Varda’s Request

Welcome to another writeup that looks at the past week where this time our party found their ship, the Dancing Drake, in need for repairs after being attacked by toad-kin at the control of their Chieftains and war chief. They set off across the marsh to find help but run into some problem’s.

So instead of re-writing the past week let’s jump into the end of week write-up and the adventure..  


Shaman’s request

The Dancing Drake having suffered a wound to its hull and becoming stuck between marsh banks looked to be in some difficulties. While wondering how to fix it  two unarmed and unarmoured toad-kin approached the crew and were eventually lead to Lizbet and the party. Whilst able to understand common communication seemed hard, body language and communication with hand gestures revealed that these two toad-kin (Kiri and Trip) wished to help those who walked amongst the walking star and could show them the way through the marsh, they think.

The crew and Kyoko both agreed that travelling the marsh would cut days off their travel, considering their ship was grounded until repairs could be made, and it would take a savvy survivalist to lead them through unscathed, particularly the darker deeper parts of the marsh and jungle that lay between them and the port they were travelling to.

The issue is that the Toad-kin could not communicate traditionally but they wanted to take them to someone who commanded the spirits and magic of the swamp to create a charm that would lead them through the worst of the marsh and perhaps find a way to enable the two Toad-kin to communicate with those they wished to serve and assist.

Reluctant to agree they considered their other options, sure that they could find a spell or charm to speak and communicate with the diminutive humanoids they set off on their own, heading in the direction with a compass borrowed from Choi to seek help at the port to retrieve supplies and a crew to repair the dancing drake and get it sailing again.

Kiri and Trip not wanting them to fail followed them but not being able to communicate effectively started to wear down the party and their guides nerves as the marsh got thicker and the sun got lower as the day went on..

Area of note

The boat – The Red Fleets Dancing Drake is where the party find themselves calling the ship home, for the time being at least. But having suffered damage to the hull they are need of repair and its currently stuck between two mud banks and taken on water.

The Marsh – The marsh is small islands of mud and root systems of the bushes and reeds that grow in this otherwise deep waterway. Those who fall overboard are treated with deep water, slippery mud banks and thick four feet tall reeds that make traversing these waterways dangerous during the day and lethal at night.

The Marsh hut – A small hut in the marsh which is home to Varda, the toad-kin who needs some reagents for a charm to assist the party.

NPCs

Kiri – a small toad-kin of young years who believes in the old ways. Spirited and savvy he volunteered to help guide the adventures through the swamp despite thinking their plan foolish.

Trip – a larger toad-kin of more advanced years. He is good with his spear and quite experienced at moving about the marsh safely. It’s a rare occurrence that he is taken by surprise.

Varda – a old one footed toad-kin shaman who is fond of cooking and who is rumoured to be so old that she walked amongst the fallen stars. Her name is also rumoured to be a gift from those people who taught her how to speak (elves and draconic).

Environment and running the adventure

The Marsh banks – If someone was to fall overboard a DC10 Dexterity check would be required to stand up safely on the river bank (or they fall prone), made with disadvantage if the person on the bank is wearing heavy armour. The islands are 5ft by 10ft on average with some longer but skinnier, and some 10ft by 10ft banks of mid and reeds sporadically spread out either side of the deep river.                                       

The marsh – See Map

Made with Inkarnate.com

Encounter

In this encounters let’s assume that our party of 4 have all reached level 5, I think that would be fitting for being this far in the adventure-year. (disclaimer – forgotten from Fridays writeup – the Goblin and whale are placeholders for the CR..)

The first encounter is more to shock the party into action and drive them to seek aid in crossing the marsh. One, or two (dealers choice) giant marsh newts ambush the toad-kin once they have revealed that they are mostly harmless to anything they they cant fit in their mouth. The newts should swallow one toad-kin and lumber off with the aim being the party to fight it and kill it near the waters edge.

Once it’s (they) are dead a Longsnout Sharptooth will lunge out of the water, not revealing its fleshy flower looking appendages at all, and attack the corpse. Anyone who fails a perception check (vs its stealth) will get hit by the creatures tail as it dives up onto the bank with a successful str saving throw preventing them from being knocked down as it then drags the newt into the water, only once the toad-kin escapes.

