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Thread: Total Conversion: Curse of Strahd 5e

  1. #61
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    Chap 15: Landboat of Frogs
    West of Lake Barking is a cave complex in which the largest community of Unknown Frogfolk have built up using the remains of ferries that sunk (or were made to sink) while crossing the lake. PCs who talk to Frogfolk can learn of the Landboat's location. Most of the Frogfolk are out hunting or frolicking in mud and water of the lake when the PCs first arrive, including the leader of the Landboat, Frogfolk George.
    The Frogfolk practice ancestor worship and call themselves the Children of Mother Frog, the first of their shapeshifting kind to be stuck between humanoid and frog forms. Recently, a schism has formed within the colony as a result of a challenge to Frogfolk George's leadership. The rift began when Frogfolk Emil questioned the brand of worship to Mother Frog that Frogfolk George demanded of the colony.
    Frogfolk George had erected a stage over the shrine to Mother Frog where the Frogfolk must sing, dance, or act for the glory of Mother Frog. Those who fail to perform well are banished from the colony on journey quests to regain their honor. They are not allowed to return until they've honed their performance ability. This has resulted in banishments of large groups from the colony, notably those who've gotten on Frogfolk George's vindictive side. Now that their numbers are dwindling, Frogfolk George has recently given and expressed thought of kidnapping Frogfolk from other colonies to join their 'master' colony within the Landboat.
    Frogfolk Emil made the mistake of questioning all of Frogfolk George's ideas and was made to perform for Mother Frog. Naturally, he failed and was banished. Frogfolk George made sure he'd never have the chance to 'regain his honor' by making a deal with the servants of the Beast to imprison Frogfolk Emil within the Elder Edelwood.
    Now Frogfolk Julie, Frogfolk Emil's mate, has sworn vengeance on Frogfolk George. She's much more cautious than her mate, however, and spends her time quietly plotting and waiting for an opportunity.


    Approaching the Landboat
    Text: 'Above the autumnal-leaved tree line, jammed into the side of a rocky mountain spur, is the wide hull of a massive boat.'
    100 ft ft above the entrance (area Z1), farther up the sloping mountainshide and not visible from the vicinity, is a rocky ledge (area Z8). A character can scale the slope to reach the ledge without the need for a climber's kit.


    Areas of the Landboat
    The following areas correspond to labels on the map of the ORIGINAL CoS werewolf den on pg 202.
    Mounted to the walls throughout the landboat are candelabras. All areas are brightly lit, though shadows abound.


    Z1. Entrance
    Text: 'The hull of the mountain-borne boat juts out 15-ft-tall over a massive set of double doors held open by small boulders. The boat ceiling rises 20 ft inside the mountainside. Candelabras line the walls. From somewhere deep inside, you hear the echoing sounds of a flute. Some of the notes are discordant--painfully so.'
    The guards in area Z2 spot the characters in the entrance who aren't hidden. Characters can track the sound of the flute to area Z3.
    Development
    If the PCs arrive with Frogfolk Emil (see Chap 4, area K75a) in their company or custody, he can command the other Frogfolk not to attack as they make their way inside.


    Z2. Guard post
    Text: 'Here, the boat hall splits to the left and right. Standing on a 5-ft-ledge between the divide are two anthropomorphic frogs in frumpy clothes wielding what appear to be tridents for...frog-hunting.'
    Frogfolk Ian and Frogfolk Angie are the Frogfolk guards on the ledge. They take their roles extremely seriously and sound the alarm whenever anyone enters. The loud noise can be heard throughout the Landboat, but the Frogfolk ignore it as it happens at least once a day.


    Z3. Landboat parlor
    10 Frogfolk are here practicing the performing arts in case they get called to the stage while in hunting rotation. Frogfolk Kenneth has 36 hp and is too old to hunt. Left undisturbed, he plays an electrum flute, though poorly. The others try (in vain) to memorize poetry, songs, or theatrics. If the Frogfolk spot the PCs, they will drag them into the parlor to use as a practice audience. If the PCs try to escape, they turn hostile and fight to the death.
    Text: 'A 5-ft-high balcony overlooks this wood-panneled parlor, which has a smoldering hearth at the far west end. The floor is littered with ink-smudged papers.'
    Frogfolk Kenneth's flut is nonmagical and worth 250 gp's worth of currency item at any settlement.


    Z4. Fountain
    Text: 'The ceiling opens up to allow gray light and a gentle spring of water to flow down into the great "indoor" fountain roughly 40 ft across and 10 ft deep. A 5-ft-high balcony to the north overlooks the pool of the fountain. A similar balcony spans the eastern wall, with a wooden staircase leading up to it. A few crates sit atop the eastern ledge.'
    The water is fresh. The ceiling is roughly 20 ft above the surface of the pool. The opening in the ceiling is 3 ft wide at its widest point and 6 inches at the tapered edges.
    The crates contain worthless clothes.


    Z5. Deep "decks"
    Text: 'A maze of candlelit halls and chambers expands in front of you. The floorboards creak in the distance.'
    The ceiling is 10 ft high. The creaky floorboards are a warning system. Creatures have disadvantage on Dex (Stealth) checks made to move silently through this area.


    Z5A. South deck
    Frogfolk Blanche, Frogfolk George's mate, is sleeping here. She'll kill anyone who enters and disturbs her sleep. If the PCs play dead, she'll return to sleep.


    Z5B. North cave
    Frogfolk Sandy is here on guard duty over Frogfolk Kelly, a Frogfolk from the Lake Froget colony who was kidnapped. Frogfolk George is experimenting with brainwashing to convince Frogfolk Kelly that they joined the Landboat of Frogs willingly. It works half the time, but Frogfolk Kelly changes attitudes between happy, complacent and scared to witless violence every 30 min.
    When Frogfolk Sandy hears a creak, she takes Frogfolk Kelly to area Z7 and locks her in an empty cage. Frogfolk Sandy will then join the other Frogfolk, possibly in their fight against the PCs.


