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Thread: Total Conversion: Curse of Strahd 5e

  1. #11
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    Chapter 1: The Beast's Enemy and the Beast's Location


    The Beast's Enemy
    Draw this fourth card from the high deck for the location of an NPC who can help you stand against the onslaught of the Beast. Some cards have multiple options, so pick the one better suited for your adventure.
    The Beast senses that the NPC is a threat to him and tries to eliminate them as quickly as possible. The NPC also gains the following additional action:
    Inspire--while within sight of Strahd, this character grants inspiration to one player in sight.
    These NPCs will be described later, but if the NPC is drawn during the reading, the behavior here takes precedence over the later details.
    Example, the Hanged Man: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...949b67f519.jpg


    Joker 1
    Aloud: 'Look for a man who is...more than a man. Yet not quite one.'
    This card refers to the fey called Fred (see appendix D) who can be found at the Blue Tavern in Tavern Town (Chap 5, area N2). Normally reluctant to accompany the characters, he changes his tune if the characters see through his horse glamour.


    Jack of Diamonds
    Aloud: 'Your ally holds a great and secret hatred for your enemy. Your ally is a frog.'
    This card refers to Frogfolk Julie (Chap 15, area Z7). She will accompany the characters if they promise to avenger her mate, Frogfolk Emil, by killing the leader of her army, Frogfolk George.


    A, King of Diamonds
    Aloud: 'Your greatest ally will be a wizard who walks in the footsteps of animals.'
    This card refers to Mr. Elkman (Chap 2, area M).
    B, King of Diamonds
    Aloud: 'I see a woman of cloth whose faith hangs by a thread. She seeks to bury someone close but lost to her.'
    This card refers to Dona, the old priest in the village of Adelaide (Chap 3, area E5). She will not accompy the characters until her daughter, Anna, is buried.


    King of Spades
    Aloud: 'Looks like no one wants to help you. Well, it's been nice knowing you.'
    No NPC can inspire the characters.


    A, King of Clubs
    Aloud: 'Search for a wealthy young man with two names imprisoned within his own home.'
    This card refers to Jimmy Brown (Chap 5, area N3t). Realizing the PCs have saved him, he enthusiastically leaves home and accompanies them and hopes to one day be united with his beloved Miss Langtree.
    B, King of Clubs
    Aloud: 'Seek a girl whose body is locked in the heart of her dead father's house and whose mind is locked within the mist.'
    This card refers to Stellabel Watt (Chap 5, area N4n). She grants the party no benefit unless they release the mist's hold of her mind. Then she is happy to join the party and leave her family.


    Jack of Clubs
    Aloud: 'Look for an elf in a ditch by the Fungais. He will help you if you can restore what was taken.'
    This card refers to the Highwayman (Chap 5, area N9a). The dusk elf accompanies the PCs only after they lead him to the Winter Place and fill his dead sister, Patty, with the breath of the North Wind.


    A, King of Hearts
    Aloud: 'I see the caretaker of an empty inn. She has a taste for turtles.'
    This card refers to Auntie Whispers (Chap 7, area Q37). Although initially unwilling to accompany the characters, she will do so if the PCs get Lorna to help convince her to go. Lorna's help requires a DC 15 Charisma (Persuasion) check.
    B, King of Hearts
    Aloud: 'I see one with a headstart on his attack on the Beast. Well, he might if he weren't bumbling about the Elder Edelwood like that.'
    This card refers to Chophand Tom, the inept warrior (Chap 4, area K84).


    Jack of Spades
    Aloud: 'Seek out the brother of the one whose hope is being taking by song. What a fine brother--he won't aid you until his sibling is safe.'
    This card refers to Isaiah Kole (Chap 3, area E2). Isaiah won't accompany the characters until he knows that his sister Irene is safe.


    A, Joker 2
    Aloud: 'I see dead man guarded by his widow. And no wonder because his body's in great condition.'
    This card refers to Nicolas Watt the elder, who's dead (Chap 5, area N40). If a Raise Dead or Resurrection spell is cast on his preserved body, Nicolas agrees to help. Though his family historical supports the Beast, he came to realize toward the end of his life that the Unknown deserves a caretaker who doesn't plunge the realm into eternal fall.
    If the characters don't have the means to raise Nicolas, they can acquire a spell scroll of raise dead from Fred (appendix D).
    B, Joker 2
    Aloud: 'I see an occupational death-bringer, but beware--his soul is as stained as his hitlist.'
    This card refers to the Fungai assassin Igor (Chap 5, area N9c). If the characters mention the card reading to him, he accepts his fate and accompanies them. If the characters defeat the Beast but have made no effort to befriend Igor, he betrays and attacks them, believing he is the next caretaker. If they've befriended Igor, they can talk him out of it.


    A, Queen of Hearts
    Aloud: 'I see a young man with a kind heart but a weak mind. In his simplicity, he's signed himself to contract of strangling terms.'
    This card refers to Perry Wimple (Chap 3, area E1). Only a good and noble cause will convince him to follow the PCs. Characters must somehow deal with his totalitarian dictator of an employer, Old Bill, who won't let the boy go for any reason.
    B, Queen of Hearts
    Aloud: 'You seek the one whose hope dwindles under song.'
    This card refers to Irene Kole (Chap 3, area E4). Her brother opposes her going with the players but she will insist if the PCs tell her of the card reading. She will first want to bury her father Andrew Kole and may sneak off at any time, never to return unless aided.


    A, Jack of Hearts
    Aloud: 'What in the Unknown...? I see a man cast in metal but alive. Maybe. He's certainly wandering the Elder Edelwood.'
    This card refers to Ticktock (Chap 4, area K59, and appendix D).
    B, Jack of Hearts
    Aloud: 'I see a flesh eater with a taste for music, perhaps a vegan.'
    This card refers to Clover (Chap 8, area S17), a musician first and Pumpkin-Eater second. Clover serves the Pumpkin-Eaters not out of faith but fear. She wishes to leave but not until the PCs defeat Abby, head of the Pumpkin-Eaters.


    Queen of Spades
    Aloud: 'A lone Fungai wanders without collecting mulch. She travels to Pottsfield, though why she'd pick that backwater travesty is anyone's guess.'
    This card refers to Beatrice (appendix D). She can be found in Pottsfield (Chap 8, area S19), as well as several other locations.


    Queen of Clubs
    Aloud: 'Seek the eldest of the Fungai. He and his clan practice a peculiar magic that may be of use to you.'
    This card refers to the old Fungai Dave Mulchman (Chp 12). He's content to leave the Mulch Fields to his sons, Ryan and Elmo, but insists on reconciling with his daughter Winne before accompanying the PCs (Chap 5, area N2).


    A, Queen of Diamonds
    Aloud: 'I see a Fungai child, but you must hurry, for her life is in danger. Go at once to the lake!'
    This card refers to Arabelle (Chap 2, area L). She gladly joins the party, but if she returns to her camp (Chap 5, area N9), her father, Mr. Lou, refuses to let her leave.
    B, Queen of Diamonds
    Aloud: 'What in the Unknown...? I see a woman cast in metal but alive. Maybe. She's certainly wandering about Pottsfield.'
    This card refers to Wanda Metalman (Chap 8, area S13).


    The Beast's Location in the Elder Edelwood
    Drawn from the high deck, the fifth card determines the location of the final showdown. The first time the characters arrive at the foretold location, the Beast is there, provided he hasn't be driven to his cut.
    Example, the Chariot: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...ff0952ea05.jpg


    Joker1
    Aloud: 'He haunts the memorabilia of a cult.'
    Go to the Black Turtle room (area K15).


    Jack of Diamonds
    Aloud: 'He sits with his back to the door, pounding at keys.'
    Go to the organ room (area K25).


    King of Diamonds, Queen of Hearts
    Aloud: 'He haunts those who aided him in the time of his greatest need.'
    Go to the root of the Dark metal miners (area K85).


    King of Spades, Joker 2
    Aloud: 'He lurks in the deepest darkness, the one place to which he must return.'
    The Beast faces the PCs in his cut (area K86).


    King of CLubs
    Aloud: 'He sings in a room in which he was meant to be heard.'
    Go to the opera chamber (area K67).


    Jack of Clubs
    Aloud: 'He waits for you in a place of wisdom, warmth, and despiar. Great secrets are there.'
    Go to the library (area K37).


    King of Hearts, Queen of Clubs
    Aloud: 'Look to the resting place of the Fungai ancestors.'
    Go to the root of the First Spores (area K88).


    Jack of Spades
    Aloud: 'I see a dark figure on a balcony under the boughs of leaves born dead.'
    Go to the overlook (K6).


    Jack of Hearts
    Aloud: 'Look to the highest of the heights. Look to the north.'
    Go to the branch in the north (K60).


    Queen of Spades
    Aloud: 'The mists! The mists! Burning and smoking! The mists obscure all!' *coughing*
    The decision is left to the DM. Alternatively, Ms. Evangeline can draw the cards again after three days, but only for the location of the Beast.


    Queen of Diamonds
    Aloud: 'I see a place of remembrance hidden by a bewitching fey.'
    Go to the memento room (K41) from the hidden door in the library (K37).


    Last edited by Isada; 09-27-2017 at 06:21 AM.

  2. #12
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    Chap 1: Adventure Hook
    In the event that begins the adventure, the fates of the Beast and the PCs are entwined. The following is a hook in the spirit of Over the Garden, but feel free to use any hook that will best fit your adventure. You can insert the PCs at any point for roleplay or simply explain what happened and drop them straight into the Unknown.


    Summary
    Jason Funderberker, the richest man the PCs have the misfortune to know, has invited them to a fantasy-themed Halloween party. Perhaps they go for reasons related to him or perhaps they go because Sara, the internationally-acclaimed masked musician and circus performer, has RSVPed. Upon arrival, they discover that Funderberker has changed the party theme (to any you like) without telling them to ensure their internationally-paparazzied shame as a practical joke. They leave/are driven out by a laughing mass but are caught up in a mist at the edge of the Funderberker estate.


    An Invitation to Party
    You and a few other fancifully dressed stragglers are the last and only ones to trudge the long and winding ascent of the Funderberker estate. You've had to park at the misted foot of its evergreen hill as sports cars far above your paygrade line every spare stretch of asphalt. Indeed, you and the others pratically walk in the middle of Jason's two-line driveway. Why a man with a two-lane driveway would invite a mere mortal such as yourself to a Halloween party attended by none other than Sara, internationally-acclaimed masked musician and circus performer, you may never know.


    As you wind up the final ashpalt turn, the evergreen hill drapes out below you. The mist has risen like an ephemeral tide and ripples softly overtop the cars either poor or fashionably late. The Funderberker mansion looms before you, a replica of the President of America's own White House that some egotistical eccentric has set behind massive twin effigies of Jason's head set in marble. You pray Jason never gets it in his head to run for office, or if does, that democracy itself will rise up to stop him.


    The twin doors of the mansion part beneath the Funderberker motto: 'You live but once.' A wall of flashing light momentarily blinds you. Your head spins from the cacophonous ringing in your ears. Laughter. And photography--no, paparazzigraphy. As your eyes and ears adapt to the onslaught, you see Funderberker himself standing at the center of the inhospitable semi-circle, one arm around the famous shoulders of Sara. Neither wear the costumes of a fantasy-themed Halloween party. In fact, everyone appears dressed for another theme entirely: (DM's choice).


    You descend the driveway in your internally-distributed shame and humiliation and the mist rises up to greet your knees. The further you go from Funderberker, the deeper you wade. As the mist rolls softly over your mouth and nose, you breath the faint, smoky scent of burning wood and oil. Your steps submerge your head and now your entire body. You hear a faint voice singing in your ear. It strengthens as the fog thickens and chokes all light and space.
    Song reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZuJMq7uO_w


    End Result
    The PCs come to a lonely dirt road (no longer with two clearly defined lanes in asphalt) that cuts through the woods, leading to area A (Chap 2). Alternatively, you can have them enter near Pottsfield (Chap 8).
    As you've probably guessed, their costumes become their class and race upon entering the Unknown. Their equipment becomes real as well.
    Last edited by Isada; 09-28-2016 at 01:09 PM.

