Monster in the Closet

Monster in the Closet (CR 1/2)
Alergast and Amele Barett are a typical Sandpoint
family, with two children (little Aeren and baby Verah)
and a loyal family dog named Petal. They were present
at the Swallowtail Festival, where Aeren saw a goblin
light a cat on fire and then caper around the burning
remains—the poor boy really hasn’t been the same since.
Every night, his howls of terror send Petal into a barking
fit, and when his parents investigate, Aeren claims a
goblin came out of his closet. Alergast checked the closet
dutifully but found nothing, and ever since, the kid’s
complaints about the “closet goblin” have grown more
and more tiresome to his parents. Yesterday, Alergast
threatened to make Aeren sleep in the woodshed if he
couldn’t learn to “be a man” and sleep through an entire
night without crying and telling stories.
All of this is told to the PCs by a tearful Amele Barett
several evenings after the goblin raid; she approaches
the PCs in a panic, clutching baby Verah to her chest
with one hand and clinging to the back of Aeren’s shirt
with the other. She goes on to say that last night Alergast
didn’t go to soothe Aeren when he had his night terrors.
But then, a few moments later, they heard poor Petal cry
out in pain and Aeren’s screams turn shrill. This time
Aeren wasn’t just having nightmares. Amele pauses,
takes a breath, and then shows the PCs Aeren’s arms.
They’re covered with fresh goblin bites.
When Alergast burst into the room, he found a goblin
crouched on his son’s chest. Petal was dead, a knife deep
in his ear, and the goblin was frantically trying to chew
off Aeren’s arm. Alergast attacked the goblin and chased
it back into the closet, where it clambered into a hole it
had cleverly hidden under an old fur. Alergast f lew into
a rage, and as he started tearing apart the closet in an
attempt to get at the goblin, Amele panicked and f led
the house with her children to seek out the PCs for aid.
CREATURE: The goblin in the Barett house is a
commando named Gresgurt who sneaked into the
building after the raid turned sour. He found a loose
f loorboard in the closet, frantically hacked an opening
large enough for him to fit into the enclosed crawl
space under the house, and pulled a fur over the hole
to hide it. He only intended to stay there for a few
hours until things died down outside, then planned on
sneaking out of town, but the exhaustion of the raid
caught up with him and he fell asleep. When he woke
the next night and tried to sneak out, he woke Petal and
Aeren. As frightened by the dog as the kid was of him,
Gresgurt f led back into the crawl space, visions of the
hateful and frightening dog filling his little goblin
mind. It seemed like every time Gresgurt peeked out,
that dog was there, ready to bark. Unable to escape
for fear of the dog, Gresgurt subsisted on spiders and
worms plucked from the dirt f loor of the small crawl
space for days, and over those days, his fear turned
to anger. His driving desire shifted from escape to a
burning need to kill the dog. And yet, he had no real
weapons; he’d broken his horsechopper in his efforts to
get into the crawl space below the house. All he had left
were fragments of the blade, one of which he used to
build a crude knife. Tonight, he emerged, killed Petal,
and in his nearly starved state tried to eat Aeren alive.
When the PCs arrive at the Barett house, they find it
disturbingly silent. Upon reaching Aeren’s room, they
find Alergast Barett on his belly, as if he had crawled into
the closet. In truth, he did just that. In an attempt to kill
the goblin, Alergast underestimated the creature. When
he reached down into the hole to try to grab Gresgurt,
the goblin jumped up and cut his throat. Ravenous, the
commando tried to haul Alergast’s body into the crawl
space to eat it, but the body got stuck once he got the
upper torso through the hole.
If the PCs pull back Alergast’s body, they find him to
be quite dead, the f lesh of his face and upper torso eaten
away. An instant later, the insane goblin shrieks in rage
at its stolen dinner and leaps up out of the hole to attack.
By this point, Gresgurt’s long captivity in the crawl space
has left him almost feral with hunger and fear, and he’s
come to view the entire house as his.

GRESGURT 200 XP 1/2 CR HP 12


Goblin commando (see page 18)
Melee dagger 3 (1d31)
DEVELOPMENT: If the PCs kill Gresgurt, Amele is thankful
until she learns of her husband’s fate, whereupon she
has a complete breakdown. The PCs might be at a loss
as to what to do with the situation, but fortunately the
commotion quickly summons Sheriff Hemlock, who
takes in the scene with his customary grim expression.
He thanks the PCs for helping and arranges to have the
Barett family stay at the cathedral for a few days. Amele’s
sister from Magnimar soon arrives in Sandpoint to take
the distraught family back south to live with her. If the
PCs are present when she collects her sister’s broken
family, she shoots them a cold glare and mutters, “Too bad
you heroes weren’t a bit more thorough in your ‘heroing.’”

Monster in the Closet

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