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10 Halfling DND Adventures




A lazy plume of smoke rises from the chimney of a small house with a round green roof, nestled on the edges of a beech forest. Dry stone walls and country lanes connect this small, peaceful town together. This is Harrenholme and it is from Harrenholme that our adventures will take us far across the wildlands. This is a Halfling settlement where the folk enjoy fine ale and food, song and story telling, and try as best they can to stay out of the troubles of the world. In these ten halfling adventures, however, trouble is never far away from Harrenholme itself.


If you're new to the Dungeon Master's chair, fear not! Think of this as your roadmap to crafting stories that are spiced with adventure and the warmth of a hearth. In the first part of this post there are ten outlines for one shot adventures, and in the second part a Western Marches/ sandbox campaign with the Halfling town of Harrenholme at its heart.


In these adventure outlines, not everything is nailed down and this is deliberate. There is a looser aspect to the narrative and DMs can take the elements presented here and adapt them. There is an overall narrative surrounding the Fey and a few potential druidic sub plots, but think of this as a kit with a multiplicity of pieces in it that you can assemble in several different ways.


A note on Western Marches campaigns for new DMs


What’s a Western Marches campaign, you ask? Imagine a sandbox playground for your players, where they chart their own paths, exploring a vast, open world at their pace. The magic here lies in its fluid structure—players decide where to go and what quests to pursue, with each session potentially featuring a different slice of your group. It's about freedom and exploration, with Harrenholme serving as their reliable home base to regroup, plan, and share tales of their exploits.


Introducing Harrenholme


Nestled in the verdant embrace of the Golvern Valley, Harrenholme is far more than a mere picturesque settlement. Here, amid the gentle sweep of undulating hills and lush meadows, the halflings of Harrenholme cultivate a life of simple pleasures with a profound connection to the land and each other.


As one approaches Harrenholme, the landscape transforms subtly. The wild, untamed edges of the surrounding wilderness give way to carefully tended fields and orchards where the branches hang heavy with fruit. The air is alive with the hum of bees and the fragrance of apple blossoms, mixing delightfully with the earthy scent of tilled soil.


The architecture of Harrenholme captures halfling ingenuity and their love for comfort. Homes are built into the hills themselves, with rounded doors painted in bright, welcoming colors. Each burrow is a masterful blend of functionality and cozy aesthetic, with windows often draped in checkered curtains and gardens brimming with a chaotic mix of flowers and herbs. Smoke curls from chimneys, indeed, but it speaks to warm hearths within, where families gather to share stories and meals that are hearty and often extend to include neighbors and friends.


Community life in Harrenholme is deeply interwoven. Market days are a bustling affair, filled with the chatter of vendors and the laughter of children playing games of tag between the stalls. Here, one can find goods ranging from the practical—knitted socks and fresh vegetables—to the whimsical, like hand-carved wooden toys and intricately woven baskets. The marketplace serves not only as a centre of commerce but as the heart of the community, where news is exchanged, and bonds are strengthened. Taverns are places of warmth, community ale and song.


Festivals and communal gatherings punctuate the halflings’ calendar, marking the rhythm of seasons with celebrations that are both sacred and exuberant. Spring’s planting festival sees the community come together to bless the fields, with music from flutes and fiddles carrying far into the night. Autumn’s harvest festival is an abundant feast, where tables groan under the weight of roasted vegetables, spiced ciders, and pies made from every fruit the orchards offer.


But Harrenholme is not without its shadows. The halflings, though typically a peaceful folk, are fiercely protective of their way of life. The history of Harrenholme is woven with tales of resilience—of times when the community banded together to defend their homes against threats from the wilds or the encroachment of outsiders who did not share their respect for the land. The halflings train in the art of stealth and the use of slings and shortbows, skills passed down through generations, ensuring that their peaceful lives can maintain a protective hedge.


At night, Harrenholme transforms yet again. The hills, dotted with the warm glow of burrow-lights, take on an ethereal beauty. Music often floats through the air, a soft melody of an old lute or a softly sung ballad, crafting a ambient sound that seems almost in dialogue with the whisper of the wind through the grasses.


To visit Harrenholme is to step into a world where the pace of life is dictated not by ambition or avarice but by the turning of the seasons and the simple joys of community and kinship. Here, in this small enclave of halfling culture, the world seems to pause, inviting one to look closer and find that beneath the idyllic landscape lies a community vibrant with stories, resilience, and a profound love of life.


The stories we'll weave together will capture the essence of adventure—not just the high-stakes thrill of battling dragons, but the adventure found in simple acts: helping a neighbour, exploring a mysterious woodland, or unearthing ancient secrets behind a miller’s old barn. Because Harrenholme is a special and nurturing place, it is imperative to defend it against danger.





Adventure Outline: Spring Planting Festival (Level 1)


Hook: The Theft of the Golden Seeds

The Spring Planting Festival is a time of joy and renewal in Harrenholme, marked by the planting of the prized golden seeds, said to ensure a bountiful harvest. As the festivities reach their peak, a shocking discovery is made: the golden seeds have been stolen. The town elder implores the adventurers to retrieve them before the planting window closes at sunset the next day.


Main Description: Into the Wildlands

The adventurers must quickly track the thief, following a trail that leads into the dense, surrounding wildlands. As they navigate the rugged terrain, they encounter various obstacles—a mischievous sprite, a misleading path, and a sudden downpour that almost erases the thief’s tracks. These challenges test their resolve and skills in survival, tracking, and diplomacy with the creatures of the wild.


The Sprite, Seregan, is bored and has awoken early due to the strange effects of new and unknown magics on the forest and is in a bad mood. He sees the PCs as an easy source of entertainment and the more they react, the more he will play his tricks on them. However, if placated or entertained, Seregan will help the PCs to locate the thief.


Characters and Clues:

- Borin Oakfoot: A local ranger who saw a shadowy figure heading towards the wildlands.

- Miri Willowwhisper: A sprite who knows the forest and offers to help, for a price.

- Thief’s Campsite: Abandoned in haste, it contains a crude map and a child’s small cloak, hinting at the thief’s desperation.


Twist: A Father’s Despair

As they close in on the thief, the adventurers discover he is not a common criminal but a desperate father—Halden Greyleaf. Halden reveals he stole the seeds to trade for medicine to cure his gravely ill daughter, believing the seeds' rumored magical properties would entice a distant healer.


