Sun.. no Saturday today! Shaking things up as I am beginning a first step to another journey tomorrow. Testing out the theme for a OpenLegendRPG campaign sometime this weekend which is paying homage to a setting I started years ago. But I will save that for a writeup of the session tomorrow.. Or Monday – will see which day the session is run.
So today, I decided to focus on the idea of the genius, but mad, wizard archetype and how a creature created by that chaotic mind would function in a game. So without further waffle let’s have a look at this week’s adventure hook!
An announcement goes out to all the cities, keeps and towns within the kingdom. Sir Percival’s yearly tournament is on and this year he has a surprise for all.
Keen to prove themselves; or looking at the reward for winning the competition, warriors, squires and aspiring adventurers come throughout the land to participate. But something has gone wrong and a separate more discrete call has gone out seeking adventurers who can track something deep within the woods.
This call to aid, however, did not go out to the Party – they are here to watch the festival, or partake in the jollyment or place wagers on their favourite warrior in the tournament.
Sir Percival’s house wizard, Winnifred Winterleaf, was charged with creating a beast for the grand finale – a monster forged from the natural power of the Wyrdwood itself and something that would create a spectacular fight for the visitors to watch. However, in her endeavour to fulfill her lords request she dipped into the wrong type of magic and produced something more.
One night whilst scrying to foresee the outcome of the tournament, a girls gotta make a living, her vision took a darker turn. The beast was amongst the woods, stalking the wannabe knights in their silver glad armour, one by one they were ripped up into the treetops until there were none left.
Breaking her vision she found her lord draping a cloak around her shoulders – it was only now that she realised that a layer of rime had coated her skin. The beast had escaped and it was not but three days until the tournament was to begin.
When the party is found they are assumed to be the heroes summoned for. When they accept the quest they are given a pendant and a number of matching rings. They are told to put the pendant on the beast and when doing so they will be able to locate and sense it without falling ill to it’s magic.
One of Sir Percivals vassals discovers that the beast is missing and organises all the warriors to go in hunt for it. At this point the lord sends for the party and requests for them to find the beasts before it takes any more lives. Furthermore Cordelia also went out to try and stop as many of the warriors as possible but she hasn’t returned from the forest.
Sir Percival Winterbourne
Roguishly handsome, Sir Percival Winterbourne has medium length brown hair that appears to glow with red tints when the Autumn sun hits it. His grey-blue eyes are full of warmth and he carries himself with a welcoming stature.
Percival speaks with a warrior’s intellect, that is to say that everything he says is calculated, weighed and deliberated regardless if he is attending his court or walking amongst the people of his city. Aware of the prying eyes and ears in his vicinity at all times, Percival is a master strategist which is understandable considering his past.
Percival gained his knighthood and Lordship by infiltrating a rival kingdom’s gatehouse and overpowering the guards with a handful of knights. This, however, went against the orders of his commander but spared the lives of hundreds of warriors on both sides of the battle. The king, finding his judgment sound and unquestionable granted him titles and land where his now growing mass of followers now reside as his knights’ bastion.
Cordelia ‘Cordy’ Carpenter
Cordy is an attractive but boyish young squire who works under one of the knights in Sir Percival’s court. Her long walnut hair reaches past her shoulder blades but she ties it high and close to her scalp as to be judged on her skill with a blade and bow instead of her gender.
Being the squire to Sir Percival Winterbourne was no small deal. Having been born into a family of woodturners Cordelia decided that the life of her wood, sawdust and splinters was not for her. She crafted a strong short spear and trained with it in secret – disguising herself so that no one would recognise her as a woman foremost or as the daughter of a carpenter.
On one such sparring session Sir Percival happened to walk by and stepped in for her opponent. Not holding back Cordy was approached and was offered an apprenticeship under Sir Percival to be his squire. Cordy now wants to prove herself worthy of the trust that Sir Percival put into her and does her best to carry out his wishes.
Normally seen standing a few feet to the left of Sir Percival at all times Fred appears to be a young lady of fair appearance. Her bright orange hair is rarely seen without an old leather hat that contains the wild nest-like hair underneath. Her eyes and ears give away her elven heritage but she is normally quiet and calculating, a harmonious pairing with the knight she serves.