  3. #13
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    Chap 2: Lands of the Unknown
    The hardwood forest valley nestled in the Cloud Mountains was once an idyllic fey sanctuary. But its caretaker shattered both the Unknown's time and serenity when he abandoned his Edelwood body, rooted and entwined with the fate of the Unknown. The life and green of fresh spring fled from the trees, the hearts and minds from its denizens.
    Now the lands share his cursed state, forever dying but never dead. Every morning, new leaves sprout in orange, yellow, brown, and red. Every night, they fall in the night breezes, adding layers to the forest's thick, decaying carpet. The stone wall that once protected the sanctuary traps all within. Only the mist, the smoked and clouding breath that rises from the refineries at the Old Grist Mill and out from each Edelwood tree, can reach over the wall, flowing into other worlds.


    Once inside the head, there the mist stays, luring and maddening its victims with its muted song of the Beast. When the Beast sings to them, the mists inside their own minds resonants with its despair-inducing power. Those beyond all hope hear the lullaby from the faces on the Beast's body of those who fell before them, the call to sleep, sleep, sleep the Edelwood Slumber.
    Song reference (Come Wayward Souls with imminent death addition): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_GSYF5NSMQ


    Only the deep gnome Fungais do not suffer the vistations of the Beast. Though the mists may still wear any of the personas of weak minds down to cyclic caricatures, the Fungais perform the only caretaking the forest sees these days. Their gatherings for mulch keep the carpet of decay from swallowing up the Unknown. Indeed, the Beast grew the First Spores of the Fungais for this express purpose.


    Among the other denizens, only a handful have the will to resist the mists and oppose the Beast. Most congregate in the valley's three main settlements--the villages of Adelaide and Pottsfield and the town of...Tavern Town. Many fear to the enter the forest where live the fey creatures who've been as changed by the mists themselves. A few of the most strongly willed denizens have pledged themselves to a secret society against the Beast, Feathered Friends.


    Feathered Friends once tried to eliminate the Beast but succeeded only in finding a new name for themselves. Using many magicks, they created a clone of the witch Tabitha whom they believed to be the greatest enemy of their enemy. The eldritch admixture, however, left the clone defenseless to the mists. She defected to the Beast and cursed every member of the society that she could find with an avian form. She seeks Feathered Friends even now, driving them into even greater secrecy and hiding. Though scattered and broken, Feathered Friends will aid the PCs as stealthily as they can should the PCs explain their position.


    Lay of the Land
    Rolling thunderclouds cast a gray pall from above matched by the rolling tides of the mists below. A stillness hangs over the Edelwood trees, a muffling and smoothering by their own uncountable fallen leaves. Fey beasts beholden to no law but their own, now-twisted natures stalk the wilds in search of food and game.


    The fall-born Edelwood trees climb the mountains that enclose the valley but give way in jagged reaches to the evergreens of the mountain peaks. The highest peak is Mount Barking with its snow-covered cap and rugged slopes. Its slightly smaller twin, Mount Gawking, is mostly barren with erratic tufts of trees. Between these two mountains sits the placid Lake Froget fed by streams of ice-cold water from the winter banished to the mountains.
    South of the lake rests the town of...Tavern Town, enclosed by an Edelwood palisade. Those who place their ear against the timbers might hear the chopping song of the Beast. Atop a hill to the west of the mountains sits the commune of the Pumpkin-Eaters surrounded by the stone wall of the village Pottsfield. But unlike the wall that imprisons the Unknown, it provides only protection for the eyes from the atrocities on the other side. The Inn of Whispers lies between Tavern Town and Pottsfield, the location causing an inevitable lack of business. East of the mountains, the village of Adelaide dwindles in the mist and shadow of the Elder Edelwood. The castle-sized tree perches atop a 1,000-foot-high pillar of rock known as the Thronestone.
    Chopping song reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VOnDCT-skQ


    Mists of Edelwood
    The burning and refining of the Edelwood trees produces a deadly fog that engulfs any being who attempts to leave that travesty of a fey sanctuary. The effects are as follows:
    --A creature that starts its turn in the fog must succeed on a DC 20 Constitution saving throw or gain one level of exhaustion (see appendix A in the Player's Handbook). The exhaustion can't be reoved while the creature is in the fog.
    --No matter how far a creature travels in the fog, or in which direction it goes, it gets turned around so that it eventually finds itself back in the Unknown.
    --The area within the fog is heavily obscured (see 'Vision and Light' in Chap 8 of the Player's Handbook).


    Sunlight in the Unknown
    Due to the near-constant cloud and fog, the sun never fully shines in the Unknown. The denizens and those who enter over the wall have their senses altered by the mist so that they consider this daylight bright light.
    Once the players have the All-Seeing Monocle, however, which defeats the obscuring of the mist, you may choose to have the PCs treat daylight as dim light within range of the object's effect.


    Alterations to Magic
    The wall's enchantment of sanctuary has been turned in on itself by the corruption of its caretaker, preventing any spell, even wish, to permit escape. Astral projection, teleport, plane shift, and similar spells cast for the purpose of leaving the Unknown all fail, defeated by the wall's magic. Neither can one banish a creature to another place of existence. These restrictions apply to magic items and artifacts that have properties that transport or banish creatures to other planes. Magic that allows transit to the Border Ethereal, such as the etherealness spell, is the exception to this rule, as the Unknown's Border Ethereal has also been entrapped by the wall.


    For the purpose of spells whose effects change across or are blocked by planar boundaries, such as sending, the Unknown is considered its own plane. Magic that summons creatures or objects from other planes functions normally, as does magic that involves extradimensional space. Any spells cast within such an extradimensional space, like Mordenkainen's magnificent mansion, are subject to the same restrictions as magic cast in the Unknown.
    This is, however, left to your discretion and you may choose to block all summoning and sending if it is a better fit for your adventure.


    Characters who receive spells from deities or otherworldly patrons continue to do so. In addition, spells that allow contact with beings from other planes function normally--with one proviso: the Beast can sense when someone casts such a spell and revels in making himself the recipient so that he becomes the one contacted.


    Cosmetic Spell Modifications
    You may choose to modify spells cosmetically to enhance the atmosphere. Here are examples:
    Alarm--instead of a mental ping, the caster hears a scream from their past or the Beast's laughter
    Bigby's hand, mage hand--the conjured hand belongs to someone from their past
    Find familiar--the familiar is undead, not celestial nor fey nor fiend, and is immune to features that turn undead
    Find steed, phantom steed--the summoned steed is a giant turkey akin to those who pull the wagons
    Find the path--a ghostly vision of someone from their past guides the caster to the location but can't be harmed and doesn't speak
    Fog cloud--noiselessly singing faces made of holes form in the fog
    Gust of wind--the wind carries the scent of burning Edelwoods
    Rary's telepathic bond--characters linked by the spell can't shake the feeling that someone is eavesdropping
    Revivify--a creature restored to life screams upon regaining consciousness as though waking from some horrible nightmare
    Spirit guardians--are faceless, featureless, and flat as shadows
    Wall of stone--the wall appears identical to the stone wall that surrounds the Unknown


    Resurrection Madness
    When a humanoid who has been dead for at least 24 hours returns to life, it gains a random form of indefinite madness (see Chap 8 of the DM's Guide) brought on by the realization that the souls of the dead are as trapped in the Unknown as the living. Unable to travel to the afterlife, any soul that hasn't been devoured by the Beast through the burning of is Edelwood stays trapped in the mists and must simply wait for a new body to inhabit.


    Last edited by Isada; 09-27-2017 at 06:22 AM.

  4. #14
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    Chap 2: Denizens of the Unknown
    Once the Beast realized that only the wood and oil of the Edelwood tree could keep his soul burning within the Dark Lantern, he ensured that he would never be at a loss for trees by continually drawing souls into the Unknown. As a result, the Denizens of the Unknown represent a limitless variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds.


    The nightly menace of the enervating Business Bats, fey creatures twisted by the Beast's own hand, keep the denizens shrinking into their homes. Thus, the Beast always knows where to find his prey, or can at least rule out a great many locations. Few, however, are safe inside their minds.


    In order to survive the numerous scourges of the Unknown, the minds of most denizens pare their personas down to caricatures which can be upheld with minimal effort. As a result the PCs will encounter eccentric and outright bizarre denizens who are, in fact, clinging desperately to what shreds of sanity and consciousness their minds haven't yet tossed. The fragility of their minds lends itself with frightening ease to mass and mob hysteria despite the individuals's often starkly distinct idiosyncracies. Those who stand apart from the crowd, though often unremarkable on the surface, mark themselves in this as having uncommon will and ally potential.
    The others eke out typically modest livings, though whatever curio is considered currency may vary between settlements. While their closed ecosystem forces each denizen to perform some labor or trade for survival, each has their own particular hobby, many of which would not be considered hobbies in less oppressed societies.


    There are few children in the Unknown. When a child is born, the souls trapped in the mist fight furiously for control of the body, leaving the scars of their struggle on the mind. These children are born as eccentric as their parents and often meet their death before adulthood. The Beast himself prefers to target those with most vitality and creativity to become his Edelwood trees, so woe betide any child wandering outside what little civilization they have.
    Should a child survive to adulthood, they will grow to match the original appearance of their soul--either their own or that of one long dead. Only the soul of a person trapped in Edelwood can never reincarnate this way. They remain trapped until the Beast utterly consumes them.


    If the Beast is defeated, winter rushes down upon the Unknown from the mountain tops. The great breaths of the North Wind shake every leaf from the Edelwood trees and chase the mist out over the wall in a final tide. Only then can the denizens leave the valley, though the state of their minds might prevent them from doing so even after such liberation.


    Lore of the Unknown
    Most of the denizens share a common knowledge about their existence and surroundings. PCs can learn this information after first earning a denizen's notice and then their trust.


    The Beast
    --The Beast has and is and always will be. He dwells in the Elder Edelwood where all may go if they wish to die.
    --The Elder Edelwood, god tree of the Unknown, cursed the valley because the ancestors of the denizens failed to pay tribute. The curse, however, can't be removed because the tree fell asleep while waiting, so there's no point in tribute these days, anyway. (All untrue, but such is the belief.)
    --The Beast created the Business Bats from the first servants of the god tree, the fey bats of the Unknown. He wanted an audience for his nightly operas who could also hold down a day job. (Whether this is true or not is left to the DM.)
    --The Beast can't enter a residence without an invitation from an occupant. (The Beast hates to be in the light because none will stay to listen to his song if they could see more than his silhouette.)
    --Running water burns the Beast like acid and sunlight causes him to burst into flame. (All untrue.)


    The Land of the Unknown
    --Any who attempt to climb over the wall will choke on smoke and fog. Those who don't turn back perish.
    --The mist brings a yearly tide of strangers into the valley, most of whom die or replace the denizens who die that year.
    --The Beast's woodcutters stalk the forest while Business Bats fill the night skies like unwanted and lightless stars.
    --The village of Adelaide sits at the east end of the valley. Its burgomaster is Andrew Kole.
    --The town of Tavern Town lies in the heart of the valley. Its burgomaster is Baron Brown Dam.
    --The village of Pottsfield and its wall lies at the west end of the valley. Its burgomaster is Enoch, the small but powerful.
    --Mulch is the lifeblood of the Fungais. They literally pop out of the ground. Don't believe me? Try the Mulch Fields near Pottsfield.
    --There's a Schoolhouse in the foothills of Mount Barking, but no one's ever known any adult or child to attend.


    Beliefs and Superstitions
    (To be taken with a grain of salt.)
    --The Elder Edelwood was the god of the Unknown before it cursed the land and went to sleep.
    --No one in living memory has seen the sun shine. That's why a spoonful of fish keeps the doctor at bay.
    --The Beast is the personification of the Elder Edelwood's curse while everything else is the physical manifestation of it. Even me.
    --The mist is both a mirror and a window to everything you've lost or left behind.
    --The woodcutters serve the Beast, so we're not on speaking terms. Though no one has ever heard them speak anyway.
    --Never harm a bird. Kill the bats, kill them all, but never a bird. Birds are just people with wings and without brains. That's why they have in houses in Adelaide.


    Fungais
    The Fungais (singular: Fungai) are gatherers, collectors, and sometimes hoarders who travel the Unknown in wagons drawn by giant turkeys. All modern Fungais in the Unknown originate from the First Spores, Deep Gnomes of the Fungai tribe summoned from deep beneath the earth by the caretaker to provide the maintenance minimum while he searched for the next caretaker. The Edelwood trees have left their mark on the Fungais not through their mist but their mulch, which the Fungais require for spawning their next generation.