Continuity Element: The Mysterious Healer

The adventurers face a moral dilemma: retrieve the seeds or help Halden. At the moment of decision an involuntary admision from the sprite reveals the existence of amysterious healer, a recluse named Elara, who possesses knowledge of ancient and powerful magic. Her dwelling is protected by a wall of thorns that has grown in the forest which seems to be alive and cuts and scratches at the heroes. This encounter introduces Elara, who hints at deeper magical forces at play in the region, setting the stage for future adventures involving her arcane secrets. The question as to where Elara is from, what kind of spellcaster she is, or whether there are others like her will become a question in later adventures.


Conclusion:

With the golden seeds and Halden’s plight at the forefront, the adventurers must make a choice that balances justice and compassion, potentially forging a crucial alliance or gaining a powerful adversary in Elara. This decision will resonate through their future endeavors in Harrenholme.





Adventure Outline: The Lost Lamb (Level 1)


Hook: A Wayward Lamb in the Foggy Bottoms

The quaint tranquility of Harrenholme is stirred when young Milo Thistledown, the miller's son, tearfully reports his beloved pet lamb, Daisy, missing. Known for her snowy fleece and mild manner, Daisy last was seen heading toward the notorious Foggy Bottoms—an area enveloped in thick, unrelenting mist and whispered to be full of perils. The townsfolk are fearful of the mists, and only the most daring venture near. Milo implores the adventurers for help, his eyes wide with the innocent trust that only the heart of Harrenholme could foster. Normally the heroes wouldn't risk it all for a lamb, but there's nothing else happening today and no one has the heart to tell Milo that Daisy isn't coming back.


Main Description: Journey Through the Mists

The adventurers must embark on a perilous trek into the heart of the Foggy Bottoms. The mist is disorienting, and the path is fraught with natural hazards. As they delve deeper, the silence is profound, broken only by the distant and eerie bleating of a lamb. Navigation is challenging; landmarks appear and vanish in moments, and a general sense of unease settles over the party.


In the dense and eerie mists of the Foggy Bottoms, the adventurers are set to face sinister encounters that underscore the creeping evil lurking beneath the surface. Here are three encounters designed to test their mettle and heighten the sense of dread as they navigate the fog:


Encounter 1: The Whispering Shadows

As the adventurers delve deeper into the mist, faint, indistinct whispers seem to echo around them. These whispers grow louder, yet remain unintelligible, as if the fog itself were trying to communicate—or confuse. Suddenly, shadowy figures flit just at the edge of vision, never directly seen but always present.


Challenge: The party must succeed on Wisdom (Perception) checks to discern the direction and intention of the whispers. Failure results in growing paranoia among the group, with disadvantage on the next set of skill checks due to heightened fear.


Development: If the adventurers confront the shadows, they realize these are minor shadow spirits drawn to the fear and confusion of mortals. A successful Intelligence (Arcana) check or a Cleric's or Paladin's use of Divine Sense reveals that these spirits are harmless if ignored but can be dispersed with light or positive energy.


Encounter 2: The Lost Souls

In a particularly thick part of the fog, the adventurers stumble upon a small, forgotten graveyard. The tombstones are worn and barely legible, and ghostly apparitions roam aimlessly, tethered to the mortal realm by unresolved grievances. One ghost, a former adventurer, beckons for help.


Challenge: The ghost asks the adventurers to find a locket lost somewhere in the fog, which contains the key to its release from earthly bonds. This mini-quest requires careful navigation and investigation to locate the buried locket near an old willow tree.


Development: Retrieving and returning the locket allows the ghost to impart knowledge of the fog’s nature or history, offering clues about navigating through it safely and a temporary boon such as resistance to fear effects while in the fog.


Encounter 3: The Guardian of the Mist

As the fog thickens, a massive, ethereal wolf with fur made of mist emerges, its eyes glowing an ominous blue. It blocks the path, growling with a low, rumbling warning. The wolf is the guardian of the fog, set to prevent anyone from reaching the druids' enclave or discovering the sealed portal.


Challenge: The adventurers must decide to either fight, evade, or communicate with the guardian. Combat involves a challenging battle against a creature with resistances to physical damage but vulnerabilities to magical attacks. Alternatively, a successful Wisdom (Animal Handling) check, combined with spells or abilities that calm emotions, might pacify the wolf.


Development: If the wolf is defeated or pacified, it reveals its true nature as a protector of the realm, bound by ancient magic. It may grant the adventurers safe passage, warning them of the greater evils that lie ahead, or become a temporary ally, depending on how it was treated.



Twist: The Hidden Enclave

Just when the mist seems impenetrable, the party stumbles upon a hidden enclave—a circle of ancient stones inhabited by a secretive circle of druids. These guardians of nature are initially wary but reveal that they watch over the balance of the land. The druids reluctantly admit to sheltering Daisy, having found her wandering dangerously close to a sealed portal believed to be a source of ancient corruption.


Continuity Element: A Stirring Evil

The druids share their observations of unusual activities around the portal, hinting that something long dormant might be awakening. They speak of subtle shifts in the flora and fauna, disturbances that have not been felt since "the old magic" was sealed away. This revelation serves as a precursor to a larger, unfolding mystery that will tie into future adventures.


Conclusion: Return to Harrenholme

With Daisy in tow and new, uneasy knowledge, the adventurers return to Harrenholme. Their journey through the Foggy Bottoms not only saved a child’s beloved pet but also opened their eyes to deeper mysteries threading through the very fabric of their surrounding lands. Milo’s joyful reunion with Daisy under the watchful eyes of his fellow Halflings marks a poignant moment of light against the shadow of looming uncertainties.





Adventure Outline: The Old Mill’s Secret (Level 2)


Hook:

The villagers of Harrenholme are troubled by a recent mystery—the grain stored at the old mill, vital for the winter, has started rotting inexplicably. The village miller, Old Bramley, is desperate, fearing famine and ruin. Bramley suspects foul play and needs brave souls to uncover the truth behind the spoiling grain.


Main Description:

This adventure starts with the adventurers arriving at the charming yet now somber old mill, surrounded by the lush fields that feed Harrenholme. They are tasked with inspecting the mill, interviewing workers, and examining the storage areas. The party should look for unusual signs in the grain, marks of tampering on storage containers, or traces of magical influences. As they delve deeper, they discover hidden beneath the mill not just natural rot but an entrance to an ancient tunnel leading to a glowing underground passage.


