Skip to Content

The Crown of Idbol Bark

NOTE: This resource was created before I had begun to decolonize my way of thinking, and should be read carefully. It may present beliefs or assumption that don't match what I currently believe.

The Crown of Idbol Bark is a(n) game

it is about Bark, Idbol, Belcaer, Chandlers Guild, Gloaming, goblins, Harbrook, Abeth, Jacob's Folly, and Teraum

The Crown of Idbol Bark

The Crown of Idbol Bark is a tabletop role-playing adventure in which , usually taking between to complete. This adventure was written to be used with the Brave Old World ruleset.


Danger is never far in the Gloaming, where marshes and mesas give home to bandits and beasts. The lone trade road through the region is a gauntlet for traveling merchants.

The town of Belcaer is a haven for those travelers. The same magic-users who built the trade road built the town as a fortress. On top of a limestone mesa, the town now exists to serve travelers. Residents offer meager services, hoping to win the travelers’ coin.

Recently there haven't been many coins to take. A bandit calling himself “King Brag” has been mugging travelers. Now, farmers are reporting missing livestock.

A local official named Abeth Harbrook believes she has found where the “king” is hiding: Jacob's Folly, an tower built and abandoned in the forgotten past.

She's offering to pay anyone who captures the “king,” and the party has gathered at her office.

Who is “King Bark”, really?

X X

X

To the extent possible under U.S. law, the author of this work has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work.

X


Before beginning the session, your party should know:

X X

X

Exposition

Settings

Cast

The Plot

Scene One: Receiving the Quest

The members of the party are to meet, together or individually, with Abeth Harbrook, at her offices in the Guildhouse. She is the highest-ranked local official of the Chandlers Guild, a commercial organization based in the distant city of Ack.

They rely on trade coming through the Gloaming, so have recently invested in the region and the town. Much of the trade road has been recently covered in gravel. In town, they built the Guildhouse, a massive pine structure that sticks out over the edge of the mesa, held up by a lattice of timber.

Abeth Harbrook has kept the party waiting, and now comes out to meet them in the waiting room. She apologies for addressing them as a group, if they aren't already associated.

Two seasons ago, Abeth Harbrook first heard rumors of a “king,” from travelers that claimed they were mugged on the trade road. At first she dismissed the claims as exaggerations. She thought they wanted to get out of paying guild tariffs.

Last season, livestock began to disappear from local farms. Barns and silos were painted to say “King Bark Was Here” and “Idbol Bark Is King.”

Recent attempts to arrest the “king” failed, but revealed the location of his hideout: Jacob's Folly, a short tower built eight miles outside of town.

How does the party plan to capture King Idbol Bark?

If the party risks interrogating Abeth Harbrook, she may include that victims claimed the bandits were exceptionally tall and wore masks. She withheld this information because she thought it was an exaggeration.

An adventurer knowledgable about goblin culture may recognize “Bark” as a goblin surname.

Scene Two: Travel to the Tower

Jacob's Folly is approximately eight miles from Belcaer. Six of those miles are northwest along the trade road, The final two are through shallow marsh, broken by massive limestone outcroppings.

How does the party get to Jacob's Folly?

If traveling at night or in inclement weather, the party risks getting lost, though knowledge of navigation would help.

If the party travels quietly (such as at night or in inclement weather,) as they approach the tower, they will remain undetected until reaching “Scene Three.”

Otherwise, they will be met by a group of “bandits” on the road, who declare, in sqeaky rough voices, that declares they are in the territory of King Bark, and must surrender their money and supplies.

Each bandit is actually two goblins in a long cloak, one standing on the others shoulders and wearing a mask.

How does the party handle these “bandits”?

If the party has horses or other livestock, the goblins will attempt to steal these even if the party refuses to surrender. Otherwise, they are more inclined to run than fight. If captured, they will happily give the party directions to Jacob's Folly, saying that King Bark would be happy for them to come bend the knee.

Scene Three: The Tower Exterior

The limestone outcroppings in the marsh hide Jacob's Folly until the party is nearly there.

The limestone tower is three-storeys, and approximately twenty-five feet tall and ten feet across. It is in a clearing about fifty yards across. The tower's entrance has been sealed with the same limestone bricks as the tower. There are a couple of windows near the top. Pine planks, five on each side, are shoved into the mortar. They form an unstable ladder up to the windows.

Goblins are working around the tower, tearing grass out of the muck and stuffing it into sacks. There is a burnt-out bonfire with horse bones in it.

How does the party get into Jacob's Folly?