    Each family of Fungais is its own little gerontocracy with the oldest member ruling the roost. This elder enforces traditions (which may vary greatly between families), settles disputes, sets the course for the next gathering, and preserves their way of life. These elders make all the important decisions, but true to their fey, gnomish nature, they have a penchant for nonsequiters and outright nonsense even in the face of death.


    The Woodcutters
    The woodcutters also grew from the First Spores, but the Beast twisted their ancestor to his purpose and in doing so made them more shroom than Fungai. The woodcutters stalk the forest with single-minded purpose: cut the trees, refine the wood, serve the Beast. Unlike the Fungais, each woodcutter is identical, budded from the root of their mentally and physically contorted ancestor rather than grown in the mulch.
    The PCs may randomly encounter woodcutters in their travels, but most mill about the Old Grist Mill.


    Fungai Lore
    Common Fungai lore is summarized here. PCs can learn this information after earning the trust of a Fungai. Woodcutters, however, are incapable of speaking.


    The Beast
    --The Beast is an old and twisted fey who rose up when the Elder Edelwood, caretaker of the forest, fell asleep upon its Thronestone.
    --The Beast has consumed many souls through the Edelwood trees. No soul he has ever pursued has escaped him save that of the witch Tabitha. (The Fungais don't know what happened to her, only that the Beast raged for centuries afterward and that's probably still a touchy subject.)
    --The Beast invites all to the Elder Edelwood, the god of old in whom he lives and sings. He's always in want of an audience, though his songs are sure to put them to sleep.


    The Land of the Unknown
    --When the god tree fell and the Beast rose in its place, his great and fey magic twisted all of the Unknown and its denizens. Business Bats and woodcutters are his servants and spies, but who knows what else has joined his service--willingly or not.
    --The denizens are simple but dangerous people. Few have the mind remaining to realize their own danger to themselves and others. Those who do are worth seeking, but may have just enough mind to refuse the suicide of opposing the Beast.
    --Three settlements lie on Worthwagon Road like beads on a string: Pottsfield to the west, Tavern Town at the heart, and Adelaide to the east. The Beast has loyal supporters in each settlement, though they may be unaware of it themselves.
    --Avoid the Old Grist Mill between Adelaide and Tavern Town--that is where the woodcutters are sure to roam. They are single-minded in their loyalty to the Beast.
    --Stray from Worthwagon Road and you may encounter Business Bats, woodcutters, and worse.


    Beliefs and Superstitions
    --The mist of the burning, refining Edelwood trees traps even the souls of those who die in the Unknown.
    --Some Fungais are blessed with prescience, their eyes adapted to see through the mist. Of all these great fortune-tellers, none compares to Ms. Evangeline. She is the keeper of all future knowledge and possibility.
    --A prescient Fungai can't see their own future. When one turns the eyes inward, is there not only darkness?
    --All Fungais possess at least a hint of magic for their ancestors were Gnomes from the Deep. Be wary of invoking their wrath as they might invoke a curse just as powerful.
    --It's bad luck to kill a bird--they carry lost souls within them. Those returned to the mist may hold grudges that reach across the grave. (Whether this is true or not is left to the DM.)


    Fungai Curses
    Along with the more standard Deep Gnome fare, the Fungais have developed the ability to turn their flavorful cussing into powerful curses. A Fungai can use an action to utter a curse that affects a creature they can see within 30 feet. The Fungai can't utter another curse until after a long rest.
    Woodcutters cannot perform these curses as they cannot speak.


    The target must succeed on a Wis saving throw DC 8 + the Fungai's proficiency bonus + the Fungai's Cha modifier. The curse lasts until ended with a remove curse or greater restoration spell or the like. If a target dies and is returned to life, the curse remains.


    The Fungai chooses the curse's effect from the following options but other curses are possible:
    --The target is unable to perform a specified act involving fine motor control, such as tying knots, playing an instrument, etc.
    --The target's appearance changes in a sinister yet purely cosmetic way such as gaining yellowed fangs or bad breath.
    --A nonmagical item in the target's possession (chosen by the DM) disappears and can't be found until the curse ends. The lost item can weigh no more than 1 lb.
    --The target gains vulnerability to a damage type of the Fungai's choice.
    --The target has disadvantage on ability checks and saving throws tied to one ability score of the Fungai's choice.
    --The target's attunement to one magic item (chosen by the DM) ends, and the target can't attune themselves to this item until the curse ends.
    --The target is blinded, deafened, or both.


    Putrescing Eye
    As an action, a Fungai can target a creature within 10 feet of sight. This ability, called the Putrescing Eye by the Fungais, duplicates the effect of the animal friendship, charm person, or hold person spell (Fungai's choice), but requires neither somatic nor material components. The spell save DC is 8 + Fungai's proficiency bonus + Fungai's class level. If the target succeeds on the save, the Fungai is blinded until the end of the Fungai's next turn, their eyes having clouded over with the bubbling and fog-like putrescence.
    Woodcutters also have this ability.


    A Fungai who uses Putrescing Eye can't use it again until after a short or long rest. Once a target succeds on a saving throw against the ability, it is immune to the Putrescing Eye of all Fungais for 24 hours.


    Last edited by Isada; 09-27-2017 at 06:23 AM.

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    Chap 2: Random Encounters
    Dangers abound in the Unknown. Check for a random encounter twice every 12 hours spent outdoors on the roads or in the wilderness.
    If the PCs are on a road, an encounter occurs on a roll of 16 or higher on a d20.
    If the PCs are in the wilderness, an encounter occurs on a roll of 13 or higher on a d20.
    If an encounter occurs, roll on the daytime or nighttime encounter table or have Spies of the Beast appear (see the Beast's Spies).


    Daytime Random Encounters
    d12+d8 Encounter
    2 3d6 settlers (any race), commoner NPC class
    3 1d6 hunters or trappers (any race), scout NPC class
    4 Hunting trap
    5 Someone in Edelwood slumber
    6 False trail
    7 1d4 + 1 Fungais on turkey wagon (see stats below)
    8 Fog-addled centaur (see stats below)
    9 Trinket
    10 Hidden bundle
    11 1d4 swarms of birds
    12 1d6 dire dogs (any bred), dire wolf stats
    13 3d6 wild dogs (any bred), wolf stats
    14 1d4 berserkers (any race)
    15 Vision of a PC's past in the mist
    16 1d6 Frogfolk (see stats below)
    17 1 druid (any race) with 2d6 twig blights
    18 2d6 needle blights
    19 1d6 scarecrows
    20 1 mist-possessed (see stats below)


    Nighttime Random Encounters
    d12+d8 Encounter
    2 1 mist-manifested vision (see stats below)
    3 Hunting trap
    4 Someone in Edelwood Slumber
    5 Trinket
    6 Vision of a PC's past in the mist
    7 Hidden bundle
    8 Fog-addled centaur
    9 1d8 swarms of Business Bats (see stats below)
    10 1d6 dire dogs
    11 3d6 dogs
    13 1 druid and 2d6 twig blights
    14 2d4 needle blights
    15 1d6 Frogfolk
    16 fog-touched fey (see stats below)
    17 1d6 scarecrows
    18 1d8 the Beast's fog-touched fey (see appendix D)
    19 1 will-o'-wisp
    20 1 mist-possessed


    The Beast's Spies
    The Beast has many beings within his thrall and uses them to report on the activities in the Unknown. Every day and night that the PCs remain in the Unknown, one or more of these spies check on them and attempt to return to the Beast with a report. When a spy appears, characters who have a passive Wisdom (Perception) score equal to or greater than the spy's Dexterity (Stealth) check notice it.
    A spy doesn't constitute an encounter if the PCs are unaware of its presence. If they notice, the spy's goal is usually escape.
    A secondary goal might be to acquire some physical object--a possession, article of clothing, even a part of a PC's body--that the Beast can use to improving his scrying.
    If a spy is confronted, the spy attempts to grab some item of the PCs's before fleeing. If the Beast obtains such an item, he uses it to learn as much as he can about the party before planning his next attack.


    Settlers
    Text: 'The sound of snapping twigs draws your attention to a mob in a fog. They carry torches and pitches. Who knows what's set them off this time.'
    If the characters are moving quietly and without light sources, they can try to hide from these settlers with pitchforks (+2 to hit) instead of clubs, dealing 3 (1d6) piercing damange on a hit.
    Settlers in a mob have the unfortunate tendency to blame the first conscious and moving being they see as the cause of their trouble (imagined or not). This includes any such creature from the time-appropriate Random Encounter table.


    Hunters or trappers
    If at least one character has a passive Wisdom (Perception) score of 16 or higher: 'You see a figure camouflaged for forest terrain crouched low and perfectly still, aiming a crossbow in your direction.'
    If more than one hunter is present, the others are spread out over a 100-ft-sq area.
    These hunters or trappers are searching for game or a missing settler. Once they realize the PCs aren't out to kill them, they lower their weapons and request their aid. If the PCs decline, the hunters point them in the direction of the nearest settlement and urge them to hurry.
    They wield light crossbows (+4 to hit, range 80/320 ft) instead of longbows, dealing 6 (1d8+2) piercing damage on a hit.


    Berserkers
    These are denizens driven to an unstoppable frenzy by the mist. Mud, leaves, and all sorts of detritus cover them from head to toe, making them difficult to see in forest terrain where they have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide. PCs with passive Wis (Perception) scores higher than this Dex (Stealth) check can spot the nearest berserker.
    If someone spots one: 'What appears to be a whirling mass of upturned mulch is a mere (any race) on a wild but nonviolent rampage.'
    The berserkers shun civilized folk and withdraw if spotted, attacking only if trapped or threatened.


    Vision of a PC's past in the mist
    Roll a d6 (or higher) to determine which PCs's past will appear in the mist. Roll again if the PC has no background on which to draw. It is left to the DM whether one, some, or all of the PCs see the vision.
    Text: 'A low mist rolls in over your ankles. You feel a chill as it rises back up in a great wave before you. You see (vision of a PC's past).'


    Dire dogs
    Text: 'A snarling (breed of dog) the size of a grizzly bear steps out of the fog.'
    The area is lightly obscured by fog. If more than one dire wolf is present, the others aren't far behind and can be seen in silhouettes against the fog. The dire dogs of the Unknown are cruel, overgrown dogs that have been lost or abandoned by their owners long enough to be warped by the mist. They cannot be charmed or frihtened.


    Dogs
    Text: 'The howls of many wild dogs fill the air. Of course they would hunt in packs.'
    Characters have a few minutes to steel themselves before the ravenous dogs attack. Embittered by their separation from their owner or their outright abandonment, these dogs cannot be charmed or frightened.


    Druid and twig blights
    Text: 'A gaunt (any race) painted with black sap bounds toward you on all fours. It stops, sniffs the air, and laughs with piering discordance. The ground writhes with hundreds of jointed, twiggy spines.'
    The Druids of the Unknown once worshipped the Elder Edelwood but now worship the Beast. This has made them vulnerable to the fog, which has turned them into savage and violent shells of the beings they once were. If all the twig blights are destroyed or the druid loses half its hit points, the druid flees, heading toward the Seed Garden (area Y).


    False trail
    Text: 'You discover recently trod ground that cuts a path into the wilderness.'
    Evil druids left this trail. Following it leads to a spiked pit (see Chap 5 in the DM's Guide). A thin tarp of twigs and mulch conceals the pit, the bottom of which is lined with sharpened wooden stakes.


    Mist-manifested vision
    Roll a d6 (or higher) to determine which PCs's person from the past will appear in the mist. Roll again if the PC has no such person in their background.
    Text: 'The mist gathers into the shape of a humanoid being. Its hollow eyes stare at (the chosen PC).'
    Unlike a simple vision, the manifested may attack depending on its alignment. If it succeeds in possessing a character, it leads its host to the Edelwood Gate (area J) and hurls the host's body into the chasm.


    Edelwood sleeper
    Text: 'You see a sleeping denizen whose face is crumpled by a ghastly grimace. Fall-foliaged Edelwood sprouts wrap around their body like vines. On closer inspection, you find the sleeper's body sprouting its own Edelwood buds.'
    Those in Edelwood Slumber won't wake for any reason. PCs may rob the transmuting body of a trinket with a DC 15 Dex check. A failed check results in a Grapple, DC 18 Str or Dex. Sundering the Edelwood results in immediate death for the sleeper, alignment penalties may apply.


    Hidden bundle
    The PCs find a leather-wrapped bundle hidden in the underbrush, stuffed in a hollow log, or nestled in the boughs of a tree.
    If they open the bundle: 'The bundle contains (any small, common item 80%, or a small rare item 10% or a small, minor magic item 10%).'
    The idiosyncracy of a settler has led them to hide such an item. If the PCs keep the item in plain sight, there is a 20% chance that an NPC will recognize it.