    Z6. Captain's room
    Text: 'At the back of this room hangs a map of the Unknown and a plumed, ship captain's hat hanging from a rack beside it.'
    When home, Frogfolk George sleeps here.
    Behind the map is a 10-ft-high, 10-ft-wide hall wtih wooden stairs leading up, interspersed with landings. The hall ends at a secret door, beyond which lies area Z8. The secret door is easily spotted from inside the hall.


    Z7. Stage of Mother Frog
    Text: 'Creaky wooden stairs lead down to a candlelit but seatless auditorium and stage. Bulge-eyed Frogfolk hunch behind wooden bars and stare at you mournfully, clutching instruments or papers in their webbed hands. The cave holds six wooden cages, their lids held shut with heavy rocks. Two are empty, and each of the others holds a Frogfolk.
    A wooden podium stands between the cages. Its front is carved like a masthead and depicts a massive Frogfolk with musical instruments and theatrical masks adhered to their body. A Frogfolk kneels before the podium, dusting with a feather duster.'
    The ceiling is 20 ft high. The masthead depicts Mother Frog, and Frogfolk Julie is dusting her. She is the wife of Frogfolk Emil (see Chap 4, area K75a).
    Frogfolk George has ordered Frogfolk Julie to guard the Frogfolk scheduled to perform upon his return. If the PCs rescue Frogfolk Emil and return him to Frogfolk Julie, she gladly releases the caged Frogfolk. If the PCs confirm her husband is dead, she will let them go only if the PCs help her deal with Frogfolk George. Shes asks them to kill him when he returns from hunting.
    The caged Frogfolk are in despair and desperately fighting off the mists while caged. Only when freed will their spirits return to flee or help the PCs.
    Treasure is piled at the base of the podium--4500 cp, 900 sp, and 250 gp's currency items worth of gemstones. But anyone who steals from Mother Frog is cursed, as is known by all Frogfolk.
    Any creature that takes a gemstone is haunted by horrible dreams every night lasting from dusk until dawn. Moreover, they lose the ability to swim and will sink like a stone in water.
    A creature cursed this way gains no benefit from a short or long rest at night, but may rest during the day. A greater restoration or remove curse spell ends the curse.
    If your card reading reveals a treasure is here, it's under the gemstones and cursed as well.


    Z8. Brainwashing circle
    Text: 'A 20-ft-diameter ring of stones dominates a rocky ledge on the mountainside. Within the ring, you see blood-splattered manacles.'
    This is where Frogfolk George has been torturing the kidnapped Frogfolk Kenneth to brainwash him into believing he is part of the Landboat. Frogfolk George hopes to refine the process to eventually expand the kidnappings.


    Special Event
    You can use the following special event while the PCs are exploring or resting in the den.


    Captain of the Colony
    This event doesn't occur if the PCs have previously encountered and defeated Frogfolk George's hunting pack.
    Every hour the PCs spend inside the Landboat, roll a d20. On a roll of 18 or higher, the hunting party returns, laden with strings of fish and small, black turtles. The party consists of Frogfolk George (90 hp) and 15 othe Frogfolk.
    If they see evidence of assault on the Landboat (such as absent or dead guards at area Z2), they scour the Landboat for intruders. Frogfolk George sends three to area Z8 to enter from above while he and the others search below.
    Development
    As long as Frogfolk George lives, the PCs can't negotiate with the Frogfolk. If Frogfolk George dies and the PCs have the upper hand, the colony negotiates.
    If Frogfolk Emil is present when Frogfolk George arrives, he is determined to become the new pack leader. If he succeeds, he allows the PCs to leave unmolested and releases the caged Frogfolk. Frogfolk Julie, who knows about Frogfolk Kenneth, can ask him to release the kidnapped Frogfolk if the PCs remind her.
    Frogfolk George and Frogfolk Emil gather the Frogfolk and hold a dance-off for the glory of Mother Frog and the title of Captain in area Z7. But when it comes time to judge the winner, Frogfolk George picks up his Captain's hat and goes to the podium. He declares himself the winner and asks the Frogfolk kill the loser. His 15-frog hunting pack obliges and attacks Frogfolk Emil and the PCs.
    If both Frogfolk George and Frogfolk Emil die, Frogfolk Julie will become the new Captain and negotiate with the PCs.






    NEW STATS
    Last edited by Isada; 09-27-2017 at 12:01 PM.

  2. #62
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    Epilogue
    The Beast is a deadly challenge for the PCs. If they confront him too soon, without the benefit of the magic items such as the All-Seeing Monocle and the Claw-Hand Maw, they will likely perish. PCs can improve their chances of survival by exploring the Unknown, defeating lesser evils, gaining allies, magic items, and experience. The outcome of the final showdown between the Beast and the PCs determines how the adventure ends.


    The Beast Prevails
    Once finished toying and investigating the PCs, the Beast sets out to turn them into Edelwood trees, having concluded that none is a worthy caretaker. If he prevails, the Beast seals the PCs in the rootbed of the Elder Edelwood (Chap 4, area K84, rootbed 23) and instructs his servants to remove all their items. He leaves them there to despair and fall into Edelwood Slumber. They join the roots of the Elder Edelwood and serve to feed the massive tree itself.


    The Beast Is Dead
    When the Beast is reduced to 0 hp, he turns to mist and retreats to his hole in the Elder Edelwood. He must be in the hole from whence he came to be utterly destroyed.
    Text: 'The Beast can't hide his surprise as death drags him to the edge of its black abyss. Surprise turns to rage. The Thronestone trembles with fury, shaking dust from its root-pierced walls. The shudders abate as the Beast's burning hatred snuffs out, vanishing like smoke in a fog. His hole-ridden husk withers and twists in on itself, shearing into a pile of wood dust. The Beast of the Unknown is dead and gone.'


