Troubles in the Town

A curiosity about the folk of Feybridge Crossing is that they never seem willing to accept that things going wrong could be their fault, or perhaps just unfortunate coincidence. Instead they lay blame for all misfortune on a creature they call a Grimple. I cannot say for sure whether such a creature actually exists, but surely it could not be the reason for every mishap that has befallen a villager.
— Khala the Traveler in The Traveler's Guide to the Feywood
In the village of Feybridge Crossing deep in the Feywood, accidents and mishaps seem to occur more often than would be expected. Most are little things and almost all are things that could be attributed to poor maintenance or carelessness. But the folk of the village are convinced there is mischief afoot, and the culprit they blame is a Gremlin creature called a Grimple.

The Explanation

If asked, nearly every resident of Feybridge Crossing will claim that their village is unlucky enough to have attracted a gremlin that seems determined to make their lives miserable. They will explain that the creature, who they have named "Grouch", takes the "death of a thousand cuts" approach to its torment. No one thing is every truly terrible, but it doesn't take long for trivial annoyances to stack up into a significant pain in the neck.

Grouch apparently delights in breaking things... or more exactly in making sure things break. And according to the stories told by the village folk, his favorite things to break are gate latches. Myrill Caladrian, the proprietor of the livery stable near the Two Bridges Inn recounts a time when the stable was filled one evening with horses and wagons of a merchant train heading to Karnstown from north of the wood. The corral's fence latch mysteriously failed and seven horses wandered out of the corral overnight. It took him two days to find them all, and their owners were not happy about the delay. Aydin Sutton, who owns a poultry shop in town, and who raises chickens at his home at the edge of town, tells of the doors to his chicken sheds being mysteriously unlatched on the Firstday of every week for almost half a year.

The Truth Behind the Tale

There really is a grimple living nearby Feybridge Crossing, but the creature is only responsible for a small proportion of the mishaps that are attributed to him. The Firstday chicken shed doors were his doing, for example, but the corral gate latch was the result of simple carelessness of the proprietor's son. The creature's name is Krum, not "Grouch". Above all things, Krum hates the sounds of folk having a good time. Thus, the tavern is his most frequent target for mischief.

Surprisingly, the one situation he is most responsible for is something for which he is never blamed. One of his favorite annoyances is to hide behind a rainbarrel near the entrance to the tavern on busy nights. As folk come and go from the tavern, he will reach out and grab at a long coat-tail or baggy trouser leg. The slight brush often goes unnoticed, until the gremlin lice transferred with the touch begin to itch. Grimples, it seems, have an almost endless supply of lice to pass along to unwary folk.

Credits

Character images made by RPGDinosaurBob using HeroForge™
Banner image made by RPGDinosaurBob using [https://flowscape.org]Flowscape
Side panel background images courtesy of various contributors to Pixabay


Cover image: The Inn from the Bridge over Daphinia's Stream by RPGDinosaurBob (with Flowscape)

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