For the adventure "The Old Mill's Secret," set in the village of Harrenholme, the following non-combat encounters can provide depth and challenge as the adventurers unravel the mystery of the spoiling grain, exploring magical elements and subtle fey influences within the old mill.


Encounter 1: The Whispering Wheat


Description:

While inspecting the fields of corn at the old mill, the adventurers notice a peculiar rustling in the wind not caused by any visible creature. Closer inspection reveals that an almost imperceptible voice seems to whisper through the wheat a magical phenomenon not previously known to occur.


Challenge:

The party needs to decipher the whispers, which requires a successful Intelligence (Arcana) or Wisdom (Insight) check. The whispers could be remnants of an enchantment or a cry for help from the fey realm, subtly influencing the physical world.


Development:

Understanding the whispers provides clues about the fey influence and the corruption spreading from their realm. The wheat, once blessed by fey magic for prosperity, now carry the taint of the dark force encroaching upon the fey lands. This discovery might lead the adventurers to investigate the source of fey magic and its connections to the mill's operations.


Encounter 2: The Illusory Grain


Description:

In another part of the mill, the adventurers find a pile of grain that appears untouched by the rot affecting the rest. However, upon closer examination, the grains begin to shimmer and shift, revealing themselves to be an illusion.


Challenge:

The party must discern the illusion with a successful Intelligence (Investigation) check or through the use of magic that reveals true forms, such as *detect magic* or *true seeing*.


Development:

This encounter illustrates the fey's desperate attempts to mask the spreading corruption from the villagers, maintaining hope or buying time. It also hints at the presence of a more powerful fey or enchantress who is still actively trying to mitigate the effects of the blight. Understanding or dispelling the illusion may require the adventurers to negotiate or cooperate with the fey directly, leading to deeper interactions with the fey refugees.


Encounter 3: The Echoes of Time


Description:

Deep within the mill, hidden beneath an old wooden floorboard, the adventurers discover a small, ancient artifact, perhaps a relic of the mill's founding. When touched, it grants visions of the past, present, and potential futures.


Challenge:

The characters experience brief, intense visions that require them to succeed on a Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (History) check to accurately interpret the flashes of insight. These visions could show the mill's construction with fey assistance, the recent introduction of the corrupting force, and a potential future where the mill and surrounding lands fall into decay or flourish anew.


Development:

This encounter offers direct exposition about the mill's historical ties to the fey and the cyclic nature of the challenges it faces. It also provides crucial decision-making insights: the adventurers can see the consequences of different actions they might take regarding the fey crossing and the corrupted grain. Depending on their interpretations and subsequent choices, they can steer the future towards renewal or ruin.



Key Locations and Interactions:

1. The Old Mill: Investigate the grain storage areas, looking for physical and magical anomalies.

2. Bramley’s Home: Gather clues from the miller’s accounts and possible sightings of strange creatures or unusual events.

3. Underground Fey Crossing: Explore the mystical and radiant pathways where the air shimmers with magic, and the flora is unlike anything on the surface.


Twist:

As the adventurers explore the underground crossing, they find it’s a fey pathway, seldom opened to the mortal world. Here, they encounter fey creatures, who reveal that they’ve been escaping into Harrenholme to flee a malevolent force in their realm, which has corrupted their land and now threatens to seep into the human world. This is the source of the pestilence and rot.


Continuity Element:

These fey refugees bring with them tales of the encroaching darkness in their realm, hinting at a larger threat that could soon affect Harrenholme. The adventurers must decide how to aid these creatures while ensuring the safety of the grain supply. Their actions here could establish an alliance with the fey, affecting future adventures involving the mysterious healer and the ancient evil stirring in the nearby woods.


Conclusion and Next Steps:

The adventurers’ findings should lead to a decision on how to seal or guard the fey crossing, potentially setting up a watch or seeking magical means to protect the village. They might also need to find a way to cleanse or sanctify the grain stores to prevent further spoilage, involving local druids or the mysterious healer previously introduced.

This adventure offers a mix of investigation, diplomacy, and decision-making, challenging players to balance the immediate needs of Harrenholme with the broader mysteries that beckon beyond the Fey crossing.





Midsummer Night’s Dream (Level 2 Adventure Outline)


Hook: As the Midsummer Festival approaches, a dreamlike haze descends over Harrenholme. The air shimmers with a soft glow, and the residents begin to experience vivid dreams. As the festival kicks off, some villagers do not awaken from their slumbers.


Main Description: The adventurers are enlisted by a frantic festival organizer who realizes that key community leaders, including the Mayor and the Head of the Market Guild, are among those trapped in this supernatural sleep. The adventurers must investigate the cause and find a way to awaken these essential figures. If the PCs made good friends with Seregan the sprite in adventure one, he can be helpful in explaining what might have happened in Harrenholme.


- Investigation: The adventurers must gather clues from the dreaming villagers’ families and any witnesses. A local sage, versed in arcane lore, suggests that such phenomena could be linked to powerful magic.

- Journey to the Enchanted Glade: Clues lead to an ancient, hidden glade known for its mystical properties, where a fragment of a mysterious artifact is found pulsing with magic, it's a copy of the artifact found in the mill in the previous adventure. The two items seem to be part of a bigger runic device. The adventurers must navigate minor magical traps and ethereal creatures guarding the site.


For the adventure to the Enchanted Glade, where mystical secrets and magical guards abound, here are three encounters designed to challenge the adventurers as they navigate this enchanted and perilous area:


Encounter 1: The Guardian Wisp Path


Description:

As the adventurers approach the Enchanted Glade, they find the path guarded by wisps—small, luminous spirit creatures that float erratically around the trail. These wisps are naturally curious but protective of the glade. The path through the woods is confusing, with the wisps leading unwary travelers astray.


Challenge:

The adventurers must carefully follow the correct wisps, which glow a distinct shade of blue, unlike the misleading red ones. This requires a series of successful Wisdom (Survival) or Intelligence (Nature) checks to navigate the path successfully.


Development:

Interacting gently with the wisps can potentially gain their trust. An adventurer who offers a token of nature (such as a precious flower or a piece of natural gemstone) might befriend a wisp, which could provide guidance through the forest and insight into the nature of the magical traps ahead. Alternatively, aggressive actions might scatter the wisps and lead to the party being temporarily lost, increasing the journey time and difficulty.


