This adventure is intended for a strong and balanced party of Characters Levels 3-5, though higher level characters could certainly find challenge in the Goblin House. It is written for Swords & Wizards in the Highlands, a Swords & Wizardry Variant, but should be fully compatible with most classic RPGs.
Three years ago, a strange, grey and black doorless house sprung up overnight in a clearing in the dark forest to the east of Hope Cross Village. Oric the Hunter, Jorn the Trapper, Constable Arten Waller and a group of village men went to investigate. They came back with few answers and one of their number, Oric the Hunter who climbed atop the glassy slate roof to investigate the chimney, returned cut to ribbons and infected with a terribly wasting disease.
Shiralla the Witchwoman used her magical arts to divine the nature of this new alien structure: a Goblin House. Little is known about Goblin Houses but that they appear suddenly, as if they grow up right from the ground itself, and soon after their appearance, animals and grain and trinkets, and, worst of all, children go missing. Sure enough, three days after the Goblin House appeared, sheep came up missing from the flocks on the Southdowns. Then the grain bin was broken into. A cow went missing a few days later. And then the little ones started to disappear.
The locals besieged the Goblin House with battering ram and flaming pitch, but to no avail. The house stood, smoldering but undamaged. Petitions to the Governor of Jacob’s Well brought a garrison of soldiers and a powerful wizard to gain entrance to the terrible structure, but they left three weeks later after half their number, including their magic user, succumbed to a strange wasting sickness.
Every spring, two or three children go missing from the village, every summer a few animals disappear, every fall the harvest is plundered. The locals have begrudgingly accepted the fact that Hope Cross is cursed and wait in terror every spring for what they call “The Culling” to begin another year of horror. It is only through the short winter days and long winter nights that the people find any peace as they pray for the house to disappear as suddenly as it appeared.