No place like home

Hi all and welcome to the end of week writeup for the final week of Feb (well the third weekend of Feb any way)!

This past week we helped unravel the past for Katya and the townsfolk of the village now called Bracken Hollow. Apologies in advance, with the content from the previous nights it’s a pretty big writeup…

Well without the explaining why I am sticking with the same format lets kick in with the weekend writeup!


Bracken Hollow part 3

207BrHo3

Katya had helped Paul when was passed out in the snow after injuring himself and brought him back to some ruined buildings near her house. On the way however she began to become aware that they were being followed by wolves, making a dash for it she entered the small of the buildings, which turned out to be crypts and she placed Paul upon a slap of stone, much like an altar. Listening to the call, this pull that had helped her locate him she reached out and golden glowing light spread out from her hand and bathed Paul in warm light. His bones snapped into place, his flesh knitted together and his torn skin slowly crept back together leaving only the faintest marks on the skin that told of a lifetime of farm labour.

afraid of what she had just done, being told that magic was against the Blessed ones teaching she fled from the crypt but not before she jammed the door closed so that he would be safe, at least until she came back for answers. As she started to head back towards her home on the hill many glowing eyes came from the flurries of snow and gave chase. Turning she fled up the hill towards the largest building in the cemetary, as she neared the door she swore a faint warm glow could be seen from the building. Opening the door easily she jumped through and slammed the door on the wolves as they neared it.

“Katya! where are you Katya! Open the door and let us in child so we can help you” her aunts voice came from outside the door.

“Quickly before they come, they come to take you away child. Let us help you” called her uncles voice. Fighting back tears she stood up and opened the door a bit to peek out to look for her uncle and aunty, she was greeted by a massive wolfs head as she went to slam the door shut its muzzle got in the way as it tried to pry the door open. Two more smaller heads darted forward and began to pry the door open. The Larger wolfs muzzle began to smoke and sizzle as it pushed through the door and it shrank back with a frustrated growl. The same could not be said for the other wolves and they pushed on forwards with renewed vigour.

as they pushed through the force from the two beasts pushing through the door sent her flying onto her back, reaching out in fear she called out to anyone who would listen and her call was answered. Thick thorny vines erupted from the cracks in the floor and wrapped around the wolves, a third rushed in but the vines attempted to wrap around it, the look of shock and malice, unnatural malice could be seen in the eyes of the third wolf. As the first two wolves shuddered as sickening snapping and gooey fleshy noises could be heard under the vines the third bit through the vine on its let and fled out of the temple Katya was too shocked at what was going on that she didn’t hear the last wolf crying out “Father!” as it left the mausoleum.

After some time the vines retreated and the door to the room closed giving the room a warm and cosy feel. Standing slowly Katya took in her surroundings, her gaze falling on three large caskets, two of which were closed. Behind them and up on the wall Katya looked upon her self, well if it wasn’t her she had a twin and the face of two people who looked very much like her. Their resemblance gave her a warm yet sorrow filled feeling within her and she began to weep.

A few hours later the doors opened, Katya dashed to the corner of the room and shrank down into the corner.

Paul and four other people walked in and gazed upon what she had discovered.

“Oh, that’s Katya” Paul said and like a rock falling from the roof and hitting her head her memories started to flitter back.


Areas and places of note

The Manor on the hill – The final place where Katya and her new champions confront the evil that had enthralled a whole town. The house itself is warping and shifting under the shattering of the spell that was linked to Katya’s grief induced madness. The ‘family’ still inhabit the halls and will do anything they can to get Katya back, even if it means destroying the villagers and starting again from scratch.

The Road – The party have to walk back towards the Manor – but having Katya in tow I would not expect any encounters. IF your party is of level 3 then perhaps roll on the random encounter table from last week (kept below) as the final battle is ‘balanced’ for a level 2 party of 4.

The Graveyard – Where the party meet Katya. The main mausoleum gives a warm safe feeling

People of Bracken Hollow (in this adventure)

Carline Winters (and villagers)

After the spell shattered Carline, Milly and the villagers go to save Katya – They would meet with the party and Katya (see Thursday nights writeup) as they began to see fey creatures dancing at the edge of their torchlight. The fey are here to see the downfall of the family and want nothing more than to just watch. As Katya arrives the villagers offer to take her back to the village and keep her safe while the party deal with the family.