Second half.

The walk to Varda’s hut is easy, the toads know the way. She then requests the petals of the Longsnout Sharptooth and feathers of a Mirestrider Kookastem (a four legged fast bird).

The encounter for this can be straight forward where the party hunt the birds and the Longsnout sharptooth or have the Longsnout attack the party during fighting/hunting the Mirestrider as an ambush for the party.

I would picture it as the mire strider fleeing from the party, they almost going to capture it and the Longsnout lunging at the party, first one to come into Range. Jaws closing on both Mirestrider, killing it in a plume of feathers.

The alternative is spotting two bright flowers unlike the others in the marsh growing from a log thats floating in the marsh near the shore. This of course isn’t a log but the Longsnout. There are a lot of ways to run the encounter and the most thematic and challenging for the party would be my preference.





Aftermath

Once the ingredients are given to Varda she produces a talisman for the Toad-kin Kiri which gifts him the ability to speak common and the party a fetish which is a stuffed bird that enables them to see through its eyes gor a hour as it flies above the party at around 100ft off the ground. After its done so it falls to the ground and lays inert until the following dawn.


Well that’s it for tonight, thanks for joining me as we wrapped up this weeks adventure.

Don’t forget to come back next week as we look to continue with this months adventure and don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Marsh-dweller

Welcome to another writeup that looks at the past week where this time our party have ventured across the sea to Ryokughan and were on the last leg of the journey where normally peace loving toad-kin have been rallied into a heaving mass of amphibious aggressors who have been told by their dark patron to stop the Dancing Drake for their debt to be paid.

So instead of re-writing the past week let’s jump into the end of week write-up and the adventure..


Peaceful Marauders

Sailing towards the continent of Ryokughan the party start to relax with the setting of the sun as the ship sail are pulled in and several great oars are produced from portholes on the side of the ship.

As the ship moves through the marsh and the lanterns are lit across the deck of the ship one of the crew, Choi, mentioned to them.

“Don’t follow lights in this jungle. Not during the night and definitely not during the day” Choi fang mentioned as he wound up a length of rope as he finished tying up one of the sails. “There are witches and fell spirits in these marshes that would love for nothing more than the easy meal of someone who doesn’t know the rule of these lands. ”

When the question is asked, “What’s that?” Choi replies with a grin, “Don’t follow the lights.. All light casts a shadow and the smaller the light the bigger the shadow” before he walked off below deck to get a meal in before a long night of navigating through the marsh.

Meanwhile deeper in the marsh Kiri and Trip, two toad-kin who had been summoned by their large and more violent chiefs met and shared a meal. The war chief; a large, violent and terribly powerful member of their kind had received orders from The Shadow to ensure none of the crew upon the Dancing Drake survived their trip through the Marsh.

Area of note

The boat – The Red Fleets Dancing Drake is where the party find themselves calling the ship home, for the time being at least.

The Marsh – The marsh is small islands of mud and root systems of the bushes and reeds that grow in this otherwise deep waterway. Those who fall overboard are treated with deep water, slippery mud banks and thick 4feet tall reeds that make traversing these waterways dangerous during the day and lethal at night.

NPCs

Koyko Harimasu

Kyoko spends her time fighting off toad-kin as they swarm the helm – attempting to keep the little humanoids(ish) from running the ship aground.

Elizabeth “Lizbet” Scaulder

When Lizbet appears on deck, her divine magic appears as if she was a fallen star. The Toad-kin cease fighting and drop to their knees in worship as the vision that walks before them is like a tale sung from campfires from their elders.

Siu

Siu is in a good mood, nervous and anxiety being this close to his home land in a very long time when he senses danger and Lizbet moves to go up on deck he races forward to protect her. To the Toad-kin he appears as an emissary of the ancient ones – dragons. His fangs, claws and shimmering gold scales cause lesser toads to jump overboard and those brave enough to hold fast dare not strike him

As well as random NPCs. The Dancing Drakes Crewmates Choi Fang takes a more active role this adventure.

