Wednesday night – that means its time to look at twists, turns and surprises for the party.
The party wake up after their rest to find the door to the inn open slightly, swinging lightly in a breeze they didn’t realise was blowing. They could have sworn that they closed and locked it last night but their new patron, the man who offered them a job, had insisted on buying them ale and wine and lots of it so they could be mistaken.
The flash of moonlight on steel sends the party scurrying out of bed as they watch the window fly open and the shadow of a humanoid jumps out.
A metallic clang resonates through the enclosed room as the party hurriedly produces some light.
On the ground in front of the window is a golden crown and a hastily scrawled note on strange parchment.
“By my thinking you stole the princesses crown, and I reckon the guard will be beating down the door any moment to drag you before the king to be hanged.”, At this moment the party can hear shouting from down stairs as a mailed gauntlet bangs demandingly on the inns door, “Meet my associate by the northern gate before dawn and do as he says or else I will make sure the king’s men find you.. oh and I wouldn’t leave the crown lying around to prove your guilt…” At that the parchment bursts into flames and not a trace is left behind.
The party, in this scenario, are blackmailed/betrayed into completing their quest for another agent. The associate at the gate tells them to instead complete the quest for another party, or for example instead of protecting something, they deliberately let their guard down, and so the game changes for the players. What they do, and for whom they complete the job for is up to them but don’t forget about consequences.
The party are on the verge of completing their quest whereupon nearing that final hurdle or last stretch something changes drastically.
The party has braved the dangers of Mant forest for a few days now with no sign of the healing spring. The map that the king gave to them indicates that they should be at it by now, or does that symbol mean danger. The longer they look at the map the more confused they become. Suddenly the party member taking lead through the forest indicates that they see something. Rushing ahead the princess leaves the safety of the pack and run, literally, into a tall slender hooded figure dressed in black silk and carrying a gnarled spiked staff.
“I was beginning to wonder when your father would send you to me, are the headaches getting worse Lirabeth?”
The tall woman asks the princess, seemingly ignoring the group that has traveled with the princess these past days.
Nearly towering above the tallest of party members the woman appears to stand talker as she begins gesturing with her hands in shaky motions and making clicks and humming noises before the tall woman turns away from the group.
“Follow me, and stay on the path. The creatures of the first don’t trust man unless in my company. Come now” she commands as she stalks off through the forest. The party starts to become acutely aware of at least three very tall and broad creatures watching them from just off the path, drool dripping from their fanged maws”
As the party approaches the banks of the Yooligo river a tangy, meaty aroma wafts steadily from the water’s surface. The river itself appears to have cut itself into the land as steep muddy embankments flank either side of its swift waters.
As the last of the day’s light dims, the party begins to notice a shift in the muddy walls. Glowing worm like creatures emerge from the banks of the river, their long bodies, roughly the width of a man’s arm, twitch in the cooling night air and long strands of a milky substance drip from their skin.
As the milky goo hits the river’s surface the river itself seems to glow. With every heartbeat from the players the forest comes alive with noise and luminescent light.
“Fascinating creatures are they not?” the witch asks from a nearby tree, watching the party as much as she watches the worms, “amazing predators too. Creatures are drawn to the waters in which their rich milk flows into and the creatures who drink find themselves healthy and strong. In return the worms pick one that drinks from the water and devour it – letting the offerings juices flow into the mud and water. Hence the smell.” The witch turns from the party and watches as a large deer begins to sip from the waters edge. A large glowing worm raises its head from the mud and sways in a dance-like motion in front of the deers eyes. The deer ceases to drink from the enriched waters as more worms rise up from the river banks and start to plunge their mouths into the deer, the dancing worm quickly follows suit biting the deer upon its head with the audible crunch of bone and flesh resonating from the worms and their meal.
“The waters should be safe now that the worms are feeding, but they are known to take more than one when the mood takes them” the witch gives a final piece of advice before she walks onwards, talking to other animals that have appeared from the forest to come and drink deep from the magical waters.
The party, in awe or horror (it’s too early to tell for now), decide they have seen enough and head off back to their camp in a nearby clearing.
Thanks for joining me today to look at a few possible twists for this week. One of them could be used across all plots, and 2 of them are quite specific to plots that we investigated on Monday.
Join me tomorrow to look at maps and, hopefully, I will have some maps to upload as potential areas of encounters, places of note, or a general lay of the land to get your and your players bearings.
Hopefully one of the above ‘twists’ can spice up your game and if you do use one please let me know how it goes.
…Oh and one more thing, don’t forget to roll with advantage!
The Brazen Wolfe