    Hunting trap
    Have PCs in the front make a DC 15 Wisdom (Survival) check.
    If one or more succeeds: 'You spot a trap for a wolf...perhaps a dog. Tts steel jaws are caked with rust. Someone has hidden it under a thin layer of twigs and mulch.'
    Hunters and trappers set these traps to thin the ranks of the roaming dogs that hunt the same game, but the mist has made the dogs too intelligent to fall for the trap.
    If no PC spots the trap, one random member steps on it (see Chap 5, Player's Handbook).


    Needle blights
    Text: 'Hunched figures lurch through the mist, needles rustling from every inch of their spindly bodies.'
    Evergreens once ruled the forests of the Unknown, but the rise of the Beast chased them up the mountain peaks along with the winter of the North Wind. The mist twisted and animated those evergreens displaced by the Beast's Edelwood trees. Now the woods crawl with the embittered and ever-wandering needle blights.
    If the PCs are moving quietly and not carrying light sources, they can try to hide from the blights.


    Mist-possessed
    Text: 'A figure walks alone with a jilting stride and glinting leer. Their gaping grin opens and closes, fog falling through the gate of teeth.'
    On the rare occasions that souls trapped in the mist do not fight each other for control of a body but join forces, their combined power allows them to enshroud the body of any being with a weak mind and and control it from the outside in. PCs that attack a mist-possessed harm only the forces within the mist rather than controlled being. Once defeated, the possessors withdraw from the being, leaving them in the state in which they were found.
    A character within 30 feet of the mist-possessed who succeeds on a DC 10 Wisdom (Insight) check can see that the being is not in its right mind. A character within 30 feet of the mist-possessed who succeeds on a DC 20 Wisdom (Perception) check can see the mist that holds the being in its thrall. Any characters within range of the All-Seeing Monocle can see this mist.


    Scarecrows
    If at least one character has a passive Wis (Perception) of 11 or higher: 'A scarecrow lurches into view. Its sackcloth eyes are ripe with malevolence, and the carcasses of birds stuff its guts. Long, rusted knives protrude from its patchwork hands.'
    If more than one scarecrow is present, the others are close by. If none of the characters has the requisite passive Wis (Perception), the scarecrow takes the party by surprise.
    The clone of the witch Tabitha who defected to the Beast has crafted the scarecrows to hunt down and kill any Feathered Friends who leave the village of Adelaide, but the scarecrows will gladly kill anyone.


    Fog-addled centaur
    Text: 'Through the mist comes a horse and rider--nay, a centaur.'
    The centaur is one of the many fey creatures left addled by the mist and not entirely in control of its own actions or fine motor skills. It ignores the PCs unless attacked.


    Fog-touched fey
    Text: 'The smell of burning wood and oil cloys the air. Up ahead, fey creatures clutch their hands around their pointed ears. They stagger forward and upon seeing you, scream.'
    These fey of the forest have fallen prey to the influence of the Beast. What was once a family now shambles across the land as a ravening mob.


    The Beast's fog-touched fey
    Text: 'The smell of burning wood and oil cloys the air, but the fog weighs upon you like a cold, wet cloth. Death approaches with footsteps betrayed by snapping twigs.'
    If the PCs are moving quietly and not carrying light sources, they can try to hide from these fog-touched fey whom the Beast has brought into service. The Beast has sharpened their bloodlust and shaped them into even an deadlier force than their unenlisted brethren. They attack the living on sight and will not stop until utterly destroyed.


    Business Bat swarm
    Text: 'The stillness of the night is shattered by sharp and piercing mercantile chatter amidst the flapping of a hundred wings.'
    Business Bats serve the Beast by exhausting those who dare to wander at night, making them more susceptible to the Edelwood Slumber.


    Bird swarm
    Text: 'Your presence in this accursed land has not gone unnoticed. A bird (any species) follows you for several minutes at a respectful distance.'
    The bird, one of Adelaide's many Feathered Friends, doesn't try to communicate.
    If the players leave the bird alone: 'More birds begin to take an interest in you. Before long, their numbers swell, and soon a flock of hundreds are watching you.'
    The birds fly away if attacked. If left alone, they watch over the party, remaining with the PCs until they reach the Elder Edelwood or a settlement.
    If the PCs have a random encounter with a hostile creature, the birds aid the PCs by attacking and distracting the enemy.


    Trinket
    Text: 'You find something on the ground.'
    A random character finds a lost or purposefully discarded trinket. Roll on the Trinkets table in appendix A, select a trinket, or create one on the fly.


    Fungais on a turkey wagon
    Text: 'The pungent, loamy smell of mulch stings your nostrils. Wooden wheels creak under a heavy load and turkeys gobble through the fog.'
    Mulch-gathering Fungais travel the wilderness mostly unharmed for their birth in the Edelwood mulch marks them as animated but vegetal parts of the scenery in the eyes of the mist. They may still run afoul of a mob of settlers, wild (but not dire) dogs, an accident, or the like.
    If the PCs ask to travel with them or have them to serve as guides, the Fungais will agree on the condition that the players gather some organic resource (DM's choice) to add to their mulch. As long as these Fungais are with the party, any random encounter roll that would result in a hostile encounter is treated as no encounter.
    Treasure--within the great stinking pile of mulch in the wagon is some small treasure (DM's choice).


    Frogfolk
    Text: 'A deep voice croaks, "Who goes there?" Through the chill mist you see a six-foot frog in waterproof clothing. It stands on two legs and carries a three-tined trident...much like the kind used to spear frogs.'
    Frogfolk congregate in the Landboat of Frogs, a cavern complex overlooking Lake Barking (area Z), but may be found in and by any large body of water. They were once fey able to shift between true frog and humanoid forms, but the influence of the Beast forced and froze their shifting into this uncanny in-between.
    If the Frogfolk are in their right mind, they try to befriend the PCs and will travel with them to their destination unless they pass by a body of water. Friendly Frogfolk, however, will not stop talking and may have little understanding of personal boundaries.
    If the Frogfolk are under the influence of the mist, they will stalk the PCs in silence from a safe distance for hours. If their Dex (Stealth) checks exceed the PCs's passive Wis (Perception) scores, the Frogfolk attack with surprise when the PCs decide to take a short or long rest. Otherwise, they wait until the PCs are weakened by another random encounter before moving in for the easy kill.


    Will-o'-wisp
    This encounter occurs only once. If it comes up again, treat the result as no encounter.
    Text: 'Several hundred yards away, through the fog, you see a flickering torchlight.'
    If the characters follow the light: 'The torchlight flutters as it moves away from you, but you never lose sght of it. You make your way quickly yet cautiously through the fog until you come upon a hooded and cloaked figure hunched beneath the twisting boughs of an Edelwood tree. The feeble light floats into their clawed and waiting hand. Two more figures step out from behind the tree, naked but for a pitch-like coating of black tree sap.'
    The three druids attack. The will-o'-wisp reappears from invisibilty to join the fray only when a PC is near death.


    STAT ALTERATIONS/ADDITIONS














    Last edited by Isada; 09-27-2017 at 06:31 AM.

  6. #16
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    Chap 2: Areas of the Unknown, Part I
    The following areas correspond to labels on the ORIGINAL CoS map of Barovia on page 35.


    Common Features
    Unless otherwise specified, apply the following rules to doors, secret doors, locks, and webs:
    Doors--a wodden door can be forced open with a DC 10 Str check or DC 15 if the door is barred/reinforced. Increase the DC by 5 if the door is stone and 10 if iron. Decrease the DC b 5 if the door is made of glass or ice or is weakened (such as by rot/corrosion).
    Secret doors--if there are obvious clue's to its presence, such as scratch marks/footprints, a character with a passive Wis (Perception) of 15 or higher notices the secret door. Otherwise, a PC must search the area and make a DC 15 Wis (Perception) check.
    Locks--a creature proficient with thieves's tools can use them to pick a typical lock with a DC 15 Dex check. A typical padlock can be broken by smashing or slashing and succeeding on a DC 20 Str check.
    Webs--characters can pass through ordinary webs and thick cobwebs without restraint or being slowed. A character can clear cobwebs from a 10-ft square as an action. Webs woven by giant spiders are different (see Chap 5 in DM's Guide).


    A. Worthwagon Road
    Text: 'Giant, fall-leaved trees loom on both sides of the road, branches clawing at the mist. Black pools of water lie like dark mirrors in and around the muddy roadway. Your boots are about to take the brunt of the muck.'
    If the PCs walk along the road, they arrive at area B after 5 hours. If traveling in a Fungai's turkey wagon, the travel time is halved.


    B. Adelaide Gate
    Two sets of these gates exist: one to the west and one east of the village Adelaide.
    Text: 'The mist spills from the forest to swallow up the road behind you. Ahead, jutting from the fall-leaved woods on both sides of the road, gray stone buttresses arch just over head height in the fog. Dew slicks the woodgrain grooves of the sticky, black-varnished doors that hang on the stonework. Two headless stone statues of equally tall turkeys flank the gate. Their heads lie in the weeds at their feet, staring at you with large yet somehow still beady eyes.'
    If the characters are traveling on foot, the western gates swing open as they approaching, creaking on their hinges. The gates close behind the characters after they pass through. If riding in wagons, the gates open in front of the lead wagon and close after the rear enters.
    The eastern gates don't open for people trying to leave the Unknown and the fog chokes any that pass through the gates or skirts around them.
    If the Beast is defeated, the gates open and the North Wind clears the road east of fog.


    C. The Edelwood Forest
    Text: 'Towering trees, whose fiery canopies are lost in heavy gray mist, black out all but a drear light. The tree trunks are unnaturally close to one another, and the woods have the silence of a forgotten grave, yet exude the feeling of an unvoiced scream.'
    If the PCs are traveling in wagons, they can continue to the village of Adelaide (area E) without incident.
    If the characters are on foot, whoever has the highest passive Wisdom (Perception) score notices: 'You catch the grandly tripping notes of a distant song.'
    A moment later: 'You hear the thick and fibrous ripping and tearing of a falling tree, its boughs snapping like bones.'
    If they head in the direction of the sounds: 'The stump of a recently chopped tree still oozes black sap. Beside it, a tree with knobs and gnarls rougly resembling a face upon its trunk clutches a crumpled envelope between two low and twining branches.'
    One week ago, this Edelwood tree was the man Alvin Oscar. He tried to escape from the Unknown with a letter from his master when the Beast stripped his final hopes and he succumbed to the Edelwood Slumber.
    The letter in Alvin's hand has a large 'A' set into its wax seal. The parchment is worn and flimsy. If the PCs open and read the letter, show the players "Andrew Kole's Letter (Version 2)" in appendix F, dated one week ago.
    Alvin was instructed to place the letter at the gates in the hope that visitors would find it and turn back.
    If the PCs linger in the woods, they hear the howl of a lone dog far off in the forest. Each round, one more dog adds its voice to the howling, the sound
    getting progressively closer to the party. If the characters are still in the woods after 5 rounds of howling, five dire dogs arrive and attack. If the characters are trying to leave the Unknown, these dire dogs are joined by a pack of 20 dogs. The attack stops if the PCs retreat to the road and head toward the village of Adelaide (area E).


    D. Eternal River
    Text: 'The river flows as clear as the melting ice of the undomesticated mountains.'
    The river is roughly 50 feet wide, its depth ranging from 5 to 10 feet. Arching stone bridges span the river at two points, one near Adelaide (area E) and the other near Fallwater (area H). They are made from the same stone as the wall surrounding the Unknown.