    Steward's Revenge
    If the Beast dies but Steward yet lives, the steward appears moments after the Beast's demise.
    Text: '"Master!" says a metallic, monotone voice form behind you, followed by an equally metallic and monotone scream.'
    Steward attacks the PCs and can't be reasoned with.


    Escape from the Unknown
    The Beast's death frees the Unknown from the hold of the mists. If the PCs freed the North Wind, the Wind blows down from the mountains, clearing the fog. The gray cloud cover dissipates, giving way to sunshine on this cold, crisp day. The light shocks the denizens of the Unknown from any despair, and those in Edelwood Slumber who haven't become trees wake.


    Aftermath
    Without the mist and song to twist the denizens of the Unknown, all animals and fey regain their reason. Those souls trapped in the mist finally pass from this world. All the leaves fall from the Edelwood trees, including the Elder Edelwood, whose dead wood has already attracted mass swarms of termites. They will fell the tree in three days, the crack as the trunk snaps in two and falls down into the gorge resonants throughout the Unknown.


    Irene
    If she survives, Irene becomes the new burgomaster of the village of Adelaide. She is grateful to the PCs for all they've accomplished and ask them if they wish to stay and help rebuild the Unknown, offering her village as a safe haven.


    Fred
    If he survives, Fred (see appendix D) leaves the Unknown to live out the rest of his days in peace. He can, however, be persuaded by the PCs to stay and rebuild the Unknown.


    Beatrice
    If she survives, Beatrice asks to accompany the PCs wherever they may go, ready to see the world.


    Ensign
    If they survive, Ensign goes to Winter Place and takes up residence its library.


    Patty and the Highwayman
    If Patty survives, she goes to Winter Place to expand her arcane knowledge, her ultimate goal being to become the Unknown's new caretaker. If both she and the Highwayman survive, the Highwayman accompanies her. If Ensign is there, the two strike up a rather eccentric friendship.

  3. #63
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    Appendix B: Black Turtle House
    To run Song of the Beast for 1st-level PCs more safely, you can use this mini-adventure to advance them to 3rd level.
    Before the PCs can explore the Black Turtle cult house, you need to guide them to the village of Adelaide. For the duration of the mini-adventure, any attempt by the PCs to explore other areas in the Beast's domain causes the deadly fog of the Unknown to block their path.


    Level advancement
    PCs gain levels by accomplishing goals, rather than by slaying monsters. The milestones are:
    --PCs who gain access to the secret stairs in the attic (area 21) advance to 2nd level. The stairs only appear under certain circumstances.
    --PCs advance to 3rd level upon escaping the house.


    History
    The house is an old row house in the village of Adelaide (area E7) that has fallen into the hands of Black Turtle cultists. Locals give the building a wide berth after mistaking cult activity for the presence of a haunting.
    The wealthy family that built the house were high-ranking members of the Black Turtle cult that believes that the Beast is the next inheritor of the Black Turtle's mantle and, thus, the next incarnation of their god. The family hosted their cult meetings and practices here, which led to the rumors of the haunting.
    The cult has tried to summon extraplanars, preyed on visitors, sacrificed visitors, kidnapped lost adventurers to sacrifice, and the like.


    Rose and Thorny
    The PCs are pulled into the Unknown by the mists. Forced to follow a lonely road (area A), they eventually arrive at the village of Adelaide (area E).
    Once they reach the village: 'The gravel road leads to a village, many of its tall houses draped with colorful cords of yarn.
    A soft whimpering draws your eye to a pair of children standing in the middle of an otherwise lifeless street.'
    The children are 10-year-old Rose and her 7-year-old brother Thorny. Thorny weeps and clutches a stuffed doll while Rose tries to comfort him.
    If the PCs approach or call out to them: 'After patting and shushing the boy, the girl turns to you and says, "There's a monster in our house." She points to a tall brick row house that has seen better days. The windows are clouded with dirt. It has a gated portico on the ground floor and its rusty gate hangs ajar. The houses on either side are boarded up and draped with brighty colored yarn.'
    PCs who question them learn the following:
    --The children don't know what the monster looks like but have heard it prowling at night.
    --Their parents, Gus and Elsa, keep the monster trapped in the basement.
    --There's a baby (Wally) in the 3rd-floor nursery. (Untrue, but the children believe it.)
    Rose and Thorn won't go back in the house until they know the monster is gone. They can be convinced to wait in the portico (area 1A) while the PCs search the house.


    The Mists
    PCs who remain outside the house can see the mists of the Unknown close in around them, swallowing up the rest of the village. As more buildings disappear, the PCs are left with little choice but to seek refuge in the house. The mists stop short of entering but engulf anyone outside the portico (see Chap 2 for effects).


    Areas of the House
    The following areas correspond to labels on the ORIGINAL CoS map of the house on pg 216.
    Ceilings vary in height by floor. The first has 10-ft ceilings, the second has 12-ft, the third has 8-ft, and the attic as 13-ft.
    None of the rooms are lit when the PCs arrive, although most areas contain working oil lamps or fireplaces.


    1. Entrance
    A metal gate with hinges on one side and a lock on the other fills the archway of a stone portico (area A1). The gate is unlocked, and its rusty hinges shriek when the gate is opened. Oil lamps hang form the portico ceiling by chains, flanking a set of wooden doors that open into a grand foyer (area 1B). The lamps burn Edelwood oil and give off that same woody, burning fragrance as the fog.
    Hanging on the south wall of the foyer is a shield emblazoned with a coat-of-arms (a black turtle), flanked by framed portraits turned to face the walls. If the portraits are turned around, they are revealed to be black-glass mirrors sacred to the cultists. The black tint is considered the mark of blessing by the Black Turtle which turns the mirrors into plates of its shell, but the glass loses the color if taken from the house. While facing away, the shell of the Black Turtle is supposed to protect those within. The tint is an illusion created by the Beast.
    Double doors lead from the foyer to the main hall (area 2A).