Prone to talking in riddles Fred is channeled chaos. Unpredictable yet powerful, she acts as Sir Percival’s court wizard.
Two main settings for encounters for this adventure.
Encounter 1 – That aint’ no bunny lad. Thats a worg
A pack of worgs stalk the party as they travel through the woods (D&D5e = 3, open legends = 4) – they would attack whilst the party is setting up camp at dusk if advantageous to do so or would otherwise try and ambush them in the failing light.
Encounter 2, at night after the worgs have been dealt with the party would wake to hearing a distant, soft call for help. A successful DC15 investigation (perception in OLrpg) check would note odd notes in the voice calling out.
Upon investigating they see the form of a slumped warrior knight leaning against a tree holding a flickering lantern – but as soon as the party approach the figure the party member at the back of the pack will have something attempt to grapple and restrain them (stop from talking) and lift them into the trees. A successful counter grapple (or Might / agility for OLrpg) would see them slip out. As the party reach the suit of armor it crumbles and the lantern goes dark and falls to the ground. The party then find themselves far from their camp (illusion, investigation check dc 15) with another figure not far from them slumped down and not moving, a glowing mote of light coming from a rod like object. This is the Wyrdbeast.
If it is approached it will attack (surprise) the party (unless they succeed on a perception check) and will attacl until it takes damage. Upon taking damage it summons a Wyrd in its place and disappears 30ft as per the misty step spell. When the Wyrd dies it crumples into a heap of wood and body parts an anguished cry for help (Help me) resounds in the woods from the beast followed by laughter a short distance away – where the Wyrdbeast is hiding.
This repeats 2 or 3 times until the party discovers their missing companion (or if their counter grapple check passed) a real survivor in the same position of the copies or Wyrdbeast. Upon reaching it the beast and two mirror images would try and attack the most isolated party member using illusion to try and convince them that it is an ally who discovered something near a tree. But the ally is someone not from the party – they are sure (100% sure) that the person who is talking to them has been with the group the entire night.
If the Wyrdbeast can be reduced to 20% health points or the party manages to put the pendant on it would create a series of mirror images and retreat to its mountainous cave – screeching the entire time. The party would find a trail of dead, dying and wounded warriors in the morning leading towards its cave home. In several cases it looks like beasts of the forest (worgs or otherwise) appear to have tried to take the bodies or harm the wounded but they show deep clawed furrows in their bodies (a survival check would reveal) that the Wyrdbeast inflicted the wounds.
Encounter 2 – Are you afraid of the dark?
Once the Wyrdbeast has fled to its cave then the party can find the final encounter there.
The cave is a 50ft climb up a hill, with one of Sir Percival’s knights hanging from a branch near its entrance. The cave is narrow (5 ft wide) and the first passage is about 50ft before it turns sharply to the south, cutting off any light from the morning sun. The first passage is a tangle of branches, rocks, discarded armor and bodies.
There are another three passages in here, one of which (dealers choice) has Cordelia alive but unwell (mentally). The Wyrdbeast is dwelling in a suit of armor and if discovered will attack with itself and 2 Wyrds (copies of itself) also clad in rusted and heavily damaged armor. It won’t run any more but will use its legendary action to take up a new suit of armor as its shell if it suffers 20% of its HP in damage. It will have 5 suits around the room, including the 2 that the Wyrds are in.
After the hunt is over the party should return with Cordelia and any other contestants they found alive. The lord offers all of them a position as Cordelias Squires, which Cordelia is taken by surprise as only knights have squires (and thus she is knighted). The party should refuse and each receive a token of renoun from Sir Percival which will grant them the status of a lord or lady, without the title.
Thanks for joining today for what I hope will be a memorable encounter. The purpose of this is to add in an element of perceived danger, of horror and something that the party members should feel a sense of real accomplishment from finishing.
For stat blocks have a look below for the files if you want to use them.
If you like what you have read today, or better yet run the adventure feel free to let me know! I would love to see how you found the adventure and what your party thought of it. And as always don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe