Based on a two-week old letter that Moonlight had written, the halfling placed her father’s last known location in the village of Eastbrook, where the Reiuwood met the foot of the Glorioles, a mountain range north of the Sunndi.
Eastbrook was a small hamlet with most of the buildings having been built of timber from the surrounding forest. There was one exception, the Temple of Pelor, north of the town square.
It was in this stone temple that the two companions met the grey-bearded Patriarch.
After seeking audience with him, they wasted no time with pleasantries and quickly asked about the missing halfling.
Patriarch: Moonlight was helping me in my research. Just after winter, some local hunters had discovered the ruins of an old tower. I sent your father to investigate, but he hasn’t returned. There has also been something raiding the farms nearby and the source of our troubles might be coming from that tower.
I kept the premise of the The Ruined Tower the same with the exception of adding the bit about Starlight’s father.
Later, after their first crawl came to an end, I thought they would believe the Patriarch was a jerk, because he was the one who sent Moonlight to investigate, now he’s gone missing and the Patriarch didn’t alert anyone?
The Patriarch had no idea the PCs were even going to show up, which would lead one to believe he could not care less about Moonlight’s disappearance.
What a dick.
Maybe I was just rusty? I mean, a seasoned group of players would have been suspicious about all of this from the start and I would have had to respond appropriately.
Player: So, he didn’t even post a bulletin in the town square about the missing halfling?
You may think, as the DM, I could have just had the Patriarch summon them via letter about Moonlight’s disappearance and be done with it. However, there was something holding me back from this easy out. Kay had specifically written into Starlight’s background that the letter was from her father and she had grown suspicious, since he had not written in over two weeks. I wanted to work with this background.
I also thought it would be cheap to say, “Oh, and the Patriarch sent you a letter too.”
I was not that rusty.
It was not the module’s fault. I added the missing person, so I was the reason the Patriarch did not put more effort into seeking help.
It still bothered me that I did not think of this until later and it nagged at my DM brain. I wanted to have answers, even if I was the only one that cared about the questions. I was not happy with the idea of retconning anything, “There was a post about your father in the town square.” I made it worse, since only a few of the town folk mentioned seeing a halfling working with the Patriarch, if at all, during actual play.
Oh well, this was their first game and they had no reason to question character motivation or notice any plot holes.
With directions given to them by the Patriarch and with added instructions to bring back any books they find, to help in his studies, they headed north-west into the damp Reiuwood forest in search of the ruined tower.