    2. Main hall
    A wide hall (area 2A) runs the width of the house, with a black marble fireplace at one end and a sweeping, black marble staircase at the other. Mounted on the wall above the fireplace is a nonmagical longsword with a black turtle cameo worked into the hilt.
    PCs who search the walls for secret doors or otherwise inspect the paneling can, with a DC 12 Wis (Perception) check, see that the decorative pattern has been carved around (turtle) footprints pyrographed into the wood.
    A cloakroom (area 2B) has several inconspicuous, weather-worn cloaks hanging from hooks on the wall. They belong to the cultists, who are too involved in their ritual to have realized that the children (Rose and Thorny) who they locked in the secret room (see area 9) to keep out of the way have escaped.


    3. Den
    Mounted above the fireplace is a pair of antlers, and positioned around the walls are three stuffed dogs. Although they appear to be real taxidermied animals frozen in mid-attack, they are toys by Mr. Toymaker. On the underside of their paws is stitched the slogan: 'No Fun for You!'
    Two padded chairs face the hearth, with a table between them supporting a candelabrum and pipe rack both made from antlers. An antler chandelier hangs above a cloth-covered table surrounded by four chairs.
    Two cabinets stand against the walls. The east can be picked with thieves's tools and a DC 15 Dex check. It holds a heavy, light, and hand crossbow with 20 bolts for each. The north cabinet is unlocked and holds a small box of tarokka cards and an assortment of pipe tobacco.
    Trapdoor
    A trapdoor is hidden in the southwest corner of the floor. It can't be detected or opened until the PCs approach it from the underside (see area 32). Until then, the Beast's blessing hides the door.


    4. Kitchen and pantry
    The kitchen (area 4A) is tidy, with dishware, cookware, and utensils neatly placed on shelves. Nearly all of the dishware and cookware are black-sap varnished pottery. A worktable has a cutting board and rolling pin atop it. A stone, dome-shaped oven stands near the east wall. Behind the stove and to the left is a thin door leading to a well-stocked pantry (area 4B). All the food in the pantry is overpowered by a curious that the PCs can determine is kelp (gathered from the lakes) with a DC 10 Nature (Int) check.
    Dumbwaiter
    Behind a small door in the southwest corner of the kitchen is a dumbwaiter--a 2-ft-wide stone shaft containing a wooden elevator box attached to a simple rope-and-pulley mechanism that must be operated manually. The shaft connects to areas 7A (servants's quarters) and 12A (the master bedroom). Hanging on the wall next to the dumbwaiter is a tiny brass bell wired to buttons in the other areas.
    A Small PC can squeeze into the elevator box with a successful DC 10 Dex (Acrobatics) check. The dumbwaiter can support 200 lbs before breaking.


    5. Dining room
    The centerpiece is a long table surrounded by 8 high-backed chairs with armrests sculpted like turtle heads and cushioned seats patterned like turtle shells. An antler chandelier hangs above the table. Mounted above the marble fireplace is a framed painting turned with its back to the room. It's another black-glass mirror.
    The wood paneling here is carved with trees and elegantly twining foliage. PCs who inspect the paneling can, with a DC 12 Wis (Perception) check, see faces and body parts carved into the tree trunks.
    Heavy drapes cover the windows, and a tapestry hangs on the south wall. It depicts a cloaked and antlered silhouette flanked by shadowy trees. The figure holds a burning lantern.


    6. Upper hall
    Unlit oil lamps are mounted on the walls. Above the mantelpiece is a wood-framed portrait turned to the wall. It's another black-glass mirror.
    Standing suits of armor flank wooden doors in the east and west walls. Each clutches a spear and has a visored helm shaped like a turtle shell. The doors are carved with dancers, but an inspection with a DC 12 Wis (Perception) check reveals they're actually fighting off swarms of bats.
    The staircase from the first floor continues up to area 11. A cold draft sweeps down the steps.


    7. Servants's room
    An undecorated bedroom (area 7A) contains a pair of bunk beds. At the foot of each is an empty footlocker. Pajamas hang from hooks in the adjoining closet (area 7B).
    Once a servants's room, it now serves as an overflow guest room when rituals run long and cultists can't leave inconspicuously.
    Dumbwaiter
    A dumbwaiter in the corner of the west wall has a button on the wall next to it. Pressing the button rings the tiny bell in area 4A.


    8. Library
    Heavy drapes cover the windows. A desk and chair face the entrance and fireplace, above which hangs a framed painting turned to face the wall. It's a black-glass mirror. In the corners are two overstuffed chairs. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves line the south wall with a rolling wooden ladder.
    The desk has several items atop it: an oil lamp, inkwell, quill, tinderbox, letter kit, a red wax candle, four blank sheets, and a chop bearing a seal shaped like the shell of a turtle. The desk drawer is empty except for a key, which unlocks the door to area 20.
    The bookshelves hold hundreds of tomes, but all of them are handwritten, indecipherable journals without value. They are the records kept by the cult during their meetings. They are written in a special code known only by the members of the Adelaide chapter of the Black Turtle cult. Cultists can be forced to explain the journals and may recount any kind of ritual activity from human sacrifices to the more mundane process of accounting cultist dues.
    Secret door
    A secret door behind one bookshelf can be unlocked and swung open by pulling a switch disguised to look like a red-covered tome with a blank spine. A PC inspecting the bookshelf spots the fake book with a successful DC 13 Wis (Perception) check. Unless the secret door is propped open, springs in the hinges cause it to close. Beyond lies area 9.