Katya Poleski

Katya is aware of what happened, but not to the full extent. She knows that the people who told her that they were her parents weren’t and that they were her families assistants and servants. She also knows that they kept her from the villagers that her family loved and were loved by in return. She is more than happy to be taken back to the Village and asks the Party to spare the family she had – despite them wronging her she still believes that they can be saved.

Paul Turp

Wanting to repay the kindness that Katya showed him she is devoted to her protection and offers to come fight the family with the party – but Katya persuades him not to. He is still showing fatigue and exhaustion from the previous few hours but his hand isn’t nearly as broken or damaged as it was.

The family – Father, Mother, Aunt and Uncle have forgotten their old names and who they were. Not much more than crazed cannibals they still are blessed by the dark deity they have worshipped for years, the Blessed one – a minor demon who has a particular fetish for devouring the magical prowess and soul of Chauntea priestesses so that the goddess of bounty and the harvest can not give her blessings and people will starve. The family fight as one team, a family if you will, and will do what they can to ensure that they all come out of this alive.

Environment and running the adventure

As the party leave the graveyard they would need to travel along the road which they travelled up on. Katya would give off a warm glow and any religious savvy (DC13 Religion check) would note that Chauntea has blessed Katya quite strongly, that she is radiating the goddesses divine aura soo strongly that the area around them is starting to turn to spring. Flowers would also start to appear as they walk with her and the cold weather starts to dissipate as they move down the road.

As they reach the Manor they find the village is there, lead by an armed and armoured Milly and an angry looking Carline. Carline and Milly rush to Katya and embrace her before calling for the villagers to take her back to the Tavern. As she begins to walk away the house rumbles and a window explodes from the second story – a man is standing there briefly before it vanishes leaving no trace. The party exchange a few words before heading off into the house to either pacify or kill the family.

Once entering roll for random room environmental occurrences (roll on the table below) and decide if the party will find the family together or apart. If they are apart the family will engage briefly before vanishing. The main conflict should be in the library or the master bedroom. Either will be spooky enough.

When its the Families initiative* they work as a team – I would give them all the same initiative but have mother go first followed by Father. If the family members start to go down Father will be visibly enraged and more so if Mother dies first. Same goes for Aunt and Uncle as they work as a pair.

Afterwards the main items of note is the book of Chauntea in the library and a lot of dark lore contained in well kept books in the master bedroom. In the kitchen there is a cupboard that is filled with old belongings – roll on a random loot table (minor magical items are perfectly fine here) but I would have dozens of full sets of travellers clothes, fey sized swords, shields and armour as well as a spell scroll for a 1st level cleric spell (random is my favourite)


Encounter area

1st floor

Entrance hall

As the party enter the entrance a long set of stairs leads up the left hand wall of what appears to be a small hall. As they look around a piece of the stairs railing crumbles and falls to the ground, disappearing into dust before it hits the ground. As the party enter the room they notice to the right through open doors is a large table with serving plates served with steaming hot food. To the left is a hall that looks to have once been used for entertaining guests and visitors. As they look back up the stairs to a small balcony the same piece of railing falls again and once more disintegrates before it touches the floor in a small cloud of dust that disappears as quickly as it formed.

Roll on the below table infrequently (if the party are in the room maybe roll every 2-3 minutes (20-30 rounds).

D6 resultEnvironmental Outcome
1-2The room seems to shift, the wooden flooring that was once strong and pristine rots and and of the party standing on the floor must make a [DC12 dexterity saving throw] or fall partially through the floor, becoming prone and suffering 1d6 damage from the jagged shards of rotting wood.
3+The room remains as it is, the single part of the railing from the stairs leading up will continue its cycle of rotting and falling

Dining

As the party enter the large dining area they are greeted by the smells of great cooked food and a table set for entertaining a great many people. Across from the doorway into the dining room lies a set of double doors and the sounds of sizzling meat, and frantic preparation can be heard within the room.