Encounter 2: The Runic Circle Trap


Description:

Closer to the glade, the adventurers encounter a clearing surrounded by ancient stones inscribed with runes. Stepping into the circle activates a magical trap that creates disorienting illusions and binds the intruder with ethereal vines.


Challenge:

The adventurers must disable the trap by solving a rune puzzle that requires matching the runes with natural elements found around the clearing (such as aligning a water rune with a nearby stream or a sun rune with the spot where sunlight breaks through the trees). Intelligence (Arcana) checks or Wisdom (Perception) checks are necessary to figure out the correct alignments.


Development:

Successfully disabling the trap reveals the protective purpose of these runes—preserving the sanctity of the glade against those who would harm it. Incorrect attempts to solve the puzzle might tighten the vines or intensify the illusions, possibly causing minor psychic damage or disorientation.


Encounter 3: The Ethereal Deer


Description:

Within the heart of the Enchanted Glade, guarding the fragment of the mysterious artifact, is an ethereal deer—a majestic creature made of light and shadow, seemingly part of the very essence of the glade itself.


Challenge:

The ethereal deer is wary of all intruders and must be convinced of the adventurers' noble intentions. This encounter requires a mix of Diplomacy and Wisdom (Animal Handling) checks to approach the deer without threatening it. Players might use soothing words, offer a symbol of peace, or demonstrate their connection to nature to gain its trust.


Development:

If the adventurers successfully calm the deer, it allows them to approach the artifact fragment. The deer might also impart wisdom about the artifact's origins and its purpose, hinting at the larger runic device's powers and potential dangers. If the adventurers fail to convince the deer, it might vanish and reappear sporadically, creating barriers or illusions to hinder their progress further into the glade.


These encounters weave together challenges of intellect, diplomacy, and perception, enriching the adventurers' journey through the Enchanted Glade and deepening their connection to the mysterious, magical aspects of the world around them. Each step closer to uncovering the secrets of the ancient artefacts reveals more about the mystical forces at play in their adventures.


Twist: Upon retrieving the artefact fragment, the adventurers learn from an elderly halfling historian that it is part of a larger relic that was shattered long ago. The haze and the unnatural slumber are unintended side effects of its broken state.


Continuity Element: The historian reveals that the artefact was originally broken during a great battle, and its pieces were scattered across the region. This fragment is but one of many, and each piece has unpredictable magical effects on its surroundings.


Resolution: Using the fragment, the adventurers devise a ritual to dispel the haze and awaken the sleepers. However, the ritual is only a temporary solution, and the party is encouraged to seek out the remaining fragments to prevent future calamities.


Character Development & NPCs:

- Festival Organizer: An overworked but passionate halfling, desperate to save the festival and her friends.

- Local Sage: A wise but eccentric figure who assists with knowledge of arcane lore.

- Elderly Historian: A keeper of local legends, who provides crucial historical context and hints at further adventures.

This outline sets the stage for a rich narrative filled with magical mysteries, community ties, and the promise of ongoing adventures tied to the recovery of the artefact's other pieces.





Adventure Outline: Harvest’s End (Level 3)


Hook: Bountiful Harvest, Mysterious Merchant

As the leaves turn golden and the air fills with the scent of ripe fruit, Harrenholme prepares for the annual Harvest’s End festival. This year’s yield is extraordinarily plentiful, and spirits are high. Amidst the celebrations, a charming but enigmatic merchant, Silas Thornwood, arrives in town. Ostensibly here to trade in exotic goods, Silas's elusive answers and guarded behavior quickly raise suspicions among the townsfolk.


Main Description: Unveiling the Merchant’s Secrets

The adventurers are approached by Elwin, a local farmer, who has noticed odd, faintly glowing items among Silas’s goods and feels uneasy about his presence. Elwin recruits the party to investigate Silas discreetly, emphasizing the need to maintain peace during the festival. The adventurers must gather information from Silas, track his movements, and explore his temporary warehouse without alerting him or causing a stir among the festival goers. Silas is a smuggler who trades in precious and stolen items but sometimes has no idea about the power of the objects he has acquired.


In the heart of the Harvest's End festival in Harrenholme, amidst the revelry and overflowing abundance, three carefully crafted encounters are designed to deepen the intrigue surrounding the mysterious merchant, Silas Thornwood, and his covert activities. These encounters will challenge the adventurers' investigative skills and decision-making, blending seamlessly with the themes of mystery, magic, and community spirit.


Encounter 1: The Cursed Relic Game


Description:

At one of the festival booths, a game of chance and skill draws a crowd, operated by an associate of Silas. Unknown to the festival-goers, one of the prizes is an ancient relic with a faint, magical glow, inadvertently affecting the game's outcome and influencing the players’ emotions.


Challenge:

The adventurers, suspecting foul play after observing the odd behaviour of players, must engage in the game to investigate the relic without causing public alarm. This requires sleight of hand or subtle magic to manipulate or investigate the game piece, as well as Wisdom (Insight) checks to discern the effects on the players.


Development:

Successfully identifying and isolating the relic reveals its magical nature, linking it back to Silas’s smuggling operations. The adventurers can choose to confront the booth operator discreetly or keep the information to investigate Silas further.


Encounter 2: The Glowing Merchandise


Description:

While mingling in the market square, the adventurers notice a secluded stall where Silas displays goods for a select clientele. Among these items are beautifully crafted wares that shimmer with an unnatural light, attracting the attention of a knowledgeable few.


Challenge:

The party must navigate through curious onlookers and engage Silas or his customers to learn more about these items. This might involve using Charisma (Persuasion) to gain Silas’s confidence or Intelligence (Arcana) to identify the nature of the glowing items from a distance.


Development:

Interaction with Silas or discreet observation might reveal that these items are not only magical but are potentially dangerous if misused. The adventurers might overhear conversations hinting at Silas’s connection to the mysterious healer, Maelin, suggesting a deeper plot at play.


Encounter 3: Silas’s Secret Meeting


Description:

Following Silas’s movements leads the adventurers to a hidden rendezvous outside the village at dusk. Here, Silas meets with a cloaked figure, exchanging one of the magical items for a scroll. The adventurers, watching from a distance or up close, must remain undetected while gathering as much information as possible.


Challenge:

The party needs to use Stealth to approach the meeting spot and possibly use spells or abilities like detect magic or comprehend languages to understand the nature of their conversation and the items exchanged.