    9. Secret room
    This is a playroom where the cultists lock up Rose and Thorny while in the house. Usually, they push a bookcase in front of the door to keep it closed, but they were too excited for today's ritual to remember.
    The room contains bookshelves packed with illustrated storybooks. After studying the books for 1 hour and succeeding on a DC 12 Int (Arcana) check, PCs can determine that several of the storybooks are handwritten and illustrated, depicting fancified rituals.
    A heavy wooden chest with clawed feet stands against the south wall. Its full of toys, including a set of darts, play armor, and a skeleton puppet with the body of a dog but the head of human. The slogan: 'No Fun for You!' is carved into the back of the skull.


    10. Conservatory
    Gossamer drapes cover the windows. An antler chandelier hangs form teh ceiling. Wicker chairs line the walls, and stained-glass wall hangings depict men, women, and children, singing and praying.
    A harpsichord with a bench rests in the northwest corner. Near the fireplace is a large standing harp. Figurines of dancers carved from antler adorn the mantelpiece. Close inspection reveals that they are faceless and bald with only the carving of a turtle shell on their heads.


    Last edited by Isada; 09-27-2017 at 12:21 PM.

  4. #64
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    Appendix B: Black Turtle House, Upper Levels


    11. Balcony
    PCs who climb the black marble staircase to its full height come to a balcony being prowled by the family watchdog, a giant spider. It attacks as soon as it detects the PCs.
    Oil lamps are mounted on the walls, which are carved with woodland scenes of trees and tiny critters. PCs who search the walls for secret doors or inspect the paneling can, with a DC 12 Wis (Perception) check, notice that the critters are trapped in giant spider webs.
    Secret door
    A secret door in the west wall can be found with a DC 15 Wis (Perception) check. It pushes open to reveal a wooden staircase to the attic.


    12. Master suite
    The double doors have panes of stained glass set into them. The designs resemble abstract black turtles in an aquamarine sea.
    Heavy drapes cover the windows. Furnishings include a four-poster bed with gossamer veils, a matching pair of wardrobes filled with smoke-scented clothes, a vanity with a wood-framed mirror and jewelry box, and a padded chair. A dog-pelt rug lies on the floor in front of the fireplace, which has a portrait facing the wall hanging above it--a black-glass mirror. A parlor in the southwest corner contains a table and chairs. On the table is an empty clay bowl and matching jug.
    A door facing the foot of the bed has a full-length mirror mounted on it. The door opens to reveal a closet (area 12B) choked with the scent of smoke coming from the clothes. The smell of smoke comes from the Edelwood incense that these cultists like to burn.
    A door in the parlor leads to an outside balcony (area 12 C).
    Dumbwaiter
    A dumbwaiter in the corner of the west wall has a button on the wall next to it. Pressing the button rings the bell in 4A.
    Treasure
    The jewelry box is made of silver and contains 3 gold rings and a platinum necklace, altogether worth 850 gp in any settlement's currency item.


    13. Bathroom
    This dark room contains a wooden tub with clawed feet, a small stove with a kettle resting atop it, and a barrel under a spigot in th eeast wall. A roof cistern collects rainwater which runs down to the spigot through piping. The water comes out slightly red from the rusty pipes.


    14. Storage room
    Shelves line the walls covered in sheets, blankets, towels, and bars of tallowy soap. A broom of animated attack (see appendix D) leans against the far wall. It attacks any creature within 5 ft.


    15. Nursemaid's suite
    Giant spiderwebs shroud an elegant bedroom (area 15A) and adjoining nursery (area 15B). Double doors pull open to reveal a balcony (area 15C) overlooking the front of the house.
    The bedroom belongs to the giant spiders that the cultists use as their watchdogs. There is a giant spider in the bedroom that attacks on sight. It also contains a large bed, two end tables, and a spiderweb-filled wardrobe. Mounted on the wall next to the wardrobe is a mirror. PCs who search for doors or inspect the mirror can, with a DC 15 Wis (Perception) check, notice a secret door in the wall behind the mirror.
    The nursery contains a cribe covered with shrouds of spiderweb. If the PCs pull away the shrouds, they find a baby-sized bundle of web-wrapped giant spider eggs on which Rose and Thorny have painted a smiley face. The children have painted the crib to read: 'Wally.'
    Secret door
    It pushes open easily to reveal a wooden staircase to the attic.


    16. Attic hall
    This bare hall is choked with giant spiderwebs.
    Locked door
    The door to area 20 is held shut with a padlock. Its key is kept in the library (area 8), but it can be picked with thieves's tools and a successful DC 15 Dex check.


    17. Spare bedroom
    This room contains a triple bunk bed, a night stand, a stove, writing desk with a stool, a wardrobe full of pajamas, and a rocking chair. It's used for cultists who've stayed over too long to go home inconspicuously.


    18. Storage room
    This chamber is packed with old furniture (chairs, coat racks, empty picture frames, dress mannequins) draped in giant spiderwebs. Near a stove underneath a spiderweb is an unlocked wooden trunk.
    PCs who disturb the trunk are attacked by the giant spider inside.
    Secret door
    A secret door in the east wall appears only when certain conditions are met; see area 21.


    19. Spare bedroom
    This room contains a triple bunk bed, a night stand, a stove, writing desk with a stool, a wardrobe full of pajamas, and a rocking chair. It's used for cultists who've stayed over too long to go home inconspicuously.


    20. Children's room
    The door is locked from the outside because the children don't want their parents's visitors going through their things. They have a copy of the key but won't give it up to the PCs because they don't want the PCs going through their things either.
    Text: 'Two wood-framed children's beds flank a narrow window. Close to the door is a toy chest painted to resemble a turtle shell and a dollhouse that's a perfect replica of the house itself.'
    The toy chest contains an assortment of finely made stuffed animals and toys that are worth 25 gp each in any settlement's currency item.
    PCs who search the dollhouse and succeed on a DC 15 Wis (Perception) check find all the house's secret doors, including one in the attic that leads to a spiral staircase (see area 21).
    If either the dollhouse or chest is disturbed, two watchdog phase spiders phase into the room. They attack any creature that they detect but will not leave the room. If the PCs flee, the phase spiders phase out after an hour.