Environment and running the adventure

The Marsh banks – If someone was to fall overboard a DC10 Dexterity check would be required to stand up safely on the river bank (or they fall prone), made with disadvantage if the person on the bank is wearing heavy armour. The islands are 5ft by 10ft on average with some longer but skinnier, and some 10ft by 10ft banks of mid and reeds sporadically spread out either side of the deep river.

The Boat – See Map

Encounter

In this encounter lets assume that our party of 4 have all reached level 5, I think that would be fitting for being this far in the adventure-year. (disclaimer – forgotten from Fridays writeup – the Goblin and whale are placeholders for the CR..)

That is a lot of critters and yes it does say deadly, but if we break it down into how these creatures fight then it will make more sense.

These creatures will send through the foot soldiers, the humble toad-kin, first before the chiefs will be riled up to fight. If the chiefs begin to falter (and they do easily not being dumb creatures and valuing their life more highly than most things) then the war-chief will wade into the thick of things to dish out discipline and intimidate through violence the lesser toads.

Once Lizbet arrives the toad-kin will stop fighting and three chiefs will arrive the War chief falls and they will use their bully ability to get toad-kin’s to fight the party (despite them not wanting to and it being very obvious that they don’t want to. The Toad-kin (not chief) will had disadvantage on attack rolls when they are fighting in this part of the fight.

Once the Chiefs die then the War-chief will appear, with a second larger chief and they will then attempt to kill the party – using their size and weight to bully the toad-kin who are reluctant into fighting.


Toad-kin War – Chief

While the Toad-kin are a peaceful those particularly blessed by the shadow grow to large intimidating sizes, the smallest at which being the size of the largest of a faerun orc, and with their size comes a hunger for violence and destruction.

Whilst violent and destructive these war chiefs of the toad-kin are cunning, calculating and meticulous in their planning utilising and commanding great throngs of lesser toad-kin usually by bulling and intimidating the clan chiefs and eating the smaller toads who defy them. True servants to the shadow these creatures have forgotten the way of their people, the worship of light, life and nature and seek only the glorification of themselves and the gratification of brutality.

The war chief toad-kin occasionally reaches large size, gaining a thicker hide, mightier constitution and more cunning after surviving so long. These Large ogre sized creatures are rare but extremely powerful and should be feared due to the sheer volume of clans that they bully into service.


Toad-kin Chief

The chief of a clan of toad-kin is larger than most, broad chested, heavy and brutal. Blessed by the taint they received by the shadow they bully lesser toad-kin into doing what they want using their size and powerful bodies to get their way and keep control over their people.

Still somewhat superstitious they look for signs that align to their plans and are quick to point out bad omens that would put their plan or right to rule in favour.

These toad-kin are only second to the largest of their kind and take orders from only them. These large toad-kin chiefs emerge from the dank, dark, murky waters of the marsh and jungles to launch raids and attacks on other races for the betterment of themselves.



The Toad-kin

The toad-kin by itself is unimpressive. Small (about 3ft tall) but fast and nimble it uses its large powerful legs to hop around the marsh to catch food and forage. Servants and cowards they serve their chief with total loyalty and only their superstitious nature will overrule the orders and commands that is barked at them.


Aftermath

Once the war chief dies a dark mist will escape from its lungs as it exhales the last time and will fly away to the north. The Toad-kin will throw down their weapons and appear joyous at the death of the chiefs, maybe not all of them but a majority will and they will attempt to communicate with the party if they can; led by Kiri and Trip.


Well that’s it for tonight, thanks for joining me as we wrapped up this weeks adventure and I am looking forward to party members falling overboard.. I mean learning the true nature of the toad-kin – who I am sure we will explore more of in the near future!

Don’t forget to come back next week as we look to continue with this months adventure oh, and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Open Sea’s & the Slithering Evil.

Tonight we will look back at the parties first leg of their journey to Kyoko and Siu’s home country as well as their unexpected stopover on Ophidian Island.

So I will continue using this format which I don’t know if its easier but it certainly collates the adventure a bit more for ease of reading.

As with last time Pages 1, 2 and 3 are content pages, the description, flow, random tables, etc. and such that you’ve previously seen.
Page 4 contains all NPCs and portraits to help the DM describe them and a bit about them to help play them out.
Page 5 will be stat blocks and map(s) – all that D&D encounter goodness that you want.