Development:

Eavesdropping on the meeting confirms Silas’s role in a larger network of magical item trade and provides clues about the intentions of the mysterious healer, Maelin. The adventurers face a moral decision: intervene and expose the operation or use this newfound knowledge to negotiate with Silas for the benefit of Harrenholme. Silas and his network might be a powerful source of knowledge and information about the artefact fragments that have been discovered.


These encounters not only advance the plot but also enrich the adventurers’ understanding of the complexities of magic smuggling within Harrenholme, setting the stage for future conflicts and alliances as they unravel the deeper secrets behind the magical artifacts and their intended uses.


Character and Setting Details:

- Silas Thornwood: Charismatic, with a sharp tongue and a secretive aura. Often seen negotiating hard on prices.

- Elwin: A well-respected and slightly overcautious farmer, known for his community spirit and a keen eye for details.

- Setting: Harrenholme's bustling market square, draped in harvest colors and lanterns, filled with stalls of food, crafts, and games.


Twist: Smuggled Magic

The investigation leads the adventurers to uncover that Silas is smuggling magical items, hidden amongst legitimate trade goods. These items bear strange, ancient symbols and emit a faint magical aura detectable to those with arcane knowledge.


Continuity Element: The Mysterious Healer

Further investigation reveals that the magical items are linked to the mysterious healer, Maelin, a recurring figure in Harrenholme's tales. Maelin is rumored to possess knowledge of ancient and powerful magic. It appears Silas has been smuggling these items for Maelin, who needs them for some undisclosed but evidently crucial purpose.


Conclusion: Choices and Consequences

The adventurers must decide how to handle Silas and the smuggled goods. They can confront him, negotiate, or find a way to leverage this information for the good of Harrenholme. Their actions will influence the town’s view of outsiders and magic, setting the stage for future adventures linked to the mysterious healer and the deeper magic at play.





The Great Flood (Level 3 Adventure)


Setting the Scene:

In the bucolic halfling village of Harrenholme, nestled in the rolling green foothills, the sky suddenly darkens as clouds rapidly gather. Within hours, a torrential downpour begins, unlike any seen before. The elders speak worriedly of old legends—storms that whispered of malevolent forces at play.


Hook:

As Harrenholme’s streams swell to dangerous levels, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary storm. The halflings must act quickly to safeguard their beloved village from impending floodwaters that threaten their homes and fields.


Main Description:


Fortification Efforts


Task Overview:

As the threat of a devastating flood looms over the village, the players are thrust into a leadership role, tasked with orchestrating the fortification of the community's defenses. This urgent effort focuses on reinforcing the river levees with sandbags, securing residential structures, and safeguarding key community centers like the food pantry and the local tavern, which serve as crucial gathering points for the villagers.


Detailed Challenges:

The players must navigate a series of logistical and environmental obstacles as they rally the village. With continuous, heavy rainfall complicating every action, the ground becomes muddy and slippery, making the physical labor of transporting and stacking sandbags exhausting and slow. Resources are scarce; the village may not have enough sandbags or other materials like lumber and nails, requiring players to improvise with available materials or scavenge additional supplies under harsh weather conditions.


Skill Checks and Interactions:

- Strength (Athletics): Required for the physically demanding tasks of filling, lifting, and placing heavy sandbags, and reinforcing structures.

- Intelligence (Nature): Players can utilize this skill to identify the best natural resources and local geographical features that can be used to enhance the village’s defenses. For example, understanding the natural flow of water could help in optimizing the placement of barricades.

- Charisma (Persuasion): Essential for keeping the villagers motivated despite the inclement weather and rising panic. Players might need to reassure frightened villagers, encourage exhausted workers, or negotiate with local leaders for more resources.


Rescue Operations


Task Overview:

In the midst of the flood, some villagers find themselves trapped by the swiftly rising waters, isolated on rooftops or caught in areas rapidly becoming inundated. The players must organize and execute rescue operations, navigating through the floodwaters to reach and safely extract these individuals. Options might include constructing makeshift rafts from debris or carefully maneuvering through the waters by swimming.


Detailed Challenges:

The floodwaters are fraught with hazards, including strong currents that can sweep away even the strongest swimmer, submerged debris that can injure or trap people, and panicked wildlife posing unexpected threats. In addition, the emotional shock experienced by stranded villagers can make rescue efforts more complicated, as they might be uncooperative or too frightened to follow instructions.


Skill Checks and Interactions:

- Dexterity (Acrobatics): Critical for maintaining balance and manoeuvring through or over obstacles in the floodwaters, such as navigating a raft through debris-laden waters.

- Wisdom (Medicine): Vital for providing immediate medical attention to injured villagers during rescues. This might involve quick first aid to address wounds or injuries sustained from the flood or during the rescue.

- Strength (Athletics): Needed for physically demanding rescue manoeuvres, such as pulling villagers onto rafts, swimming against strong currents, or lifting debris to free trapped individuals.


These encounters are designed to test a variety of player skills and abilities, pushing them to strategize under pressure and work cohesively as a team. Each successful action not only contributes to the immediate safety of the village and its inhabitants but also builds a deeper sense of community and trust between the players and the villagers, setting a strong foundation for future collaborative efforts and adventures.


Twist:

Mid-adventure, the players discover through a captured water sprite or a revealing spell that the storm is no natural phenomenon but a summoned entity. The arcane signature matches lore associated with a forgotten druidic cult believed to be extinct, rumoured to dwell deep in the neighbouring woods. This is a dark sub sect of the druids that the PCs previously encountered.


Continuity Element:

Investigating the source of the storm leads players to ancient standing stones in the druids' woods, where they find inscriptions warning of an ancient evil sealed within the land. Traces of recent rituals suggest that someone or something is attempting to awaken this slumbering darkness, tying into broader threats facing the region.


Characterization and Context:

Throughout the adventure, players interact with vividly depicted village characters: the brave, young mayor who rises to lead in crisis; an old sage who knows the legends of old; and various villagers whose fates players must directly influence. Each interaction is designed to deepen the connection to Harrenholme, highlighting the themes of community and resilience against looming threats.


Conclusion:

As the storm abates, thanks to the players' heroic efforts and the disruption of the summoning ritual, Harrenholme is left battered but unbeaten. The players are celebrated as heroes, but the lingering concern about the awakened evil ensures their adventures are far from over, setting the stage for further exploits rooted in the lore and legacy of Harrenholme.