    21. Secret stairs
    A narrow spiral staircase made of creaky wood is contained in a 5-ft-wide shaft of mortared stone that starts in the attic and descends 50 ft, passing through the lower levels of the house. Thick cobwebs fill the shaft and reduce visibility to 5 ft.
    The secret door and shaft can't be found unless the PCs find the replica of the secret door in the dollhouse (area 20).
    The PCs can automatically find it afterward. PCs who descend the stairs end up in area 22.

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    Appendix B: Black Turtle House, Dungeon


    Features
    The dungeon is carved from earth, clay, and rock. The tunnels are 4 ft wide by 7 ft high with timber braces every 5 ft. Rooms are 8 ft tall and supported by thick wooden posts with crossbeams. The only exception is area 38, which has a 16-ft-high ceiling supported by stone pillars. PCs without darkvision must provide their own light, as it unlit except for areas occupied by cultists.


    22. Dungeon level access
    The wooden spiral staircase from the attic ends here. A narrow tunnel stretches southward before branching east and west.
    The PCs can hear an eerie, incessant chant echoing throughout. It's impossible to gauge where the sound is coming from until the PCs reach area 26 or 29.


    23. Family vaults
    Several vaults have been hewn from the earth. Each is sealed with a stone slab. Removing a slab requires a DC 15 Str (Athletics) check. Using a crowbar or the like grants advantage.
    23A. Empty vault
    The family has yet to fill this with their valuables.
    23B. Spider vault
    Contains one ring of Animal Influence. Gus and Elsa have the others.
    23C. Gus's vault
    Contains one Wand of Web. Gus holds another.
    23D. Elsa's vault
    Contains one Potion of Animal Friendship.
    23E. Rose's vault
    Is empty save for a swarm of insects (centipedes) that have nested here and boils out if disturbed.


    23F. Thorny's vault
    Is empty save for a doll identical to the one which he carries. It's worth 25 gp in any settlement's currency item.


    24. Cult initiates's quarters
    A wooden table and four chairs stand at the east end of this room. To the west are four alcoves containing immaculately made-up cots.


    25. Cult initiates's study room
    A 4-diameter well shaft with a 3-ft-high stone lip descends 30 ft to a water-filled cistern. A wooden bucket hangs from a rope-and-pulley mechanism bolted to the crossbeams above the well.
    Five side rooms serve as private study rooms for the initiates. Each contains a desk, stool, and wooden chest of items of study. Each chest is secured with a padlock that can be picked with thieves's tools and a DC 15 Dex check.
    Treasure
    25A. A pouch made of a person's skin. This person was a black-turtle eater, sacrificed.
    25B. Three black turtle eggs preserved in black-sap amber of the Edelwood trees.
    25C. A black leather eyepatch tanned to resemble a turtle shell.
    25D. An antler-handled hairbrush varnished in black sap.
    25E. The taxidermied body of a giant spider.


    26. Hidden spiked pit
    The chanting gets louder as one heads west along this tunnel. A DC 15 Wis (Perception) check reveals an absence of footprints. PCs search the floor for traps find a 5-ft-long, 10-ft-deep pit hidden under rotted wooden planks beneath a thin layer of dirt. The pit has sharpened wooden spikes at the bottom. The first PC to step on the cover falls through, landing prone and taking 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage from the fall and 11 (2d10) piercing damage from the spikes.


    27. Dining hall
    This room contains a plain wooden table flanked by long benches. The floor is paved with the bones (humanoid and other) of the creatures that have been sacrificed and eaten here.
    In the middle of the south wall is a darkened alcove (area 28). PCs who approach within 5 ft provoke the creature there.


    28. Larder
    This alcove contains a phase spider who phases in to attack the first PC within 5 ft. Any PC with a passive Wis (Perception) under 12 is surprised. The phase spider is only a holy food guardian, however, and won't pursue the PCs if they flee but does try to drive them off.


    29. Cultist encounter
    Four cult spies (LE, any race) arrive from two of the four tunnels at this four-way tunnel intersection. The increased volume of the chanting from the north muffles their passage. They fight the PCs to the death if they detect them.


    30. Stairs down
    The chants originate from somewhere below this 20-ft-long staircase. PCs who descend and follow the hall arrive in area 35.


    31. Shrine
    Text: 'This room is festooned with skeletons that hang from tapestry rods agains the walls. A wide alcove in the south contains a wooden statue varnished with black sap in the crude likeness of an antlered humanoid wearing the shell of a turtle.
    The room has exits in the west and north walls. Chanting can be heard from the west.'
    The statue depicts the silhouette of the Beast, whom the cultists believe is the next incarnation of the Black Turtle. If the PCs touch the statue, five shadows form around it and attack them. The shadows do not pursue any who flee.
    Concealed door
    PCs searching the room for secret doors find a concealed door in the middle of the east wall with a DC 10 Wis (Perception) check. Its an ordinary wooden door hidden under a layer of clay. It pulls open to reveal a stone staircase that climbs 10 ft to a landing (area 32).


    32. Hidden trapdoor
    The staircase ends at a landing with a 6-ft-high ceiling of close-fitting planks with a wooden trapdoor set into it. The trapdoor is bulted shut from this side and can be pushed open to reveal the den (area 3) above.
    Once found and opened, it remains available to the PCs.


    33. Cult leader's den
    The door in the southwest corner is a mimic in disguise. Any creature that touches the door becomes adhered to the creature, and the mimic attacks. The mimic also attacks if it takes any damage.
    A chandelier of antlers with candles homemade from the fat of sacrifices is suspended above a table in the middle of the room. Two high-backed chairs flank the table, which has an empty clay jug and two clay flagons atop it.