Roll on the table below each time someone moves to interact with the food.

D6 ResultEnvironmental Outcome
1-2The room remains the same, the food smells great.
3+The food fades out of existence, a think coating of grease and muck cover the table. The party find that the plates and serving platters are instantly gone and replaced with the bones of humanoids scattered across the table in a big heap.

Gathering hall

Opposite the kitchen and just before the stairs leading up the party find themselves in a large festive all. Grand curtains cover the windows and many sets of tables and chairs can be found surrounding a dance floor in the centre of the room. The party swear that they can still even hear the faint strums of a lute or lyre and someone striking a drum to a soft beat.

When the party move more than 10 feet on the dance floor roll on the able.

D6 ResultEnvironmental Outcome
1-2The party member keeps walking, amazed at how spotless the floor is and how there seems to be a faint warmth in the room as if it were filled with eager dancers and mirth.
3+As the party members on the dance floor takes another step they feel a sudden chill and presence as they swear a ghostly shape steps back into them. Looking around they see nothing else and if they had all imagined the same thing. Each person can make a [DC10 Charisma saving throw] or suffer disadvantage on their next ability check.

Kitchen

As the party cross the dining room into the kitchen and open the door the sounds of food preparation are quickly revealed to be an illusion or an echo of a time long since gone. Large cleavers lie embedded in the wooden bench in the centre of the room and a large cold hearth lies opposite them. Large chunks of questionable meat litter the room. [DC12 perception check] As the party get closer to the centre of the room a iridescent pair of wings can e seen discarded on the floor near two doors, one leading to what one would imagine would be the servants quarters and the other to the entrance hall. These wings appear to be from a large insect or perhaps a fey of some kind.

If the party approach the benches where the knives are embedded within the boards roll on the table.

d6 ResultEnvironmental Outcome
1-2The room quickly becomes animated. Gone is the filth, grime and gore and a well maintained cooks kitchen is now presented before them. A great bout of flame gushes fourth from the stove flooding the room with warmth and the smell of baking bread. However those to close may get burned [DC 10 dexterity saving throw] or take 2d4 fire damage, half on a successful save to all within 5ft of the centre of the room. The knives also start swinging down and chopping at vegetables and fine cuts of meat – anyone touching the knives or the centre bench need to make the same saving throw or suffer 1d6 slashing damage.
3+This place sucks.

Servants quarters

Moving onward through the bottom floor they find a small separate dining room and a small hallway that leads to six bedrooms that each look to be rather small, big enough for a bed, a little table and chair as well as a wardrobe for personal affects.

As the party walk down the hall roll on the table below.

D6 resultEnvironmental Outcome
1-2Nothing occurs apart from the occasional creak above them and a small shower of dust.
3+Part of the wall connecting the hallway to the Entrance hall (3-4) or the Gathering hall (5-6) suddenly ruptures outwards showing the party members closest in debris. In the plume of dust that follows they swear they see a figure darting through it at incredible speed moving towards the stairs and the sound of retreating footsteps can be heard.

Stairs way and overlooking balcony

As the party climb up the stairs the wood shifts slightly under their feet, turning solid and polished one moment and then being tired and worn the next. At the top of the stairs a small portion of railing keeps materialising in place before falling over the edge and disintegrating as it falls down towards the floor of the entrance hall.

Opposite them lies many windows overlooking the yards beyond and to their left lies a hall taking then to a bedroom to the left and a library at the end of the hall. To their right another hallway that leads to a larger bedroom at the end of the hall, a smaller room much like a study just before that on the right and what appears to be a bathroom adjoining the study.

As the party approach any windows in the hallway roll on the below table.

D6 ResultEnvironmental Outcome
1-2A sudden image of one of the 4 tall, slender and impossibly gaunt residents (and former servants of Katya and her family) appear behind the party members who are looking into the windows. The image is so lifelike that when it suddenly reaches out and lunches at the party that they feel the hands of the person on them. As soon as the physical touch is made the phantom image disappears.
3+Moving up towards the windows the party members can see that the glass appears to have nail like scratches on the edge of each pane of glass as if someone was desperately trying to claw their way through the glass and outside.