Adventure Outline: The Witch in the Woods (Level 3)


Hook: Whispered Fears

Children in Harrenholme have been coming back from the woods with tales of a cloaked figure lurking among the trees, stirring fears of a witch in the close-knit community. Their stories, filled with descriptions of mysterious rituals and strange lights, have the town on edge. The local elders, concerned about safety and peace, have called upon the adventurers to investigate these eerie sightings and restore calm.


Main Description: Into the Thicket

The adventurers must venture into the dense woods surrounding Harrenholme. The journey leads them through ancient trees and forgotten paths, where they encounter various woodland creatures and remnants of old magic. As they delve deeper, they find small, peculiar signs of habitation—herbs drying on branches, small charms hanging from trees, and faint trails of smoke that suggest someone lives secluded in these woods.


To deepen the intrigue and challenge within the thicket surrounding Harrenholme, here are three tailored encounters that the adventurers might face as they seek to unravel the mystery of the cloaked figure and the whispered fears of witchcraft:


Encounter 1: The Whispering Spirits


Description:

As the adventurers delve into the darker, denser parts of the woods, they begin to hear whispers echoing through the trees. These are not just idle echoes; they are the spirits of the forest, disturbed by the recent activities and the presence of a powerful artifact.


Challenge:

The party must navigate through this spiritually charged area without angering or disturbing the spirits further. They will need to use Wisdom (Insight) to understand the nature of the whispers and Charisma (Persuasion) to communicate their peaceful intentions. A misstep here could agitate the spirits, leading to misleading paths or more direct confrontations with defensive woodland creatures.


Development:

Successfully navigating this encounter could lead the spirits to offer guidance or warnings about the dangers ahead, including hints about the protective charms placed by Mara to ward off unwelcome visitors or more sinister forces drawn by the artifact's power.


Encounter 2: The Guardian of the Grove


Description:

Within a secluded grove, the adventurers encounter a massive, ancient tree that seems to watch over a particular path. This tree is a guardian, animated by the old magic of the forest and Mara’s enchantments to protect the secrets it holds.


Challenge:

To pass beyond the guardian tree, the adventurers must solve a riddle carved into its trunk, involving knowledge of nature and the history of the forest (Intelligence (Nature) or Intelligence (History)). Alternatively, they could perform a respectful ritual that acknowledges the tree’s age and wisdom, requiring components found within the nearby flora (Wisdom (Survival)).


Development:

Solving the riddle or successfully performing the ritual earns the party the guardian’s trust, allowing them passage and possibly blessing them with a boon of protection or healing. Failure to respect the guardian might result in physical barriers sprouting to block the way or a minor curse affecting the party until they make amends.


Encounter 3: Charms and Wards


Description:

Closer to Mara’s abode, the forest path is lined with small charms made of twigs and vibrant stones, and mystical wards etched onto tree trunks. These are part of Mara’s defenses, designed to ward off evil spirits and prevent the unwise from stumbling upon her secrets.


Challenge:

The adventurers need to navigate through this labyrinth of magical protections without triggering the wards that could cause disorientation or alarm Mara prematurely. This will require careful observation and possibly the use of Detection spells (Intelligence (Arcana) or Wisdom (Perception)) to discern the safe path.


Development:

Careful handling of this encounter demonstrates to Mara their respect for her domain and mastery over their own impulses, facilitating a more peaceful initial meeting. Triggering the wards might not only alert her to their approach but could also activate defensive enchantments designed to confuse or temporarily incapacitate intruders.


These encounters within the thicket are designed to test the adventurers' respect for nature, their problem-solving skills, and their ability to interact harmoniously with the magical elements of the forest, setting the stage for their meeting with Mara and the unfolding revelations about the artefact and its powers.


Key NPCs:

- Mara the Herbalist: A reclusive but wise herbalist mistaken for a witch, skilled in the old ways of forest medicine.

- Eldwin, the Concerned Elder: Represents the village elders of Harrenholme, tasking the adventurers with their mission.


Investigation and Interaction:

The party must use a mix of tracking, survival skills, and perhaps a bit of diplomacy with the woodland creatures or spirits to locate Mara’s hidden abode. Upon discovering Mara, they find a gentle and misunderstood soul who has been using her knowledge of herbs and old magic to help the wildlife and occasionally, the villagers.


Twist: A Misunderstanding Unveiled

Mara is not a witch but an old friend of the healer in Harrenholme. Her secluded life has made her the subject of local myths and misconceptions. She reveals that her actions in the woods were to protect a powerful artefact piece she found, knowing its danger but not its purpose.


Continuity Element: The Artifact’s Secret

Mara explains that the piece of the artefact she guards has been reacting strangely, possibly due to the other pieces coming into play in the region. She provides the adventurers with essential information on how this artefact can be repaired and warns them of its potential to attract darker forces if not handled soon.


Conclusion: Returning with Knowledge

Armed with new understanding and Mara’s trust, the adventurers are tasked with deciding how to use this knowledge. Returning to Harrenholme, they must calm the community’s fears with their findings, potentially setting the stage for further adventures involving the artifact, ensuring Mara’s safety, and perhaps, changing the town's perception of the mysterious woods forever.





Adventure Outline: The Goblin Market (Level 3)


Hook:

Every ten years, as the autumn leaves begin their vibrant dance, the elusive Goblin Market appears near the outskirts of Harrenholme. This event, shrouded in mystery and anticipation, is known for its exotic offerings and unpredictable nature. It is run by goblins who, despite their mischievous reputation, maintain a strict neutrality during the market's tenure.


Main Description:

This year, rumors swirl about a rare item—a Cloak of Whispering Shadows—that has the power to shield the wearer from prying eyes and ears and to extend this power to others. This item is crucial for Harrenholme, as it would greatly aid in safeguarding their scouts and gatherers venturing into increasingly dangerous territories. The adventurers must navigate through a chaotic sprawl of stalls, tents, and a jostling crowd of otherworldly patrons. They will interact with crafty goblin traders, barter with ethereal entities, and avoid or engage with pickpockets and tricksters, all while searching for the cloak.



Encounter 1: The Goblin Market Stall


Description:

The adventurers learn that a group of goblin traders might have information about the cloak. These goblins are known for their crafty dealings and love of valuable, often magical items.