    34. Cult leaders's quarters
    This room contains a large wood-framed bed with a feather mattress, a wardrobe containing cult robes, and an open create containing 30 torches and a leather sack with 15 candles homemade from the fat of sacrifices. At the foot of the bed is an unlocked wooden footlocker containing some gear and magic items (see Treasure, below). It's unlocked because the cultists keep a giant spider and phase spider here to guard the chest. The giant spider pops out of it while the phase spider phases into the room. They attack any who open it.
    Treasure
    PCs searching the footlocker find a folded cloak of protection, 4 potions of healing, a chain shirt, a mess kit, a flask of alchemist's fire, a bullseye lantern, a set of thieves's tools, and a spellbook containing:
    1st level: disguise self, identify, mage armor, magic missile, protection from evil and good
    2nd level: darkvision, hold person, invisibility, and magic weapon
    These items were taken from the cults's victims, usually those unsuspecting who were drawn into the Unknown by the mists.


    35. Reliquary
    The chanting fills this room with its echoes. PCs can discern a dozen or so voices saying, over and over, "He is the Next. He wears the Mantle." The cult amassed several relics used in its rituals. The items are worthless to all but other Black Turtle cultists. They're store in 13 niches along the walls:
    --A small, mummified, yellow hand with sharp claws on a loop of rope
    --A knife carved from a humanoid bone
    --A dagger with a rat's skull set into the pommel
    --An 8-inch-diameter varnished orb made from a humanoid eye
    --An aspergillum carved from antler
    --A folded cloak made from stitched skin
    --A desiccated frog lashed to a stick (could be mistaken for a wand of polymorph)
    --A bag full of Business Bat guano
    --A Frogfolk's severed, webbed finger
    --A 6-in-tall wooden figurine of a cloaked and antlered figure varnished with black sap
    --A metal pendant patterned after a turtle shell
    --The shrunken, shriveled head of a halfling
    --A small wooden coffer containing a dire dog's withered tongue
    The southernmost tunnel slopes down at a 20-degree angle into murky water and ends at a rusty portcullis (area 37).


    36. Prison
    The cultists shackle their prisoners to the back walls of alcoves here for torture or holding while they prepare the rituals.
    Secret door
    A secret door in the south wall can be found with a DC 15 Wis (Perception) check and pulls open to reveal area 38.


    37. Portcullis
    This tunnel is blocked by a rusty portcullis that can be lifted with a DC 20 Str (Athletics) check. Otherwise, it can be raised or lowered by turning a wooden wheel half-embedded in the east wall of area 38. (The wheel is beyond the reach of someone east of the portcullis.) The floor is submerged under 2 ft of murky water.


    38. Ritual chamber
    The chanting originates here.
    Text: 'The chanting stops as you peer into this 40-ft-sq room. Stone pillars with trains of turtles carved in relief support the ceiling. A breach in the west wall leads to a dark cave heaped with refuse. Murky water obscures the floor. Stairs lead up to dry stone ledges that hug the walls. In the middle of the room, more stairs rise to form a turtle-shaped dais that rises above the water. Chains with shackles dangle from the ceiling above a stone altar mounted on the dais. The pattern carved into the altar resembles the plates of a turtle shell.'
    The water is 2 feet deep. The ledges and central dais are 5 ft high (3 feet higher than the water's surface), and the ceiling is 16 ft high (11 ft above the dais and ledges.) The chains dangling are 8 ft long.
    Half-embedded in the east wall is a wooden wheel connected to hidden chains and pulleys. A PC can use an action to turn the wheel, raising or lowering the portcullis in area 37.
    The hole in the west wall leads to a naturally formed alcove that the cultists have been using as a dump to accelerate the decay of bodies and remove them as fast as possible with as little suspicion as possible.
    Eight cultists and four cult fanatics (two of whom are Gus and Elsa) stand on the ledges overlooking the room. Each holds a torch but their faces are hooded. If the PCs enter the room, they chant: 'One must die!' over and over. The PCs can ascertain what to do with a DC 11 Int (Religion) or Wis (Insight) check. A creature must die on the altar, a sacrifice for the Black Turtle. The cultists don't care what creature is sacrificed and aren't fooled by illusions. If the PCs make the sacrifice, the cultists ignore them, descending to dance around the altar with their chant: "He is Next! He wears the Mantle!"
    If the PCs leave without a sacrifice or attack, the cultists call on the creature that lives in the alcove to attack, the shambling mound dubbed the Decayer with the chant: "Decay the defilers! Decay! Decay!" It can be detected while slumbering in the refuse heap with a DC 15 Int (Nature) check. The Decayer pursues the PCs through the dungeon but won't leave the dungeon. If the Decayer is slain, the cultists flee (including Gus and Elsa).


    Last edited by Isada; 09-27-2017 at 12:22 PM.

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    Appendix C: Treasures
    Scattered throughout the Unknown are ancient treasures that can be brought to bear against the Beast and his servants. The locations of three of them--the Song of Edelwood, the All-seeing Monocle, and the Claw Hand Maw--are determined by the results of your card reading (see Chap 1). The others can be acquired through discovery.


    Song of Edelwood
    The Song of Edelwood is an ancient work penned by the Caretaker, a song that hasn't been sung since the creation of the Beast. It's been preserved by the same fey magic of the Caretaker's that has allowed the Elder Edelwood to continue to live and grow. The death of the Beast ends the preservation magic, causing the ancient work to crumble to dust.
    A character can spend an action to sing a verse from the Song. While singing, any attack by the Beast against this character is made at disadvantage as the Beast listens to these familiar but long-forgotten words. But the Beast also attempts to take back the Song, making the singer his preferred target.


    Magic Items
    The items described here, if found, can play significant roles in the adventure.


    Blood Spear of Kevin
    Weapon (spear), uncommon (requires attunement)
    Kevin was a druid chieftain of a tribe of Unknown barbarians who lived in the Barking Mountains in the time of the Caretaker. He was an elite hunter who drank the blood of his prey to symbolize adding their strength and life force to his, and wielded a spear stained with their blood in remembrance. His was the first blood spear, a weapon that drains life from those it kills and transfers that life to its wielder.
    When you hit with a melee attack using the spear and reduce a target to 0 hp, you gain 2d6 temporary hp.