    E. Village of Adelaide
    See Chap 3.


    F. Eternal River Crossroads
    Check for a random encounter whenever the characters reach area F, unless accompanied by Fungais.
    Text: 'An old wooden stockage creaks in a chill wind that blows down from the high ground to the west. Its holes are mercifully empty, though the wood bears the countless stains and splattermarks of weaponized produce. The well-worn road splits here, and a signpost opposite the stocks points off in three directions: Adelaide to the east, Fallwater Pool to the northwest, and Tavern Town to the southwest.
    The northwest fork slants in descent and disappears into the trees. The southwest fork winds around an upward slope. Across from the stockade, a shoulder-height stone wall encloses a small plot of graves in shroud of fog. The sticky, black-varnished sign above the entry reads: Eternal Garden Cemetery.'
    The northwest fork leads to the river and the road southwest leads to area H. The east road leads to an arching stone bidge and continues to Adelaide (area E). If the PCs are traveling with Fungais, the Fungais lead them along the northwest road to the Fungai Encampment.
    The stockade stands atop a wooden platform sticky with varnish made from the black sap of Edelwood trees.
    The cemetery holds 11 graves. PCs who dig up the graves find moldy bones buried without coffins. The denizens of the Unknown respect their dead by not enclosing them in the wood that marks souls for consumption and utter destruction by the Beast.
    The gravestones: 'Here lies Maude--she ran afoul of dogs, getting toothed and clawed.
    Here lies Pete--he raced naked on a cold day and ended in a dead heat.
    Here lies Trevor--he liked to eat mulch, which wasn't so clever.
    Here lies Stacy--she walked in on some druids and got clubbed by a mace-y.
    Here lies Bob--drawing a woodcutter's ire, he suffered a hatchet job.
    Here lies Camille--she fell into Lake Froget and sank like steel.
    Here lies Kipper--cursed by a Fungai, he got hit with his own whip-er.
    Here lies Shane--he argued with a centaur and got kicked in the brain.
    Here lies Lindy--she walked a roof too many on a day too windy.
    Here lies Will--he barrelled down Fallwater but took a bad spill.
    Here lies Gina--a marvelous musician until she swallowed her ocarina.'
    If your card reading reveals a treasure is here, it's buried in one of the graves. For each grave the characters dig up, there's a cumulative 10 percent chance of finding the treasure.


    G. Fallwater Pool Encampment
    Text: 'The road gradually disappears and is replaced by a twisted, muddy path through the trees. Heavy-laden wagons have dug deep ruts into the earth.
    The canopy of mist and branches gives way to boiling thunderclouds above. There is a clearing here, next to a river that widens to a pond, some might say a small lake, several hundred feet across.
    Five colorful round tents, each ten feet in diameter, are pitched outside a ring of four, mulch-heaped wagons exuding a thick and loamy pungence. A much larger tent stands near the pond bank, its sagging sheet walls lit from within. Near this tent, eight horse-sized turkeys drink from the river.
    A deep gnome plays a mournful tune on an accordion while their brightly clothed brethren sing and dance to an entirely different song around a bonfire.
    A footpath continues beyond this encampment, meandering north between the river and the forest's edge.'
    The eight draft turkeys drinking from the river aren't easily startled.
    If the PCs are brought here by Fungais, their escorts remain at the camp and don't accompany the party any farther.
    Twelve Fungais (CN male and female Fungai commoners) are standing and sitting around the fire, telling stories and eating from barbeque skewers. Three others (CN male and female Fungai nobles) rest in three of the four wagons but leap into action if an alarm is raised.
    The Fungais will only attack if provoked with threats or insults. Otherwise, the PCs are offered food and drink and invited to join the reverie. If the PCs linger, continue with 'A Fungai's Tale' below. If they're in a hurry to leave, one of the Fungai tells them, "It was fated that you came to our camp. Ms. Evangeline foretold it. She awaits you." The Fungai directs them to the largest tent. If they head that way, continue with 'Ms. Evangeline's Tent.'


    A Fungai's Tale
    Text: 'Once upon a time, maybe a year ago, a powerful wizard came to this land. He stood where you're standing...sitting. A charming man, he was, for a wizard, anyway. He thought he could rally the people of the Unknown against the Beast. He stirred them up to revolt--you know how they get--and brought the mob to the Elder Edelwood.
    But the Beast appeared and sang. And when he sings, he sings your secretest sins out of hiding. The mob scattered in despair only to plant roots from their feet. Every one of them fell to the Edelwood Slumber that day.
    But the wizard, he and the Beast fired their spells off at each other. In their fight, they flew from the Elder Edelwood to a precipice overlooking the falls. Saw it with my own eyes, I did.
    Thunder shook the mountainside, and boulders tumbled upon the wizard--thank spores he had magic. He was even able to take a direct bolt of lightning--I swear! But then the Beast fell on him. Nobody could've survived that.
    The Beast flung him a thousand feet to his death. I checked. I climbed down the river to find the wizard in case he was just mostly dead. But it was too late--the Eternal River had already flushed him down.'
    The Fungai storyteller doesn't remember the wizard's name, but recalls that it sounded important. If the characters haven't spoken with Ms. Evangeline, the storyteller urges them to do so.


    Ms. Evangeline's Tent
    Text: 'Magic flames cast a reddish glow over the tent interior and reveal a low table covered in black velvet. Light glints from a crystal ball on the table as a hunched figure peers into its surprisingly foggy depths. As the elderly Fungai speaks, her voice rasps like two rocks sanding each other to dust. "Right on schedule!" Laughter bursts from her withered lips with the clacking of thrown stones.'
    Ms. Evangeline (see appendix D) speaks the name of each party member and makes some reference to that PC's past deeds. She then asks the characters if they want their fortunes read. If they say yes, she produces a worn deck of cards and proceeds with the sequence in Chap 1.
    If the characters don't want a reading, continue play using the reading you performed before starting the adventure.
    Ms. Evangeline has met a good many adventurers and lost souls in her time and knows they can't be fully trusted. She wants to free the Unknown from the curse of the Beast (see appendix D), but fears any harm to the Fungais, so she never gives aid or asks for any.


    Treasure
    For each turkey wagon that the PCs search, roll once on the folowing table to determine the treasure:
    d20 Treasure
    1-10 None
    11-13 Sack of 100 units of currency (DM's choice) used in Tavern Town
    14-16 Pouch of 100 units of currency (DM's choice) used in Adelaide
    17-19 Sack containing one common item
    20 One magic item (see Magic Item Table B in the DM's guide)
    If your card reading reveals a treasure here, it's hidden in one of the wagons. Ms. Evangeline gives the PCs permission to search the wagons if they ask, and any such search also yields the treasure.


    H. Fallwater
    If the characters reach area H by following the footpath from the Fungai encampment (area G): 'You follow the river to the base of a canyon, at the end of which a great waterfall roars into a pool, billowing forth cold and spraying clouds. A bridge of stone spans the canyon nearly one thousand feet overhead.'
    If the characters are on the high road: 'You follow the dirt road, its muck clinging to the side of the mountain, all the way to an arching bridge of mold, moss, and fungi-choked stone that spans a natural chasm. Stone dogs given a new coat coat of black moss stand alert over the corners of the bridge, ears and tails pointed.
    On the mountain side of the bridge, a waterfall roars into a clouded, roiling pool nearly a thousand feet below. The pool feeds a river that winds into the fog-shrouded and fall-leaved trees that blanket the valley like a cold forest fire.'
    The chasm's walls are slippery and sheer, and can't be scaled without magic or a climber's kit. The bridge is slick with the spray of the falls but safe to cross. The road south of the bridges leads down the mountainside to area F. The road north cuts through the mountains to area I. The dogs are harmless sculptures.

    Last edited by Isada; 09-27-2017 at 06:31 AM.

  7. #17
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    Chap 2: Areas of the Unknown, Part II


    I. Black turtle cart
    Text: 'Even here, in the mountains, the forest and fog are inescapable. Ahead, the dirt road splits in two, widening toward the east. There you see patches of black cobblestone, slick and round as turtle shells.'
    If the Beast has invited to the Elder Edelwood or otherwise wants to steer them in his direction, add: 'Parked at the fork in the road, pointed east, is a large wooden cart hitched to a black turtle the size of two draft horses. The turtle regards you from heavy-lidded eyes gleaming with a weary intelligence.'
    The turtle is under the Beast's control. It waits for the characters to pile intot he cart if they so desire. There is room inside for eight of them. If they get in, the turtle draws the cart down the road to area J. The turtle can't be discourged from its course.
    PCs who don't want to travel east in the carriage can follow the road northwest through a set of wooden gates (area B) or travel south to the bridge at Fallwater (area H).


    J. Edelwood Gate
    The following assumes characters arrive here in the cart from area I. Modify as needed if they arrive by other means.
    Text: 'After winding through the forest and craggy mountain peaks, the road takes a sudden turn east. The Elder Edelwood towers before you upon the precipice of a fifty-foot-wide, fog-filled chasm that disappears into unknown depths. Roots as thick and sturdy as stone towers crush and weave their coils in and out of the rock. Cracks spread from each monstrous stitch of wood and stone, countless displaced boulders jutting like loose teeth.
    A bridge of rope and wooden planks stretches across the chasm, creaking in the wind. A wooden portcullis, black with resinous varnish, hangs above the entry tunnel. Across the chasm, the Elder Edelwood gapes open from a massive hole in its trunk, a toothless maw. Rich, warm light spills from within, flooding the courtyard where its roots rip through the black cobblestone. Torches flicker on both sides of the maw, their flames sad pinpricks in comparison.'
    The bridge appears sturdy, but several of its boards are missing, and it creaks and groans under any weight. There is a 5% chance of one of the boards breaking under a creature. If one breaks, the creature must succeed on a DC 10 Dex saving throw or fall to the bottom of the cliffs, 1000 feet below. If a companion is within 5 ft of the creature and reaches out to grab it, the creature has advantage on the save.
    A patch of green slime (see Chap 5 of the DM's Guide) clings to the portcullis in the entry tunnel and can be spotted with a successful DC 20 Wis (Perception) check. The slime will not fall on those entering, but it does on the first character who leaves by this route.


    K. Elder Edelwood
    See Chap 4.


    L. Lake Froget
    Text: 'At the foot of a mountain, nestled in the autumnal forest, is a large lake. The water is perfectly still and dark, hiding all that enters its depths.'
    If the PCs arrive along the shore north of Tavern Town in the daytime, add:
    'Pulled up along shore are three small rowboats. A fourth boat sits in the middle of the lake. An ill-formed figure casts a fishing line over one side while a much smaller figure leans precariously over the other.'
    Each rowboat can safely hold five people. The person fishing on the lake is Frogfolk Bill, a resident of the Frogfolk community within the deep waters and frigid waters of Lake Froget. He is in a fog-induced trance and doesn't respond to anything or anyone unless attacked. His boat is 400 feet from the nearest shore.
    His companion is the seven-year-old Fungai runaway, Arabelle. Her budding gift of prescience has told her that great enemies of the Beast will come to the shores of Lake Froget. In her impatience, however, she's asked Frogfolk Bill to take her out to the center of the lake from which point she can watch every shore. She is unaware that Frogfolk Bill has been in a trance for days beside the rowboats, assuming it to be a mere idiosyncracy like those of the nearby townsfolk.


    Roleplaying Frogfolk Bill
    Frogfolk Bill is currently under the influence of the Beast and will fall into Edelwood Slumber as soon as he leaves the boat if the characters take him to the shore. If the PCs push him overboard, he will sink down where other Frogfolk from the Lake Froget will come for his body but will be unable to wake him.
    Frogfolk Bill barely understands his own actions at this point. He is unarmed and does nothing to aid or thwart the characters.


    Roleplaying Arabelle
    If the PCs watch the boat from the shore or row out into the lake, Arabelle notices them and stands up. In her excitement, she tips the boat and falls over the edge. A deep gnome child, she's too small to reach the edge of the boat.
    PCs who act quickly can save Arabelle before she drowns. A character on shore must make a DC 15 Str (Athletics) check to reach her in time. The DC is 10 for characters who took a rowboat out onto the lake.
    Like most Fungais, Arabelle is bald and has pastel skin. Her saucer-like eyes are an opalescent black. If rescued, she refuses to say where she came from unless a character succeeds on a DC 15 Cha check. If the PCs agree to let her travel with them and approach her family's camp outside Tavern Town (Chap 5, area N9), she will stop them and explain that she ran away because she's destined to help defeat the Beast--why else would she continue to have visions of the Beast's enemies? But her father, Mr. Lou, is too overprotective...of the precocious seven-year-old...and refused to help her seek or aid any such adventurers.


