Emmeni got the Manor, town house & warehouses (she did not owe anyone else a payment). The Dancing Current, Strong Current & the ferry were given to Sheena and the grandchildren. The Chuckling Current plus all magic items that Zaff was trading were given to Zaff (along with some of the most expensive art work from the manor house).
4th will (The disputed will):
Emmeni and Mort claim that one week before he died Mordant made a new will. It gives everything to Emmeni except the bank account, warehouses, townhouse and ferry that went to Mort. Sheena and Zaff were to be given $300 each from the bank account. The two youngest children think that this will is fake. Emmeni says that she thinks the new will is 'unfair', so she will 'take care' of the two younger siblings. However she has hinted that if they fight the will, she won't give them anything.
The first two wills were kept with a priest in town. The third will was given to the local Barron to hold. The last will was 'found' in Mordant's papers, but was witnessed by a disreputable priest.
On to the Adventure!