Now I will assume you have read the entire post (although it is ~6700 words long..) and say thanks in advance for reading this – I have expanded, added and adjusted a few things to make sure the adventure flow better.
If you do like this format do let me know, if you don’t also let me know so I can see what I can tweak for next time. this probably was just about as much effort as writing it all from scratch the first time around but this way I think it makes sense.


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


Part 1&2 – Searching for Reason and Facing the truth – 209MoSfR+210MoFT

The high priestess Lizbet and Katya were introduced at last, the party shepherding them into town to ensure the safety of Katya and that they completed their quest. People lined the streets to welcome the returning hero and to bear witness to the high priestess, Lizbet, and the newcomer, Katya, radiating divine magic which radiated the warmth of a spring after a dead cold winter.

Along the rooftops Siu scampered, a little dragonoid that was covered in fur as it watched Lizbet and Katya, praying to the ancestors (of whom he was enslaved to due to his past mistakes) that his plan to convince one of both of them to come with him back to his home country would succeed. There was a growing shadow across the sea which was slowly devouring the land and people of the place he called home many-many years ago, the Harimasu families lands and the villages that were within its borders.

But as he was watching from a safe distance he noticed something dark happening and when he investigated he was attacked by a shadow stitched – a creature that was killed and which is now inhabited by a Shadow-mist creeper. Calling upon his treasured blessing – returning to his humanoid form for 24 hours, something he could use but once a decade he dashed for the temple of Chauntea to try and get the attention of the priestesses, to get their help in healing his wounds.

Successful in his ploy he was unable to treasure and use his blessing to enjoy his human form but instead found himself organising the defence of the priestesses who the creatures would be drawn to hunting down due to the amount of divine (life) energy they radiated. The plan was afterwards, if successful, he would ask for one of them (Lizbet had already had whispers spoken to her whilst she was not aware of his presence, one of his talents) to board the Red Fleets Dancing Drake, Kyoko Harimasu’s ship and sail back to his home country. If they survived that is.


Areas and places of note

The Road to Daye – The road back to Daye is long but easy. Its general downhill slope makes travel easy and the road after the ambush site, where the undead attacked, cleared out to have a sight of all potential threats for miles. Random encounters could be possible but they would be wild beasts, more undead (or fiends) but not brigands and the like would have a rough job trying to get an ambush on the party and their wagon.

Daye Streets – The streets are no more than 30ft wide, enough for a wagon or two to pass comfortably with stalls either side of the road. The buildings that line the road are one or two story predominantly with the odd three story building here and there. Currently there are people from the city lining either side of the street paying respect (silent or otherwise) to the priestess and her procession. The raw energy that comes from Katya would also put people into a shocked state as they are used to the grace and touch from Chauntea (through the temple) but not in such a potent form.
*After the battle* the streets are empty early in the mornings and talk of the creatures and nightmarish sounds from the night before are the talk of the town. Soon though merchants bring their stalls, wagons and carts out and begin to advertise their wares – it truly is a market city where the streets, particularly around the docks, are a source of just about all mundane items and objects you could seek.

The Temple– A large, 50ft x 90 ft building with a large alter and statue to Chauntea being the centre piece of the large prayer room with several rooms off to the sides and a wing for where the priests and priestesses would sleep.
*After the battle* the temple has guest quarters where the party would have been encouraged to stay to rest and heal, as well as to have close in case more creatures appeared in the middle of the night. The people who call this place home, the priests and priestesses are kind, welcoming and excellent cooks believing that Chauntea’s bountiful blessings are meant to be shared to not just he devout but all.

The Docks – Quieter than when the party first stepped upon the docks they are still busy with people from the red fleet still selling the last of their wares. Many of the large red sailed ships have left and several other trading ships have also arrived and they have brought with them not just their normal wares but a small influx of magical items. Different to the lucky trinkets and lesser magical items of the Red fleet these merchants sell potions, scrolls and other wondrous items – if the gold is plentiful enough.
The docks, however, of late have begun to start selling magical items and as the Red fleet begin to head home back across the waves to restock on goods the demand on magical trinkets and items is at a new time high with supply being short and the patience of the customers being little.