    M. Mr. Elkman
    This encounter can occur anywhere along the base of Mount Barking: 'North of the mountain lake, the trees begin a steady climb up the slopes of Mount Barking until the jagged like of the toothed evergreens. The ground here is rocky, uneven, and tiring to navigate. Even the wild dogs avoid this neck of the woods. Soon, you climb above the blanket of fog that rises from even the trees themselves. Gray and pregnant thunderclouds roll overhead with muffled rumbles of thunder.
    You see an elk standing on a rocky spur about sixty feet away. It stands on its hind legs and brings the hooves of its forelegs to its mouth. It flings off the first dark hoof with its mouth. Slender, velveted fingers jointed in disparate places like antlers remove the other hoof. The thing in the shape of an elk waggles its fingers with the crack and pop of far too many knuckles.
    A gust of cold wind blows every last oiled and spiky hair off the bipedal elk, revealing a naked man. His thick black beard and long, matted hair are streaked with gray. His elk-brown eyes crackle with eldritch power.'
    Mr. Elkman (CN male human archmage) came to the Unknown a little over a year ago with the rest of the outsiders brought in with the fog tide. He tried to free the denizens of the Unknown from the Beast's oppression but overestimated the combat ability of a mob of commoners against the Beast's multitude of forces. The battle eventually brought Mr. Elkman and the Beast to the mountains where the Beast hurled the wizard over Fallwater (area H). The wizard, his staff and spellbook lost, survived the fall and retreated into the wintry mountains, hoping to regain his power, only to lose much of his willpower to the Beast's influence.
    Mr. Elkman has forgotten his original name and the world whence he came. In fact, he doesn't remember anything that happened before his fight with the Beast. He believes all who come to him are agents of the Beast intending to finish him off and will turn his destructive magic on the PCs shouting, "You think my magic has grown weak? Think again, thralls!"
    If reduced to 50 hit points or fewer, he shouts, "Tell the Beast he can break my body but never my spirit." He then attempts to flee.
    Mr. Elkman, truly none other than Mordenkainen, archmage of Oerth and leader of the Circle of Eight, has cast a mind blink on himself to prevent the Beast from using his past against him and further deteriorate his will. While the spell remains in effect, he will continue to assume the PCs are hostile. The PCs can determine he's under the mind blank spell with an 18 Int (Arcana) check. It has a duration of 3d6 hours, after which he will cast it again as soon as possible unless the PCs are there to prevent it.
    Mr. Elkman, as he prefers to be called in his present state of failure, has a different spell list from the archmage in the Monster Manual as noted here:
    Cantrips--fire bolt, light, mage hand, prestidigitation, shocking grasp
    1st (4 slots)--detect magic, mage armor, magic missile, shield
    2nd (3 slots)--mirror image, misty step, web
    3rd (3 slots)--counterspell, fly, lightning bolt
    4th (3 slots)--Mordenkainen's faithful hound, polymorph, stoneskin
    5th (3 slots)--Bigby's hand, cone of cold, scrying
    6th (1 slot)--true seeing
    7th (1 slot)--Mordenkainen's magnificent mansion
    8th (1 slot)--mind blank
    9th (1 slot)--time stop


    Mordenkainen's mansion
    If the PCs prevent him from blanking his mind again, he invites them to his 'mansion.' He leads them up the mountain to an invisible doorway that serves as the entrance to his extradimensional lair, created by his very own Mordenkainen's magnificent mansion spell. He provides them with food and sanctuary where they are free to take an undisturbed short or long rest.
    Mr. Elkman is familiar with worlds beyond his own but not our world.
    If he isn't the foretold ally (see Chap 1), he declines to join them if asked. But he does imbue each character with a charm of heroism (see Chap 7, DM's Guide). Once the PCs leave and he has recovered his spells, he will cast mind blank again.
    If he is the foretold ally, Mr. Elkman will agree to help them fight the Beast at the final battle but will not join them in their travels.
    Mr. Elkman, originally a stubborn and difficult man who refused to suffer a fool, is a shell of his former self. He is silent and withdrawn, often staring into space and refusing to listen. He's much happier acting like an animal in elk form, however, and will assume it any chance that he gets. If he gets into a mood while in elk form, his reassumes his human positions and mannerisms but remains in his elk body.
    If the Beast is defeated and Mr. Elkman survives, he will agree to accompany the characters back to their world if asked, springing at the chance for a new beginning.


    N. Town of Tavern Town
    See Chap 5.


    O. The Old Grist Mill
    See Chap 6.


    P. Loon River Crossroads
    Always check for a random encounter when the characters reach area P in their travels.
    Text: 'The road comes to an X intersection with branches to the northwest, northeast, southwest, and southeast. The lower half of a snapped wooden signpost thrusts upward at an angle near the easter elbow of the intersection. The top half of the sign, featuring muscular arms pointing in four directions, lies in the weeds nearby.'
    The characters can easily figure out how the top half connects to the lower half. When aligned and rejoined, the muscular wooden arms indicate Pottsfield and Winter Road to the Southwest, Lake Barking to the northwest, Tavern Town and the Elder Edelwood to the northeast, and Manorfield to the southeast.
    Worthwagon Road, which runs northeast to southwest between Tavern Town (area N) and Pottsfield (area S), is generally level. A quarter mile along the northeast branch, an arching stone bridge crosses Loon River.
    The northwest branch climbs gently only to become a mucky dirt trail through the woods within a half mile. It merges with Worthwagon Road again after a couple of miles, but not before sprouting a branch that leads to the Schoolhouse on Lake Barking (area V). The southeast branch wends downward, following Loon River into a valley. This trail at the mostly abandoned riverside burg of Manorfield (area U).


    O. Inn of Whispers
    See Chap 7.


    R. Raven River Crossroads
    Always check for a random encounter when characters reach area R.
    This stretch of Worthwagon road has multiple branches. One heads north, quickly turning to a dirt path to the Shcoolhouse (area V). One heads south, becoming Winter Road (area T) as it winds through the lower mountains and clings to the side of Mount Gawking. The third branch heads west toward the Mulch Fields (area W), dipping south as it changes from a road into a gravel trail.
    Standing at the busy intersection is a signpost: 'You see a weatherworn signpost next to the road. Its three arms point along the three branches of the road. The arm pointing north reads Pottsfield, and through the woods you can see an arching stone bridge spanning a river. The arm pointing east reads Tavern Town, and the road slopes up gradually in that direction. The lowest arm, pointing southwest, reads the Mulch Fields. The road slopes gently down in that direction and you see that gravel replaces the mud.'


    S. Pottsfield
    See Chap 8.


    T. Winter Road
    See Chap 9.


    U. Overgrown Manor
    See Chap 10.


    V. The Schoolhouse
    See Chap 11.


    W. The Mulch Fields
    See Chap 12.


    X. Winter Place.
    See Chap 13.


    Y. The Seed Garden
    See Chap 14.


    Z. The Landboat of Frogs
    See Chap 15.


    Last edited by Isada; 09-27-2017 at 06:32 AM.

  8. #18
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    Chap 3: The Village of Adelaide, Part I


    Adelaide is one of the most severely oppressed settlements in the land. The village lies in the shadow of the Elder Edelwood, buried under fog and every night, any caught outside must contend with swarms of Business Bats.
    Until recently, the Beast had been paying nightly visits to Irene Kole, the adopted daughter of the village burgomaster. Irene carries a piece of the soul of the witch Tabitha, the only one to have ever escaped from the Beast. He intends to sing her final hopes away so that she may fall into Edelwood Slumber and become a tree for him to consume by fire.


    Approaching the village
    When the characters first approach: 'Tall shapes loom out of the dense fog that surrounds all. Multicolored threads drape many of these quiet, empty-windowed buildings like webs of a yarn-spinning spider. No sound breaches the silent and smoky air except for a mournful sobbing that echoes through the streets from a distance.'
    The sobbing comes from the townhouse of Adelaide, the defected clone of the witch Tabitha (area E3). With the exception of areas E1 and E2, all shops in the village are among the permanently closed and yarn-draped buildings--Adelaide secretly being the one responsible. Unoccupied shops have been looted of anything valuable, but many are home to Feathered Friends, rebels whom Adelaide has transformed into birds. Feathered Friends are sentient but cannot speak or use any stats but those of tiny, ordinary birds.


    House occupants
    If the PCs explore a residence other than Adelaide's townhouse (area E3) or the burgomaster's mansion (area E4), roll a d20 and consult the following table:


    d20 Occupants
    1-2 None
    3-4 2d4 swarms of birds (non-hostile Feathered Friends)
    5-14 Villagers
    15-16 2d4 swarms of rats
    17-18 1d4 scarecrows
    19-20 2d4 the Beast's fog-touched fey (see appendix D)


    The unoccupied
    Any house without villagers is one of the abandoned buildings draped in multicolored yarn. These threads also hang from the rafters of the interior. While having no properties other than ordinary thread, if a PC grabs hold of many threads looped around the same rafter, they can yank the single beam free with a Str DC 20.
    A house infested with rats or home to Feathered Friends appears thusly abandoned.
    Visual reference: https://67.media.tumblr.com/8a5e395f...e18o2_1280.png

    Villagers
    A house of villagers is home to 1d4 adults (any race, commoners) and 1d6-1 children (any race, noncombatants). PCs who listen at the door hear low, muffled speech from within. They can see humanoid shapes move in the windows, typically lighted at night. Villagers never attack first and flee from danger if possible. Many of them carry the holy symbols of the Queen of the Cloud, which can be any object but shaped as though formed by a cloud.


    Scarecrows
    When the PCs open a door or shuttered window of an abandoned home hosting scarecrows, they see blood and the mutilated bodies of birds. If the PCs search the house, they will find the scarecrows in the process of bird-killing. The scarecrows will attack the PCs once they've dispatched the birds (1 round). Feathered Friends killed as birds do not revert to their original forms.


    The Beast's fog-touched fey
    When the PCs open a door or shuttered window of an abandoned home infested by
    the Beast's fog-touched fey, a breath of mist smelling of burning wood and oil blows by them. Mist rolls and curls across the floor of the building and the scent becomes stronger as the fey converge upon the PCs.


    Areas of the Village
    The following correspond to labels on the ORIGINAL CoS map of Barovia on page 42.


    E1. Old Bill's Mercantile
    Text: 'The sparse light from this building spills out from behind drawn, heavy curtains depicting birds flying through clouds in colorful brocade. A sign over the door, creaking on its hinges, reads "Old Bill's Mercantile."'
    The establishment is 70 feet long by 40 feet wide. The owner, Old Bill (any race, commoner), sells items from the Adventuring Gear table in the Player's Handbook, but only buys items with a price lower than 25 (object of currency is the DM's choice), and sells them for 10 tens the price.
    He trades with Fungais when they pass through. He's happy to make a profit from any strangers unlucky enough to find themselves here. He serves his own interests and offers no sanctuary. He never bargains unless he has an idiosyncracy revolving around a particular object since, as he says, "If you want it badly enough, you'll pay for it." He has no competition in the village.
    If the PCs give him a hard time, he calls Perry Wimple (any race, gladiaotr but with Int 6 and no shield). Perry is his nephew and stockboy under a severely gouging contract. His muscles ripple under his leather tunic, giving ample notice of his strength. But in his simple-minded devotion, he won't leave Old Bill to join the PCs while his uncle has something to say about it.


    E2. Last Tavern Left
    Text: 'A single shaft of light thrusts into the main square, its brightness a solid pillar in the heavy fog. Above the open doorway, a sign hangs precariously askew, proclaiming this to be the Last Tavern Left.'
    The building is about 60 feet square. A blazing fire in the unbarred hearth warms almost as much as it threatens to spill out over the hard wooden floorboards. The PCs can see a barkeep, three Fungais drinking and reveling together, and a human male, Isaiah Kole, son of the burgomaster Andrew Kole.


    Roleplaying Isaiah
    Isaiah (LG male human veteran) is a young man who sits by himself at a corner table, sipping the house moonshine. The villagers call him "Isaiah the Lesser" or "Lessie" for short because he's lived in the shadow of his father for most of his life.
    Isaiah invites the PCs to join him, offers to pay for their homebrewed drinks, and asks for their aid in protecting his adopted sister, Irene Kole. If they agree to help, he takes them to the burgomaster's residence (area E4). He wants them to help escort Irene to Tavern Town, a settlement in the heart of the valley, and out of the shadow of the Elder Edelwood. He hopes the Beast will be unable to reach Irene there, as he's heard it is well-defended. Like most villagers of Adelaide, however, he hasn't left to see for himself because of the night terror of the Business Bats.
    Isaiah has spent all of his spare time training after learning about the wizard's assault on the Beast about a year ago. If the PCs suggest that he accompany them, he agrees provided that Irene is first brought to a place of safety. As long as Isaiah accompanies the characters, he acts as a party member for the purpose of determining each character's share of XP, though he gains no points himself.