Challenge:

The party must navigate through the packed market to the goblin’s colorful, cluttered stall. Here, they must engage in sharp negotiation and perhaps a bit of cunning deceit or clever bartering to gain information about the cloak’s whereabouts. The goblins, wary of being cheated but eager for a good trade, propose a challenging barter.


Skills Tested:

- Charisma (Persuasion) to negotiate.

- Intelligence (Investigation) to ascertain the truth of the goblins’ claims.

- Wisdom (Insight) to detect any deceit.


Development:

Successfully handling the goblins reveals that the cloak was last seen with a mysterious, ethereal merchant who only appears at the full moon, which is tonight.


Encounter 2: The Ethereal Merchant


Description:

Following the goblins' information, the adventurers wait for the full moon, when a ghostly stall appears at the edge of the market. The stall is run by an ethereal entity, shimmering between realms, offering goods that flicker in and out of existence.


Challenge:

The entity is not interested in normal currency but seeks memories or promises. The adventurers must decide what they are willing to trade for the cloak—perhaps a precious memory or a vow of future service.


Skills Tested:

- Charisma (Persuasion) to negotiate a fair exchange.

- Wisdom (Will) to resist giving too much away.

- Constitution (Saving Throws) to withstand the draining effect of trading memories.


Development:

Acquiring the cloak might come at a personal cost, but refusing or failing the entity’s demands could result in the cloak slipping through their fingers.


Encounter 3: Thieves in the Shadows


Description:

As the adventurers secure the cloak, they catch the attention of a band of shadowy figures—thieves who have been stalking the cloak’s power for their own nefarious purposes.


Challenge:

These thieves are skilled in stealth and ambush tactics. The adventurers must protect their newly acquired artifact from being stolen, engaging in a mix of combat and tactical retreats through the crowded, labyrinthine market.


Skills Tested:

- Dexterity (Stealth) to evade or ambush the thieves.

- Strength (Athletics) for physical confrontations.

- Intelligence (Tactics) to navigate the market strategically during combat.


Development:

Successfully thwarting the thieves not only secures the cloak but also earns the adventurers a reputation in Harrenholme as capable and reliable defenders. If the thieves succeed, the adventurers may need to track them down, leading to further adventures.



Tasks and Challenges:

- Bartering for Information: Players need to use their charisma and wit to gather information about the cloak’s whereabouts.

- A Game of Gobstones: To earn the trust of a key goblin merchant, players must win a traditional goblin game involving strategy and risk.

- Guarding the Goods: Protect a merchant’s stall from thieves to receive a clue about the cloak.


Twist:

As the adventurers close in on the cloak, they are approached by a goblin elder. This goblin offers them a deal: the cloak in exchange for their assistance in a diplomatic mission. This involves representing the goblin community in upcoming talks with other local factions to address a rising threat looming over the region—a band of rogue dark elves plotting to seize control of the trade routes.


Continuity Element:

The market serves as a neutral ground where talks about the rising threats are held. By participating in these talks, the adventurers not only secure the cloak but also begin to lay the groundwork for an alliance that could protect Harrenholme and its surrounding areas from future dangers.


Conclusion:

The adventure wraps up with the heroes returning to Harrenholme, cloak in possession, potentially with new allies and a deeper understanding of the regional politics at play. Their success at the market could change the future of Harrenholme, making it a key player in the political landscape that surrounds it.





Adventure Outline: Winter’s Heart (Level 3)


Hook: The Longest Night

As Harrenholme prepares for the winter solstice, an unnatural cold descends, penetrating every home and chilling every heart. This supernatural freeze heralds the onset of the Longest Night, a night that threatens to stretch into eternity unless the heroes can break its hold.


Main Description: The Darkness Gathers

This frigid darkness is not a mere seasonal shift but a malevolent force enveloping Harrenholme. Rumors whisper of a corrupted entity, a dark presence whose rise to power is linked to the disturbances in the Feyrealm and the displacement of fey creatures into the mortal world. The adventurers must trace the source of this corruption through an increasingly warped landscape, journeying through frostbitten forests that murmur with malice, to a cavern cloaked in eternal twilight.


The malevolent force casting a shadow over Harrenholme and extending the night into an endless winter is none other than Erendrin, a once-guardian spirit of the Feyrealm who has been corrupted by a dark sorcery. Known in ancient fey legends as "The Blight Warden," Erendrin was originally appointed to guard the borders of the Feyrealm against the encroachment of dark energies seeping from the Void, a realm of pure chaos and corruption.


The Rise of Erendrin:

Transformation into Villainy: Centuries ago, during a celestial convergence, Erendrin was exposed to an artifact imbued with Void energies. This artefact was intended to be sealed away, but its power proved too alluring. Overcome by the artefact's malevolent whispers, Erendrin believed he could harness its power to enhance his abilities. Instead, the artefact corrupted him, infusing him with Void energy that twisted his form and mind, turning him into a conduit for the Void’s expansion into the Feyrealm and beyond.


Exile and Return: Once his corruption was discovered, Erendrin was exiled by the Fey Court. Driven by revenge and his growing corruption, he sought refuge in the deepest, coldest part of the Feyrealm, where the barriers between worlds are thin. Over millennia, he amassed power, drawing creatures of darkness to his cause and plotting his return to not only reclaim the Feyrealm but also to extend his dominion over the mortal world.


Manifestation of Power:

Influence Over Winter: Erendrin's connection to the Void allows him to manipulate cold and darkness, extending winter into unnatural lengths, freezing the land, and sapping the life from everything it touches. His return is marked by a supernatural winter that not only threatens crops and lives but also serves as a literal and metaphorical darkness engulfing the land.

Corrupted Fey Followers: Many creatures of the Feyrealm, particularly those susceptible to darker emotions such as despair and vengeance, have fallen under Erendrin's influence. These corrupted fey, now shadows of their former selves, serve as his eyes and hands, spreading his icy grip further into the mortal world.


Encounter Development:

Journey Through the Warped Forest: As the adventurers trace the corruption's source, they navigate a forest twisted by Erendrin's magic. Trees are encased in black ice, and shadows move with hostile intent. The forest itself tries to disorient and drain the adventurers, reflecting Erendrin's power to warp reality.


Confrontation in the Cavern of Eternal Twilight: The final confrontation occurs in a cavern where the barriers between the Feyrealm and the mortal world are dangerously thin. Here, Erendrin attempts to complete a ritual that will shatter the barriers completely, allowing the Void to consume both realms. The cavern is veiled in perpetual twilight, a realm where time and light are distorted, challenging the adventurers to navigate and confront Erendrin amidst his full powers.