Halls

The halls are 20ft long with doors at 10ft leading back towards the front of the missing boards that form sort holes in the ground. If the party isn’t carefully watching their steps it would be very easy to fall down one of many of the missing planks and to the room below.

Each 5ft step the party make roll on the below table. The every 10 ft the party must make a [DC10 dexterity saving throw or fall in the hole,

D6 ResultEnvironmental Outcome
1-2The sudden sound of rushing feet coming towards them from the nearest room can be heard, [DC12 wisdom saving throw] to recognise it as a phantom noise else the party member makes the saving throw to avoid falling down the missing planks at disadvantage.
3+Nothing spooky, they either roll for falling down a hole or carry on.

Katya’s room

Katya’s room being next to the library and its relatively large, 10ft deep by 20ft wide. This room appears to be untouched by the rapid changes present in the rest of the house and contains of a well maintained room, bed with clean sheet and a wardrobe filled with nice clothes. There appears to have been no expenses spared to keep Katya well maintained and her needs met.

Library

The library is huge, 30ft deep and 20ft wide. There are several ruined tables littering the room with old armchairs which have very little padding left on them. Books, scrolls and pages litter every inch in this room and only the odd one stands out as being somewhat decently kept [DC15 perception check] to notice the only properly maintained and well kept book is a prayer book to Chauntea. On the wall overlooking the front of the house is what used to be a large stained glass window.

When the party examine or look closer at the stained glass window they noticed that the shattered glass across the room is slowly floating through the room toward the window, the grime and dirt from the glass seems to smoke and fade away as the image of a saintly man and large hawk wings stands in the centre of the stained glass window. After a few moments though the wings start to fade in colour and the man becomes gaunt, pale and fangs start to grow from his now sinister smile. As the image now staring back at he party is of a mostly naked, gaunt yet muscular rotting man the window implodes showering the room with its tainted glass, which, slowly, began to reform and re-do the process.

Bathroom

The bathroom contains a tub and a shattered basin the mirror has only a sliver of the actual mirror left and the resto f it can not be found.

If the party look at the mirror a faint waft of steam comes up from the shattered basin, which begins to reform. The shard of the mirror begins to melt and stretch across the rest of the frame before a fully constructed mirror lies in its place. As they look towards the mirror the words appear on it “All praise the blessed one, in his light we find peace and are sated with his love”

Study

The study contains a large desk and a few chairs around it. It appears almost completely untouched. [DC12 arcana or religion check]. The room has been warded against evil, that much is sure. On the wall is another family portrait much like in the crypt where they met Katya but this time the divine energy that can be felt radiating from the painting is formidable. [DC12~14 investigation check] Looking behind the painting they will find a collection of holy relics and a holy symbol of Chauntea that seems to shine faintly.

Master bedroom

The master bedroom is a disaster. The entire room has been smashed to rubble and it appears as though this is where the family members who kept Katya imprisoned here lived and spent most of their time. Four large windows overlook the front yard which are replicated to look out the back yard. clothes seem to be piled in the corner of the room, some of it appears to be salvageable and there is a stench of rot, decay and malice that floats through the air.

Encounter Balancing

Encounter stat-blocks

Random table

Random Encounter table

Result (d20)Encounter
1-9Nothing of significance is encountered – to build tension perhaps a deer or the like stumbles onto the track at the same time the party does
10-14One Giant snowy owl appears just as it swoops down to attack the smallest party member in the group – attempting to fly off with them.
15-17A giant lynx (Crag Cat) appears, it is currently feasting on a stag but looks up at the party daring them to approach it and its meal.
18-19Two wolves appear, one is nursing a hurt leg that upon closer inspection has thorny vines wrapped around it, the wound looks recent and painful.
20Three wolves appear


Well that’s it for the week. If you want to look into the sections in a bit deeper depth then I would suggest looking through the Monday-Friday content for last week, the finale of this months adventure! Next week where I will be looking at the aftermath and the lead up to March’s adventure. 

Don’t forget to come back next week for the continuation of the story and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

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