    Roleplaying other NPCS
    Barkeep--is a pudgy little man (any race, CN commoner) who mimicks the voices of his patrons when they take orders for drinks. Indeed, he even attempts to act like them when he brings them their order. He's a man of little knowledge but if asked for information, he'll make something up in the hopes that it helps.
    The three Fungais--(nobles) sit at a table near the front door. They are, in fact, the owners of the tavern, having given up mulch-gathering after their giant turkeys fell to dire dogs. Their names are Alan, Mirabel, and Sara, and the make sure the customers pay their tabs. If the PCs question them about their past or the tavern, all three exchange joviality for solemnity and relate the tale of the death of their turkeys, growing increasingly emotional until they're all wailing and sobbing at the end. As the PCs leave them, they suggest visiting Ms. Evangeline for their fortunes (Chap 2, area G).


    E3. Adelaide's Townhouse
    Text: 'A moaning sob floats through the still, gray streets, coloring your thoughts with sadness. The sounds flow from a two-story townhouse with yarn cords for curtains.'
    The house, about 40 ft square, belongs to the one that the villagers call "Snow White" because the white-haired woman has never told them a name. She was never given a name by the rebels who created her to be a clone of the witch Tabitha, but the influence of the Beast has led her to believe that she is Adelaide, caretaker spirit of the village--why else would she have such power? She will not, however, attack the players unless they attack her or threaten the Beast in her presence. See stats below.
    Upon entering the house, the PCs feel the unnatural wintry chill that pervades the entire house (those who can may detect its magical nature). Multicolored threads drape over every frost-crystalled surface, the long ends of their strands clutched by the white-haired Adelaide sitting at the center of the floor in the upstairs bedroom. She wears only a simple patchwork shift and her bare feet leave no print in the frost which she creates.
    Few have noticed her resemblance to Irene Kole because the cloning process left her without pigmentation and Adelaide only leaves her home at night, but the PCs may perceive the similarities with a DC 11 Wis (Perception) check. Adelaide says nothing in the presence of anger but will speak, albeit haltingly, to someone who talks with her gently. Gertruda, whom she adopted as a servant but has come to care for as a daughter, is missing and Adelaide fears the worst. See Chap 4, area K42 for Gertruda's fate. Adelaide will only speak of her past if the PCs report back on Gertruda's fate.
    If the PCs search the house, they can find Gertruda's doll, a miniature stuffed scarecrow with an unsettling leer on its sackcloth face.
    Her idiosyncracies are decorating abandoned buildings with her yarn and knitting clothes for her scarecrows with needles of ice, though the DM may add more.
    Adelaide's song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nd_FpKwGkTs


    E4. Burgomaster's Mansion
    Text: 'A weary mansion squats behind a rusting iron fence. The iron gates are twisted and torn. The right gate lies cast aside, while the left swings lazily in the wind, squealing and clanging with cyclic precision. Weeds choke the grounds and crawl up the sides of the house. Yet, many feet have tramped down a path to and around the domain.
    As you approach, you note where heavy claws have stripped the walls of their painted finish. Great, soot-black smears tell of many fires having been set upon the mansion. Not a pane nor shard of glass remains in any of the windows, all of which are boarded up. Someone has carved cloud sigils into the planks.'
    Characters who survey the grounds can, with a DC 11 Wis (Perception) check, discern the prints of dogs and humanoids. The footprints were made both by mobs and the Beast's fog-touched fey while the pawprints were made by dogs and dire dogs.
    Irene Kole (LG female human noble, 14 hit points), the adopted daughter of the burgomaster, is inside the mansion and won't open the heavily barred door unless she's convinced that they have no allegiance to the Beast. If convinced with good roleplay or a DC 15 Cha (Deception or Persuasion) check or by accompanying Isaiah, she opens the door and bids them enter.
    Once inside: 'The interior is well furnished, yet the fixtures and furniture show signs of great wear. Noticeable oddities are the boarded-up windows and holy cloud symbols in every room. The burgomaster is in a side drawing room on the floor, wrapped in a simple knit shroud. Flowers were placed on his body, but they've wilted, adding to the scent of decay.'
    Isaiah and Irene knit the shroud themselves.


    Roleplaying Irene
    Irene, a striking human with auburn hair, has had much of her will and hopes stripped by the Song of the Beast. The villagers can sense her impending doom and avoid her on sight. The PCs are her best hope for protection, so she is willing to accompany them under certain conditions.
    She doesn't remember her early past, how she came to the Unknown, or where she came from.
    She does say that father was fortunate enough to die of heart failure than to fall into Edelwood Slumber. But no one wants to help her or Isaiah take their father to the cemetery for a proper burial. No one has even helped them carve a headstone, so they've simply collected stones to pile upon the grave. She asks the PCs to help deliver the body safely to Dona, the local priest (area E5). If the PCs convince her to go with them without moving the body, she will sneak away at any moment to do it herself, risks be damned.


    STAT ALTERATIONS/ADDITIONS


    Last edited by Isada; 09-27-2017 at 06:33 AM.

  9. #19
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    Chap 3: Village of Adelaide, Part II


    E5. Church of the Queen of the Cloud
    Text: 'Atop a slight rise, against the thick, root-stitched foot of the precipice supporting the Elder Edelwood, stands a gray, sagging edifice of stone and wood. A bell tower looms toward the back, and flickering light shines through holes in the shingled roof. The rafters strain with feeble creaks against their load. Though weather beaten and worn, the church miraculous has preserved the majority of its now pockmarked stained glass windows. They depict a jovial procession of all manner of beings within a city of white cloud, watched over by a regal woman in blue, her wings like clouds themselves.'
    If the PCs approach the doors: 'The heavy wooden doors are covered with claw marks and the black soot of fire.'
    The village priest, Dona, lives here. Other villagers, even if worshippers of the Queen of the Cloud, shun the church. The following areas correspond to labels on the ORIGINAL CoS map of the church on page 46.


    E5A. Hall
    Text: 'The doors open to reveal a ten-foot-wide, twenty-foot-long hall leading to a brightly lit chapel. Flickering torches reveal the garish and unnatural colors of the disproportionate processionals in the stained glass.'
    Visual reference: https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-PWzpgq89g...600/otgw21.png
    Visual reference: http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/...20150114165337
    Visual reference: http://overmental.com/wp-content/upl...ouds-25921.png
    'Four doors, two on each side of the hall, lead to adjacent chambers. The chapel floor is strewn with debris. A soft voice from within recites a prayer. The floorboards rattle with an inhuman scream from beneath, drowning out all supplication.'
    The scream comes from the undercroft (area E5g). The soft voice belongs to Dona, the priest (area E5f).


    E5B. Anna's bedroom
    Text: 'This dirty, lightless room contains a wooden bed with a straw-filled mattress. Mounted above the headboard is a wooden holy symbol of a shaped cloud.'


    E5C. Dona's bedroom
    Text: 'This debris-strewn room contains a wooden bed with a straw-filled mattress. An oil lamp burns brightly from a small table beside the bed. Mounted above the headboard is a wooden holy symbol of a shaped cloud.'
    This is Dona's room and contains nothing of value.


    E5D. Trapdoor
    Text: 'Time and neglect have punched holes in the ceiling of this moldy room, which contains a few broken roof shingles in puddles of stagnant water. In one corner, set into the floor, is a heavy wooden trapdoor held shut with a chain and padlock. High, ear-piercing screams lance through the door.'
    Dona has lost the key to the iron padlock, though a thorough search of the church can reveal its location with a DC 20 Wis (Perception) check. If the chain is removed and the door opened, the screaming stops. The trapdoor is swollen and stuck in its frame, so that a successful DC 12 Str check is required to pull it open. Below is a wooden staircase that descends 15 ft in the undercroft (E5g).


    E5E. Office
    Text: 'An old desk and chair stand against the south wall, a wooden holy symbol mounted above them--the smiling head of the church's goddess. A ten-foot-long iron rod attached to the north wall stands bare, suggesting a tapestry once hung there. Against the far wall stands a wooden cabinet with four tall doors.'
    An empty wooden donation box rests on the chair. The desk contains blank parchment, quills, and dried-up inkwells. Though large, the cabinet contains little: a tinderbox, blue candles, and two books: Hymns to the Queen of the Cloud, a volume of chants, and The Blade of Truth: How to Fight a Cult, a strange book mixing logic exercises with lurid descriptions of violent cult worship.
    Song reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSC9Tk3bK4k


    E5F. Chapel
    Text: 'The chapel is in shambles with overturned and broken pews littering the dusty floor. Dozens of blue candles mounted in candlesticks and candelabras light even the shadiest corner. At the far end of the church sits a claw-scarred altar, behind which kneels a priest in soiled vestments of white and blue. Beside her, a long, thick rope stretches up into the bell tower.'
    If the PCs haven't entered the undercroft: 'From beneath the chapel floorboards, you hear a young woman cry out, "Mother! I'm starving!"'
    Dona (LG any race acolyte) has been praying throughout the night. Her voice is hoarse and weak. A little more than a year ago, she and her 20-year-old daughter, Anna, joined the mob against the Beast and stormed the Elder Edelwood, having been lured into following the "all-mighty" wizard Mordenkainen (Chap 2, area M). By all accounts, the wizard died by the Beast's hand. The rebels fell to mist and song. Anna, in her weakened state, became one of the mist-possessed.
    Dona was able to trap her daughter in the undercroft, where she has remained, unfed, to this day. She cries out to her mother at all hours. Meanwhile, Dona spends every moment in prayer and supplication to the Queen of the Cloud.
    Dona is not aware that attacking a mist-possessed only harms the mist that shrouds the host. If the PCs seem intent on "slaying" Anna, Dona does her best to stop them without outright murdering them.
    In addition to the lore known to all denizens (see Chap 2), Dona knows the following:
    --Irene Kole is adopted, found at the edge of the forest near the Thronestone. She had no memory of her past.
    --Every night at midnight, a silent procession of scarecrows makes a beeline through the church graveyard to the townhouse of "Snow White" (see Special Events below).


    Funeral for the Burgomaster
    If the PCs bring Andrew Kole's body to the church, Dona presses them into helping her bury the body in the cemetery (area E6) at dawn. During the burial, Dona prays to the Queen of the Cloud in exchange for the escape of Andrew Kole's soul to the afterlife.
    Once he's interred, Dona suggests taking Irene as far from the Elder Edelwood as possible, either Pottsfield (Chap 8) or Tavern Town (Chap 5). Dona is unaware of the dangers in Pottsfield.


    E5G. Undercroft
    The church's undercroft has rough-hewn walls and a floor of damp clay and pungent earth. Rotting wooden pillars strain under the weight of the wooden ceiling. Candlelight from the chapel above slips through the cracks, allowing you to glimpse a silhouette exhaling fog in the far corner.'


    The silhouette is Anna, a mist-possessed (see Chap 2). She's not in her right mind and will approach the group in steps, observing, before suddenly lunging to attack. If they flee, she will attempt to escape. Dona will try to stop her even if she dies in the process. If Anna is allowed to escape, she is the mist-possessed who will appear in random travel encounters until she is freed. Once restored, she will tell the PCs the events that led to her possession (see area E5f), but will have no memory of what transpired afterward.


    If your card reading reveals a treasure in the undercroft, it's in a moldy old donation box in the southwest corner of the room. The chest has a simple lock but is not trapped.


    E6. Cemetery
    Text: 'A fence of wrought iron with a rusty gate encloses a rectangular plot of land behind the dilapidated church. Tightly packed gravestones shrouded by fog have had their inscriptions blackened and scratched away. Shallow, coin-shaped depressions cut across from one corner to the other.'
    During daytime, the cemetery is still and peaceful. But every night at midnight comes a procession of scarecrows reporting back to Adelaide (see Special Events below).


    E7. Black Turtle House
    This house of cultists is described in appendix B.


    Special Events
    If the PCs are out at night in Adelaide, there is a 50% chance they will encounter 1d4 swarms of Business Bats and a 25% chance that one swarm of Feathered Friends will come to their aid if any such hostile encounter occurs. The hostile swarms will not pursue the PCs into any building, but the Feathered Friends may follow at the DM's discretion.


    March of Scarecrows
    Every night at midnight, 1d8+2 scarecrows march from the forest across the cemetery and into the village to Adelaide's house where they make a silent report to her using knife-fingered sign language about the Feathered Friends and others they've killed.
    Text: 'A scarecrow hops out of the fog and over the iron fence into the cemetery. Another and another follow, marching on stilted legs to the opposing corner.'
    If the PCs are without a light source and hidden: 'The scarecrows hop the fence again and continue toward the village.'
    If the PCs are detected, the scarecrows will attack. They will not follow the PCs into any buildings if the PCs hold the door against them, DC 10 Str check. Instead, they return to their march.