The Role of the Artifact: The shattered artifact that the adventurers have been piecing together holds the key to either sealing away Erendrin's power or enhancing it. The climax involves a tense ritual where the adventurers must use the artifact to either seal the cavern, cutting off Erendrin's connection to the Void, or risk using its power to banish him directly, with potential consequences for its misuse.



Major Encounters:

  1. Encounter with the Ice Sentinels:

  • Description: As the adventurers enter the frost-covered forest, they are ambushed by Ice Sentinels, twisted faunal spirits encased in shimmering ice, corrupted by the dark energies.

  • Challenge: Combat skills will be tested against these resilient foes, requiring clever tactics and teamwork to overcome their chilling attacks.

  1. The Whispering Woods:

  • Description: Deeper in the forest, the trees themselves seem to whisper secrets of the dark entity's origins and weaknesses.

  • Challenge: The party must use Wisdom (Perception) and Intelligence (Nature) to interpret these whispers and learn of a hidden shard of the artifact nearby.

  1. The Frost Giant’s Lair:

  • Description: A frost giant, driven mad by the fractured artifact’s energy, guards a crucial shard.

  • Challenge: This encounter demands both diplomacy and might, as players can choose to negotiate with the giant or brave the cold fury of his wrath.

  1. The Guardian’s Test:

  • Description: Within the cavern, the spectral guardian of the artifact challenges the heroes to prove their worthiness.

  • Challenge: Each hero must face personal trials, tailored to their fears and past, testing their resolve and growth throughout their adventures.

  1. The Ritual of Mending:

  • Description: With all shards gathered, the adventurers must perform a ritual to mend the artefact amidst an onslaught of shadowy minions.

  • Challenge: This final stand tests the party’s ability to work together under pressure, defending the ritual caster from waves of enemies.

Twist: The Shattered Artifact

Within the cavern, the root of the eternal winter is revealed—a once-protective artefact, now shattered. The breaking of this artefact has torn the fabric of reality, allowing the dark presence to influence the mortal world. A spectral guardian, bound to these fragments, narrates the tale of the artefact's fall during a failed ritual intended to seal away the growing darkness.

Continuity and Conclusion: Mending the Rift

As the heroes piece together the artifact, they unravel the mystery behind the corruption spreading from the Feyrealm. The final ritual not only demands the recovery of the artifact's shards but also the unity of Halflings and fey. Together, they hold back the encroaching darkness while the adventurers confront the malevolent entity behind the Longest Night.


Denouement

The successful completion of the ritual and the defeat of the dark entity herald the dawn of a new day. The sun rises, scattering the remnants of the unnatural cold, as Harrenholme and its allies bask in the warmth of victory and renewed safety. The mended artifact, now purged of its corruption, stands as a symbol of resilience, its guardianship entrusted to the heroes who have proven themselves protectors of Harrenholme and its extended fey family.

This grand conclusion not only resolves the immediate threat but also sets a foundation for future adventures, with Harrenholme emerging as a beacon of hope and unity between the mortal and fey realms.


Ten Locations





1. The Black Earth Glade

Nestled between rolling hills, the Black Earth Glade is a serene meadow known to the Ghostwise Halflings for its strange, silent speech that seems to emanate from the earth itself. Adventurers might feel the spike growth underfoot as the magic of the land tests their resolve. Legends tell of a buried magical item, capable of granting its wielder enhanced spellcasting abilities.


2. The Longdell Caverns

Hidden within the Harrenholme's dense forests, the Longdell Caverns are a series of rocky chambers believed to be the resting place of a legendary long sword once wielded by a hero of the lightfoot halflings. The caverns' walls shimmer with traces of quartz.


3. Fellnight Hill

This mysterious hill is shrouded in perpetual twilight, created by an ancient spell of the mark. Known to only a few, including the wise strongheart halflings, it’s said that here the boundary between the real world and the fantasy game thins, allowing creatures of dark magic easy passage. The hill offers a great opportunity for higher-level characters to test their magical powers.


4. The Lost Halfling’s Hollow

A quaint village abandoned after a savage halfling attack, now said to be haunted by halfling ghosts with glowing blue eyes. Visitors must navigate difficult terrain and may need the help of lesser restoration spells to cope with the lingering malaise. Treasure-seekers must beware as the spirits are protective of their remaining gold pieces.


5. The Glimmerwood

The Glimmerwood is a dense forest that sparkles with bioluminescent flora and is home to the mysterious lotudsen halflings who are skilled in pact magic class features. The light from the forest can guide or mislead travellers, and hidden within are dungeons that promise new friends and formidable foes.


6. Starfall Clearing

Once a meteorite crash site, now a clearing ringed by trees scorched by celestial fire. The impact revealed a cavern system below, where star wars among ancient celestial beings are etched into the walls. The site pulsates with unearthed arcana, attracting scholars and adventurers alike to uncover its cosmic secrets.


7. Arovin Mountains

The peaks are notorious for their icy conditions and treacherous paths, making it a difficult terrain for any adventurer. Home to the Icefinger clan of savage halflings, who are known to guard a powerful magical item that grants extra movement in snowy conditions. A test of survival skills and cold weather spellcasting is inevitable here.


8. The Bitterfen Bog

Nestled in the shadow of the formidable Arovin Mountains lies the Bitterfen Bog, a vast, dense wetland that challenges even the most seasoned adventurers. The bog is known for its thick mists that roll in without warning, its ground a deceptive mix of solid earth and treacherous, sucking mud pits. Vegetation is dense and twisted, with gnarled trees and thick underbrush nearly obscuring the sky in some places.


9. Mistmere Ponds

These ponds emit a mysterious mist that can alter an adventurer’s charisma score temporarily. It is said that the ghostwise halflings once used this place for secret meetings, utilizing their silent speech to go unnoticed. Now, the ponds are guarded by a small creature known only as "The Keeper," who challenges visitors with riddles and lore.


10. The Rune-Carved Cliffs

Overlooking the Golvern valley, these cliffs carry ancient runes that glow under the moonlight, revealing secrets to those with the right spell list. It is a favored spot for new characters to test their dungeon master's preparedness and their own campaign setting knowledge. The cliffs offer not just physical challenges but mental ones, pushing adventurers to connect clues and uncover larger mysteries.

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