When a member of the party moves into the clearin,g any goblins near them will quietly move toward the tower, informing others on the way.

Some goblins will remain outside the tower, hiding behind rock outcroppings in the field and throwing stones and debris at the party. If the party risks engaging with any of those goblins, goblins at the top of the tower will have time to start burning straw on the roof the tower, which they will drop on the party when they approach the bottom of the tower.

If approaching in the evening, the party risks being noticed by an owlbear mother that nests on the top of the tower, who will swoop down and harass them, making the goblins aware of them. The owlbear mother will attempt to carry any small (<120lb) adventurer into its nest, where two hungry owlbear hatchlings are waiting for them.

Placing more than 120lb on any single rung of the goblins’ improvised ladder is risk, with every 20lb making it riskier. Depending on the result, a rung could loosen or break. The adventurer might gain a fear of heights, or could fall, and even break a bone.

An adventurer who gets to the roof of Jacob's Folly would be able to take those hatchlings and raise them, but unless the mother is killed, she will follow her hatchlings to the ends of the world and try and get them back.

Scene Four: The Tower Interior

The inside of the tower is dark, stinky, and beginning to fill with acrid smoke.

When the party enters the room at the top of the tower, through the window on the third storey, they'll find an empty room with some sticks, dry piles of dung, buckets, and a large brass dish that's clearly been used for fires, and might still have straw burning in it. The goblins will retreat down underneath the trap door on the ground floor.

There are two other “floors” inside the tower, though they are empty except for more dirty straw and dung. There is a large, heavy wood door in the floor at the ground level.

Once the party has entered the tower, all the goblins are underneath this trap door, and have removed the ladder normally placed under it. To get to the floor below is a seven-foot drop.

Smoke rises through the trapdoor, filling the tower with thicker smoke that makes every risk riskier.

If the party is on the ground floor during the daytime, they will see light entering the room through cracks in the filled-in doorway. A strong character might risk knocking the mortar down, letting the smoke out of the tower.

Opening the trapdoor exposes the party to further harassment from the goblins, but provides an opportunity for dialog. The goblins will call the party cowards, and say that if they come down there, King Bark is going to get them.

How does the party get to King Bark?

Scene Five: The Tower Basement

The room is circular, a bit wider in diameter than the tower above, and is full of farm tools and preserved foodstuff and grains.

Among the approximately two-dozen goblins in this room is one wearing a “crown” made of twisted-together silverware: Idbol Bark, leader of this group of goblins.

How does the party capture King Bark?

The goblins have no further means of retreat, so will fight until unable. King Bark has no exceptional combat skills, and no goblin is armed with anything more than farm and kitchen tools.

Epilogue

Once King Bark and his goblins have been captured, disbanded, or eliminated, the party should return to Belcaer and tell Abeth Harbrook what happened, and potentially turn over custody of King Bark and other goblins to her custody.

Supplements

Character Templates

Index

Bark, Idbol
A self-proclaimed “king” threatening travelers and residents in the Gloaming. X
Belcaer
A trade town in the Gloaming. X
Chandlers Guild
A powerful company with offices across Teraum. X
Crown of Idbol Bark
A simple “crown” twisted out of discarded utensils. X X
Gloaming
Sparsely populated, the region is covered in fens broken by rocky outcroppings. X
goblins
Goblins are a race of humanoids that vanished 80 years ago, and certainly don't exist now. X
Guildhouse
One of the largest buildings in Belcaer, home to the offices of the Chandlers Guild, among others. X
Harbook, Abeth
The primary representative of the Chandlers Guild in the town of Belcaer, with an office in the Guildhouse. X
Jacob's Folly
A limestone tower built long in the past, well outside the town of Belcaer. X

Rules

Brave Old World is a set of rules for telling a story by having a structured conversation. It requires a six-sided dice (two is easier), a sheet of paper, something to write with, and two to six players (four to six is better).

One player takes the role of narrator, who starts and guides the story, and the others take the roles of adventurers, characters in that story. The story and characters may be created by the players as a group, or sourced from pre-written Adventures.

The narrator says where the adventurers are and what is happening around them. The adventurers say what it is they'd like to do. When an adventurer takes a risk, they roll two six-sided die (or one dice twice) and add the results.

If the adventurer is knowledgeable about or skilled at what triggered the roll, they can add 1 (+1) to their result.

After an player rolls, the narrator says how the game world reacts to their result, and the conversation continues, with players then saying how their adventurer would respond to those reactions.

This continues until players run out of time or reach a good stopping point in the story.