    The Woodcutter
    This event only occurs at night if the PCs are making their way through the village.
    Text: 'You hear the sound of mud squelching under small, wooden wheels. A being as hairless as a gnome but large as a human pulls a rickety cart laden with logs through the fog.'
    The lone woodcutter has been charged by the Beast to spy on the town while en route to the Old Grist Mill. If the characters are without a light source and move quietly, they can follow the woodcutter all the way back to the Old Grist Mill. But if the woodcutter detects them, it will recognize the PCs as strangers and follow them until they enter a building or attack. If they retreat into a building, the woodcutter goes instead to the Elder Edelwood to make their report. If they attack, the woodcutter fights to the death unless the Beast encounters and stops the woodcutter.


    STAT ALTERATIONS/ADDITIONS



    Last edited by Isada; 09-27-2017 at 06:34 AM.

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    Chap 4: The Elder Edelwood


    When the caretaker abandoned Edelwood, his body, the Elder Edelwood continued to grow upon the precipice where he'd left it. It grows to this day, digging its roots ever deeper into the Thronestone, crushing and choking its foundation as its autumnal arms reach ever higher to the sky. The Beast, a fraction of Edelwood's size, uses his abandoned body as a home and fortress. The masons, engineers, and architects who've carved out and furnished the interior have been rewarded with eternal life, though they spend most of it sleeping in the roots at the heart of the Thronestone.
    The locations described in this chapter can be found on the map in the ORIGINAL CoS on page 52.


    Random Encounters
    d12+d8 Encounter
    2 Beatrice (see appendix D)
    3 Steward (see appendix D)
    4 1 black cat
    5 1 broom of animated attack (see appendix D)
    6 1d4+1 giant centipedes
    7 Toy by Mr. Toymaker
    8 Unseen servant
    9 1d4+1 village rebels (any race, commoners)
    10 2d6 swarms of spiders
    11 1d4 evil druids
    12 1d6 swarms of Business Bats
    13 1d4 fog-touched fey
    14 1d4+1 Black Turtle acolytes (any race, evil)
    15 1d4 woodcutters
    16 Trinket
    17 Giant spider cocoon
    18 1 Black Turtle witch (see appendix D)
    19 1d4+1 of the Beast's fog-touched fey
    20 The Beast (see appendix D)


    Village rebels
    Text: 'A loud clamor echoes through the living halls of the Elder Edelwood. Cries of "Kill the Beast!" are mixed with bold voices shouting, "Never again!" and "To the root!"'
    The wrathful mob brandish torches and pitchforks in a sad display of futile force. Everywhere they go, they shout for justice. They follow the PCs unless prevented from doing so. As long as they're with the adventurers, random encounters occur on a roll of 9 or higher.


    Black Turtle witch
    Text: 'You hear a woman's scratchy voice calling out a name. "Grizzlegut! Grizzlegut, where are you? A pox on you, you mangy cat!"
    Through the darkness comes a woman with a black turtle tattoo on her completely shaved head.'
    PCs can try to hide from the cultist (who has darkvision) or catch her by surprise. This witch belongs to the Black Turtle Cult who believe that the Beast is the next to wear the shell mantle of their god, the Black Turtle. The Beast fits the description of the one prophesied: "a being of god-like power, gaunt and full of holes, a shell in need of a shell."
    The witch calls out the name of her black cat familiar who has wandered off and gotten lost. If the PCs confront her, she attacks.
    This encounter happens only once. If this result comes up again, treat it as no encounter.


    Black cat
    Text: 'The darkness itself lets out a demonic hiss. A black cat darts out of the shadows, scampering past you.'
    Grizzlegut, the familiar, searches for its mistress. It wants nothing to do with the PCs but attacks if cornered. If the PCs capture or kill the cat, this encounter doesn't occur again. Otherwise, treat as no encounter.


    Toy by Mr. Toymaker
    A toy can only be encountered if the characters are moving, not resting. Otherwise, treat as no encounter.
    Text: 'You find a discarded that toy no child could love.'
    The toy has a slogan stitched or printed on it in tiny letters: "No Fun for You!" Roll a d6 to determine the specific toy:
    d6 Toy
    1 A plush werewolf stuffed with sawdust and tiny wood-carved babies. It has dull knife blades for claws and retractable teeth.
    2 A smiling jester marionette with tangled strings and tiny copper bells sewn into its cap.
    3 A wooden puzzle box, 6 inches on a side, carved with silhouettes of leering clown faces. The box rattles when shaken. A character who spends a short rest fiddling with the box can figure out how to open it with a successful DC 20 Int check. The box is empty, with nothing inside to explain the rattling.
    4 A faceless doll in a wedding dress that has yellowed and frayed with age.
    5 A vaguely coffin-shaped jack-in-the-box containing a pop-up vampire.
    6 A spring-loaded set of wooden teeth with fangs, all painted white. The teeth gnash and chatter for 1 minute when the spring is wound tight (requiring 1 action) and released.


    Broom of animated attack
    Text: 'You hear a scratching noise. Out of the shadows comes a broom, sweeping its way toward you as though held by invisible hands.'
    When it gets within 5 feet of a party member, the broom enchanted to sweep the Elder Edelwood attacks.


    Swarms of spiders
    Text: 'A mob of spiders, all spiny legs and shining orb bodies, skitters out of the darkness across the dusty floor.'
    The spiders gang up on one party member. In the confusion, one spider tries to crawl into the character's backpack and hide there. It makes a Dex (Stealth) check contested by the character's passive Wis (Perception) score. If the spider loses, the character sees it enter the backpack. If it wins, it waits until the character takes a long rest before scuttling out to attack.


    Fog-touched fey
    Text: 'The smell of burning wood and oil cloys the air. A low fog rolls in around your ankles, heralding jilting footsteps.'
    If the characters are moving quietly and not using light sources, they can try to hide from the fog-touched fey.


    Beatrice
    Beatrice has cast a greater invisibility spell on herself and is stealthily hunting the Beast through the Elder Edelwood. Choose one character in the back of the marching order for the following: 'You feel a gentle tap on your arm but see nothing behind you.'
    If the character reacts in an alarming or threatening manner, she hastily whispers, "We're on the same side, fool. Wait, I'm still invisible."
    Though determined to kill the Beast, the Fungai Beatrice fears she's over her head. If the PCs don't ask her to join, she wishes them well and goes on her way (she can be encountered again later). If they invite her to join them, Beatrice interrogates them about everything they've learned about the Beast in a rapid-fire manner--not to challenge them but as a simple matter of (monster-hunting) business.


    Giant centipedes
    If one or more PCs have a passive Wis (Perception) of 16 or higher: 'You hear the scuttle of many legs...from above you.'
    The giant centipedes that have made their home in the Elder Edelwood prey on all living creatures in whom they detect no touch of fog. They hunt by dropping down onto their prey from above.


    Giant spider cocoon
    A giant spider cocoon is encountered only if the characters are moving (not resting); otherwise, reroll.
    Text: 'A white cocoon is suspended from the ceiling amid thick webs. It wraps around a humanoid shape.'
    Characters who can reach it can cut it open to free what's inside.
    d6 Contents
    1 A faceless, Edelwood mannequin.
    2 A Black Turtle witch (see appendix D). She screams like a wild animal and slings spells with abandon.
    3 One of the Beast's fog-touched fey (see appendix D). It fights until killed.
    4 A villager (CN commoner). If freed, they cackle until silenced or a calm emotions spell is cast on them. Only when calmed will they attempt to flee.
    5 A dead villager that serves as a host to a swarm of spiders which crawl out from every orifice.
    6 A Fungai scout. The Fungai knows the Elder Edelwood's layout and helps the characters until a hostile encounter, at which point they flee.


    Steward
    If the Beast's clockwork steward was killed/destroyed or captured in a previous encounter, this encounter doesn't occur. Otherwise, Steward approaches quietly. A character whose passive Wis (Perception) score meets or exceeds Steward's Dex (Stealth) check can hear the steward.
    Text: '"The Beast wishes to see you," intones a metallic voice in the darkness.'
    The steward directs the PCs to a random location in the Elder Edelwood.
    d6 Location
    1 Black Turtle room (area K15)
    2 The organ room (area K25)
    3 Library (area K37)
    4 The canopy (area K57)
    5 The parched fountain
    6 Laboratory (area K76)
    The Beast isn't actually in that location unless the card reading (Chap 1) says that he is. Steward will accompany the PCs to the locations and continue to follow them without helping or harming them during any hostile encounter unless they find the Beast or they ask Steward to leave. If the Beast attacks, the steward will fight with him, praising whatever the Beast does in monotone, even if he fails. In other combat and while navigating, Steward will repetitvely intone directional messages such as, "Turn right in 50 ft," or "recalculating."


    Evil druids
    If one or more PCs have a passive Wis (Perception) of 16 or higher: 'You can't shake the feeling that something is behind you. When you look back, you see only your shadow. It steps out of the darkness, its bare feet smeared in black sap.'
    If more than one druid is present, the others are close by but hidden in the darkness. The Elder Edelwood is a holy place for the druids and they induce a trance in themselves upon entrance. They will follow the characters but do not attack unless attacked first. They otherwise obey the Beast's commands.


    The Beast
    The Beast makes a surprise appearance.
    Text: 'Thunder cracks outside the living walls of the Elder Edelwood, and you hear the thick rip and tear of a falling tree. By your side, a voice sings out: "Tralalala tralalala, cut the wood to light the fire!"'
    Any character who has a passive Wisdom (Perception) lower than 19 is surprised as the Beast appears seemingly out of nowhere. The Beast prefers to attack the closest surprised character. Otherwise, see appendix D for his stats.


    Swarms of Business Bats
    Text: 'A multitude of wings flap in the distant but cannot drown out the sound of mercantile chatter.'
    Spies and accountants of the Beast, they attack the PCs without provocation.


    Trinket
    A random character finds a lost trinket: 'You kick something--a trinket.'
    Roll on the Trinkets table in appendix A or create one on the fly.


    Unseen servant
    Text: 'A curious objects drifts into view as though held aloft by an invisible force.'
    This unseen servant was created by the Beast and is permanent until destroyed. Roll a d6 to determine the carried object.
    d6 Items
    1 A dust tray full of what appear to be shiny black orbs. If a character comes within 5 ft of the servant, the orbs to be disposed of awaken, revealing themselves as a swarm of spiders.
    2 A wooden bucket full of mulch. A character who reaches inside may find an animal-related trinket recently separated from its animal.
    3 An unlit, handheld metal lantern exactly the size and shape of the Beast's own.
    4 A bloodspattered deck of tarokka cards.
    5 A tiny black turtle whose legs swim sluggishly in the air. Taking the turtle attracts 1d4 Black Turtle cultists (any race, bandits), who arrive in 1d4+1 rounds.
    6 Mordenkainen's spellbook with a black velvet dust jacket stitched over its leather cover. The book contains all the spells that Mr. Elkman knows. On subsequent occurrences of this encounter, the tome is a children's illustrated storybook.


    The Beast's fog-touched fey
    If any character has a passive Wis (Perception) score of 16 or higher, the party isn't surprised. In that case: 'Mist floods the room, curling into every nook and cranny. A dark silhouette moans as it staggers forward. Behind it, another follows.'
    These fey, once forest-dwelling rebels against the Beast, now lash out at anything that moves.


    Black Turtle acolytes
    Text: 'Methodic footfalls step in time with chanting voices. You smell incense as thick and overpowering as a smear of black sap across your nose.'
    The small group of cultists with black turtles tattooed over their shaved heads are devoted to the Beast and will attack you as soon as he appears. Before then, however, the chanters will follow the PCs, singing, unless the PCs run and hide. The presence of the chanters alerts any hostiles to your presence and makes taking rests an impossible task.
    Chant reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWt7sH14uZ4


    Woodcutters
    Text: 'An axehead glints behind the back of one with gnomish proportions on a human scale.'
    If the PCs are moving quietly and not carrying light sources, they can try to hide from the woodcutters who begin with their backs to the PCs.
    These woodcutters are making their report to the Beast but have gotten lost within the Elder Edelwood. If there are more than one, they communicate to each other with sign language saying, "He's not here" after searching a room.

    Last edited by Isada; 09-27-2017 at 06:35 AM.

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