Okay! Here is the entire 1st level adventure. This is how the Heartwood Blight Adventure Path will kick off!

Chapter 1: Raiders of Fallinghollow (1st level)

The heroes all begin in the town of Fallinghollow, a small community in the Northfells of about 1,000 people. It’s best if the heroes have some connection to this town, such as by being from there, or having recently moved there. They might be connected to Headman Sigrir, the town’s efficient and no-nonsense mayor; Sheriff Arskej, who is lazy and short-sighted yet feels entitled to the sheriff job her grandmother held; Gendal Ink-Hand, a wise and friendly scholar who retired to the community a decade ago from the city of Kensley; Anna Ninefingers, the town’s peevish alchemist and healer; or Hap Frysten, the town’s halfling wainwright. 

In this adventure, the heroes confront kobolds plotting some dramatic demolition. The kobolds were hired by Briarbough, an evil arboreal who wants cover so his agents can kidnap Gendal, whose extensive knowledge of fey and forest creatures could be a danger to Treereaver’s plans. 


Part 1: An Explosive Beginning

This adventure opens with a townsperson shouting that Sheriff Arkej has been killed. The Sheriff’s body is at the edge of town, near a wainwright’s shop, and the heroes are the only ones at hand able to investigate.

Encounter 1a (Moderate 1)

When the heroes arrive, they see Sheriff Arkej is dead in a pool of blood. A successful DC 15 Medicine check shows he’s been killed by magic missiles, a clue about the kobold dragon mage leading the attack on the town. Before the heroes can do much with this information, four kobold warriorscome out of the wainwright’s shop to attack.

Encounter 1b (Moderate 1)

Sounds in the wainwright’s large shop cause the heroes to investigate, but opening the door pulls a rope contraption lifting one of the wagons under repair. Two velociraptorstrapped underneath it are free to attack. Heroes who investigate the door and succeed at a DC 17 Perception check can notice the rope trap. If they bypass it, the hungry dinosaurs break free of the wagon they’re trapped in anyway, but take 2d6 damage in the process.

Encounter 1c

Hap Frysten is in his storage room, tied up and gagged. He says a group of kobolds came by to take a wagon; their leader, a green-skinned female kobold sorcerer named Vevik, left with it and several other kobolds toward Anna Ninefingers’ shop. Hap asks the heroes to investigate the upper level of his shop, as he’s heard more clattering around up there. He gives them his everburning torchand 10 gp in thanks.

Encounter 1d (Moderate 1)

Upstairs in the wainwright’s shop, a kobold scoutand two kobold warriorsare ransacking Hap’s things. They were have supposed to have left long before now, but they couldn’t resist poking around and fight ferociously when discovered.

Encounter 1e (Moderate 1)

On their way to Anna Ninefingers’ alchemy shop, they see a badly injured horse in the street and a wailing warrior named Thorvir near it. If calmed, Thorvir says that several small, hooded figures were pushing a wagon as he was riding by. When he tried to get a better look at them, two of them revealed themselves to be kobolds and attacked, injuring his horse before rushing away. Thorvir was too distraught over the injury of his beloved horse to see where they went, but he’s pretty sure it was to Anna’s shop. The kobold dragon mage Vevik realized too late that leaving Thorvir alive was a mistake, and she sent two kobold scoutsback here to kill him off. The scouts arrive and see Thorvir talking to the heroes, and so they attack the heroes at the same time. If the heroes heal Thorvir’s horse, he gratefully rewards them with his half-plate armor, already packed in a saddlebag. 

Encounter 1f (Moderate 1)

Vevik has already acquired the explosive reagents she sought from Anna’s alchemy shop and left; fortunately for Anna, she was out of town when the kobolds raided her shop. Two kobold warriorsare still picking through what’s left, and they have their loyal giant geckowith them. These foes fight anyone investigating the shop. A successful DC 15 Crafting check realizes that a bunch of recently plundered reagents would make a powerful explosive. The kobolds, if questioned, know that Vevik’s plan is to fill the stolen wagon with explosive components and roll it to the bell tower at the center of town to blow it up. There’s only one hill in town with a road leading straight to the bell tower, Hilltop Park. The gecko has saddlebags with the kobolds’ loot: infiltrator’s elixir, a minor elixir of life, lesser bottled lightning, and various knickknacks worth 9 gp.

