As the party exits a shop in [town name here] the people are running about, shouting and asking about the reinforcements from Imbecville (or Dimsburg). One townsperson (Jeannie Wylder) stops the party, “have you seen them? WHY AREN’T THEY HERE YET?! They were supposed to arrive this morning along the Mongo Byway, but no one has heard anything.”
The town’s normal armed forces are currently away at the Greased-Up Goblin Chasing Realm Championship, and a nasty pack of Death Dogs was spotted by the town scout Jabby Gohnson. The dogs are headed toward the town from the North, while the reinforcements should be arriving from the South. “They may be skilled in battle, but they don’t have one brain among them. Please, find them and return before we are overrun by the beasts. Our Northern defenses will only hold for so long.”
DM Note: Mongo Byway is roughly 2 miles South and the Death Dogs were spotted 4 miles to the North. The party can attempt to find reinforcements or try to sturdy up the defenses and await the Death Dogs. The number of Death Dogs will be overwhelming if they opt to not seek the help of reinforcements and the carnage will be intense. The townsfolk can speak to this if the party has questions.
Things Are Going South
If the party ventures off to find the reinforcements from Imbecville (or Dimsburg), the path to Mongo Byway is easy terrain and they should be able to make it there without much issue. As the pass through rolling hills, they’ll come to a large clearing with a shallow riverbed running through it. The shallow riverbed has a makeshift bridge across it, though the river is dry enough that most individuals would not opt to use the bridge. Scanning the area, they will see a band of warriors in the middle, surrounding the south-side of a building.
Nearing closer, they begin to hear an argument, seemingly between the reinforcements and whoever is in the building. Emerging from the building is a male Firbolg, who folds his arms and stands in front of what seems to be a sort of toll-booth arm that extends down across the bridge. The arm is not wide enough to prevent passage, but the Firbolg is shouting back at the group, “Rules are rules, you have to pay the toll in order to get past! It’s 10cp for each person in your group, and I count at least 20 of you.”
“That’s almost 150cp!” Shouts one of the reinforcements.
If the party interrupts this scene, both sides will be extremely caught up in the emotion. If the party attempts to pay for the group, they will need exactly 200cp, which cannot be paid in any other currency. The firbolg introduces himself as Grick Taggart, and refuses to let anyone pass by the bridge.
DM Note: The firbolg should be an incredibly frustrating NPC. The copper pieces must be exact and if the party tries to rush him he will insist on counting it one piece at a time to ensure it’s all there. If they interrupt him he will start over. If the party attempts to forcibly lift the arm, the firbolg will threaten to unleash his manager, an unruly and angry Fomorian named Brett. They could always kill him if that makes it easier, but what about Grick’s family?!
If the party pushes the reinforcements to go through the riverbed, they will timidly do so, all while Grick yells at them. Brett the Fomorian never shows up, but could be a fun monster to encounter later on (very protective off Grick and his tollbooth).
Getting the reinforcements paid for, Grick will lift the arm and everyone may pass through, each of the group yelling at each other that they should get to go first. The leader of the group identifies himself as Gumm Chooer, and goes into a long speech about his lineage and why he owes the town to the North. The party will need to encourage him to move it along, noting the urgency of the Death Dogs about to attack.
Dog Day Afternoon
Getting back to town with the reinforcements, the townsfolk will quickly position everyone at the north gate. Gumm will ask the party to focus on a particular chokepoint to eliminate the alphas, while they clean up the rest.
Depending on party size and level, they can likely handle 4+ Death Dogs. You can lower to Blink Dogs or Mastiffs if needed or increase to two Cerberus (CR9). Regardless, once they handle the group of alphas, they will reconvene with the reinforcements, who are just about finished with dispatching their batch of Death Dogs.
Once resolved, the party can resume their shopping or whatever they were up to before the commotion. The reinforcements will head to the tavern for a drinking competition amongst themselves, but the interim town leader will find the party and thank them for their work. As they are not the official leader (see previous note about Goblin Catching), they’ll offer up a small pouch of cp, enough to repay the 200cp spent at the tollbridge. They’ll also offer a 50% discount to the Biggle Bros Ball Bearing Emporium in the middle of town.
Thanks to Fireside Dice Pod and Guaranteed Adventures Podcast for the naming suggestions for where the reinforcements are from!