    Blight Staff
    Staff, rare (requires attunement)
    This staff is a spongy, black length of wood. Its 30 ft evil aura makes beasts visibly uncomfortable. The staff has 10 charges and regains 1d6+4 of its expended charges daily at dusk.
    If the staff is broken or burned to ashes, its wood releases a terrible, inhuman scream that can be heard to a range of 300 ft. All blights that hear the scream immediately wither and die.
    Leech Life. The staff can be wielded as a magic quarterstaff. On a hit, it deals damage as a normal quarterstaff. You can expend 1 charge to regain a number of hp equal to the damge dealt. Each time a charge is spent, black sap oozes from the staff's pores, and you must succeed a DC 12 Wis saving throw or be afflicted with short-term madness (see Chap 8 of the DM's Guide).
    Blight Bane. While you're attuned to the staff, blights and other evil plants don't regard you as hostile unless you harm them.


    All-Seeing Monocle
    Wondrous item, legendary (requires attunement by a PC of good alignment)
    The All-Seeing Monocle was crafted by the witch Tabitha, the ancient enemy of the Beast and the only one to escape him. She gave her life to bind the magical part of her soul to her creation in the hopes that someone would be able to use it to destroy the Beast as she had failed to do.
    The monocle appears like any other but its frame and chain are platinum. It has 10 charges and regains 1d6+4 daily at dawn.
    Hold Mist. As an action, you can expend 1 charge and present the monocle to make it flare with power. The Beast and any of his fog-addled, fog-touched, or mist-possessed servants within 30 ft must make a DC 15 Wis saving throw. On a failed save, the target is paralyzed for 1 minute. It can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns until it ends the effect.
    Turn Mist. You can expend 3 charges when you present the monocle to give the Beast or fogged servants disadvantage on their saving throws to the effect.
    Clear Mist. As an action, you can expend 5 charges while presenting the monocle to make it shed bright light in a 30-ft radius and dim light for an additonal 30-ft. The light is sunlight and lasts for 10 minutes or until you end the effect (no action). It drives off the mist in its radius and suppresses the song of the Beast so that any entering Edelwood Slumber can have their hope restored by the PCs with a DC 15 Cha (Persuasion) check.


    Holy Symbol of Turtlekind
    Wondrous item, legendary (requires attunement by someone who has never eaten a turtle)
    This 12-inch-tall statuette depicts a black turtle. It belongs to the Black Turtle cultists who've been invited to take up residence in the Elder Edelwood.
    Turtle-Eater-Killer. Any creature that has eaten a turtle that touches the statuette must make a DC 17 Con saving throw, taking 88 (16d10) radiant damage on a failed save or half as much on a successful one. It is left to the DM whether the Beast or others have eaten turtle, but members of the Black Turtle cult have never done so. But once a creature has been so-attacked, they are forever immune to this effect. Whether the Beast has been subject to this effect previously and is now immune is also left to the DM.
    Augury. You can use an action to cast augury from the symbol, with no material components required. Once used, this property can't be used again until the next dawn. The Beast may intercept all auguries within the Unknown and knows of all of them.
    Cure Wounds. While holding the symbol, you cna take an action to heal one creature that you can see within 30 ft of you. The target regains 3d8+3 hp unless it is undead, a construct, or a fiend. Once used, this property can't be used again until the next dawn.


    Mark's Thighbone
    Weapon (mace), rare
    Mark's thighbone is an enchanted acid weapon dealing damage as Melf's Acid Arrow. If it scores one or more hits in the course of a single battle, the thighbone crumbles to dust once the battle is over.
    Mark was the Beast's first doorman and trap operator with a penchant for acid and poison. His idiosyncracy was to imbibe acids and poisons at low doses and gradually increase the doses to inure himself to them. Doing so imbued his body with toxins that dissolved all but his thighbone.


    Claw-Hand Maw
    Weapon (gauntlet, martial), legendary
    The Claw-Hand Maw is a Dark metal gauntlet, 1d8 Bludgeoning or Piercing damage, 5 lbs, Versatile, +4 to Sunder, +4 to Grapple. It was created by Granny Lee at the same time that she created the Dark lantern for the Beast as insurance in case he ever turned against her. It is the only weapon capable of sundering the Dark lantern and cannot itself be sundered except by another weapon of Dark metal.
    The Beast can only be permanently killed if the Dark lantern is destroyed. Otherwise, he will reform within his hole in the Elder Edelwood and return to terrorize the Unknown once more. If the Beast reduced to 0 hp while the Dark lantern is intact, the fog of the Unknown will remain in place, indicating that the Beast is still at large and keeping the PCs trapped within the Unknown.


    Last edited by Isada; 09-27-2017 at 12:23 PM.

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    Appendix D: Monsters and NPCs, Part 1
    New Creatures by CR
    CR Creature
    11 Granny Lee
    11 Granny Lee's hut
    1/4 Broom of animated attack
    1/2 Black Turtle cult witch
    8 Beatrice
    1 Guardian portrait
    5 Hot-Hand Zeb
    10 Ms. Evangeline
    1/4 Pumpkin-Eater
    1/4 Ticktock
    10 Steward the Beast's Steward
    5 Fred the Fey
    15 The Beast
    7 Tree blight
    2 Feathered Friend















    Last edited by Isada; 09-27-2017 at 12:27 PM.

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    Appendix D: Monsters and NPCs, Part 2











    Last edited by Isada; 09-27-2017 at 12:30 PM.

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    Appendix D: Monsters and NPCs, Part 3









    Last edited by Isada; 09-27-2017 at 12:33 PM.

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    Appendix F: Handouts



    Last edited by Isada; 09-27-2017 at 12:34 PM.

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