Encounter 1g (Severe 1)

If the heroes didn’t learn that Vevik is at Hilltop Park from the kobolds at the alchemist’s shop, they soon hear townspeople gossiping about “little hooded people” active in the park. No one’s sure what they’re doing with their wagon there, situated at the top of the road leading to the town’s bell tower. Racing to the park, the heroes encounter Vevik, a kobold dragon mage, and three kobold warriors. If injured, Vevik releases the wagon’s brake to roll it into town at a Speed of 60 feet per round (the bell tower is 200 feet away). The heroes must find a way to stop it (such as a DC 15 Athletics check to force it to stop or a DC 15 Thievery check to re-engage the brake) or Fallinghollow’s bell tower goes up in flames.

The townspeople are grateful if the heroes save the bell tower, and Headman Sigrir rewards them with a +1 battle axeengraved with Fallinghollow’s symbol. Something like a “key to the city,” the axe gives them a 10 percent discount on mundane items in town.


Part 2: Arboreal Agents

After the heroes have been lauded for their quick action against the kobolds, and had a chance to rest, Headman Sigrir comes to them with news that Fallinghollow has more troubles. Several surrounding farms have been burned, which everyone is assuming is the work of more kobolds (it isn’t; as the kobold distraction failed, the arboreal Briarbough had to take matters into his own hands). There are three farms to investigate: the Botulfsons, the Gyrs, and the Orgrums. The heroes can investigate them in any order.


Encounter 2a (Moderate 1)

The Botulfson farm is in a low dell. The livestock has all been freed to wander, and the farmhouse has been burned down. The barn contains the only clue, a scattering of strange black briars that aren’t native to the area (a successful DC 15 Nature check notices these). Unfortunately, the well in the barn has been covered over with debris and serves as a drowning pit trapthat anyone investigating the barn might fall into. An old golden ring worth 12 gp lies amid the debris.

Encounter 2b (Moderate 1)

The Gyr farm has its barn and farmhouse both sustained significant fire damage. The livestock is being savaged by two wolveswho lash out at anyone who investigates. Large, black briars are embedded in the wolves’ flanks, which a hero who succeeds at a DC 15 Nature check realizes has spurred them to their aggression.

Encounter 2c (Moderate 1)

The Orgrum farm is the largest; it was owned by a dwarven family with several human workers. The large manor house is now a smoking ruin. This is the last of the farms Briarbough and his minions attacked, and the two fire mephitsresponsible for burning the farms are still here. They’re tormenting the barn, where the human workers are all imprisoned, threatening to burn it down around them. The humans relate that a walking tree covered in black briars imprisoned them in their own barn and departed, although they don’t know where. 

Encounter 2d

As the heroes are finishing their investigations and whatever farm they examined last, a survivor from that family comes crawling out of the nearby woods. This survivor, a teenaged boy named Heith, says the attackers were an enormous walking tree covered in black thorns, a female druid accompanied by several scary snakes, and two fire mephits. Heith can indicate the direction they went, but he wants to salvage what he can from his farm and so doesn’t accompany them.

Encounter 2e (Moderate 1)

Heith’s directions lead to a cottage in a dense, tangled part of the woods. A ball python and two vipers roam the cottage exterior, attempting to surprise trespassers.

Encounter 2f (Moderate 1)

The cottage is the home of an evil changeling exile named Ingunn. Ingunn pretends to be innocent and welcoming, if possible, but she attempts to kill of intruders as quickly as possible. In her cottage is a potency crystal, a holly berry feather token, and herbs worth 15 gp.

Encounter 2g (Severe 1)

When the heroes approach the hedge-lined garden in the back of the cottage, whether through the cottage’s back door or through a hidden (DC 17 Nature or Perception to locate) side gate, they overhear a booming voice in Common saying, “I didn't want the scholar hauled off and enslaved, you profit-seeking fool, I wanted him interrogated for what he knows and killed!” This is followed by the sound of a blow and a dying gasp. The evil arboreal wardenBriarbough has just killed a duergar slaver delivering bad news. Briarbough rages against anyone intruding on the garden he now inhabits, fighting to the death. The duergar’s freshly-killed corpse has a brooch of shielding, a silver bracelet worth 18 gp, and, most importantly, a heavy iron ingot stamped with the word “Wastingdeep” acquired from Wastingdeep Mine.



The heroes can return to Fallinghollow to confirm that the scholar Gendal was kidnapped while the heroes were away.