Environment and running the adventure

Day1 & Night 1.

Street – No one would dare attack the party, not with the rumour spreading of what they fought in Bracken Hollow nor the spirit they fought in the city. Furthermore the presence of the city guard, the priestess and priests of Chauntea as well as the gathering of folk from the city would make it very difficult to get the drop on them. However once the party reach the Temple of Chauntea they would leave the priestess there and head into the streets.

On the streets they may become the target of the Shadow-mist creepers or the Shadow Stitched beasts – lunging at them n shadow in small violent bursts (up to 3 creatures at once, all mixed species). As night falls a dockworker would attack them – visible seems where the shadow-stuff that holds the flesh together glowing in the moonlight as it attacks them – the intelligence maliciousness would seek to attack the one who was last closest to Katya.

After the fight is over a bell would start ringing from the temple – the urgency and oddness of the hour should be alarming to the party and someone would likely step out from a building and state the obvious (a helpful nudge for the party).

Temple – The centre room once the party get to the temple is where the priests can be found praying to Chauntea, flooding the room around the alter with daylight. Katya, Lizbet, Carline and Paul with a young man who looks to be of the Red Fleets people are currently fighting back a few creatures that attacked the party. As the party fight their way through some of the shadow stitched creatures they notice a dog grab Katya’s robe and drag her from the room, rushing through the side door and into the outside beyond. Lizbet and the others rush after them and into the night beyond.

The dog carries Katya into the streets where the party who give chase encounter more creatures to come and push back at them – Lizbet, Paul, Carline and the young man (Sui) catch up to Katya and separate her from the dog but they are quickly surrounded.

Day 2

Decision– The decision to leave would need to come from the party – Going to go see Siu at the docks wouldn’t be a hard decision (he looks just like a man after all) and Lizbet would ask the party to escort her just in case of a trap before deciding to walk off herself.

The party can tell that she is nervous, perhaps anxious about the decisions to be made and her nerves would be obvious to all (she isn’t one to hide behind a mask).

The boat– Once the party see the boat the decision needs to be made – follow the creature and Kyoko across the waves with Lizbet to help save their people or stay back and wait. Regardless of the decision initially Kyoko will ask that the party and priestess give her a week to give her time to get ready for the voyage back home. This gives the party some time to shop, if they are short of ropes/ arrows / etc. and to find out more bout where they are going from Kyoko, Siu or any of the Red Fleet.

If the party do stay behind then the adventure at the end of the month will come into affect (with the aim of still getting the party to travel across the sea)

Adventure Areas

1st night – Shadow Stitched.

As the party leave Katya if they move through a place with shadow that is too far from people (use DM discretion here) then its likely they will be attacked by the Shadow-stitched. The first attack would have one or two creatures attack but only as the party turn their back, an ambush as if carefully plotted. As one of the creatures dies the other would fall limp and the shadow-mist creeper would flee into the sky where it would dissipate (its energy spent). Examination of the body would reveal it being dead for hours and an arcana check would reveal that a dark magic (enchantment more so than necromancy but it has that tinge) held the corpse together as if possessed.

The second attack would be more feral – as if all control of their will power was gone – the astute party member would note that the creatures almost moved as if commanded or as if puppets to a greater powers will. These creatures would attack from the shadows but into the sunlight where they would flinch and a dark smoke would flow from their stitches – which glow black in the sunlight. As the creatures are killed (three, a cat, a dog and maybe a raven (use the owl block) then a dark mist would escape and bubble in the sunlight before dissipating.


The next encounter would be the temple after the bells start to ring (as the sun finally sets) – the temple would e filled with little creatures, cats, dogs, rats, birds who are in the shadows (away from the sunlight being produced by the priests) except for where Katya and Lizbet are – the creatures are braving the light to get to the princess.

1d4+1 creatures would actively block the path to Chauntea’s chosen and as the party slay the second last one then a large dog would grab a hold of Katya and quickly drag her from the safety of the temple.

In the streets every 60 feet another creature would appear, randomise what it is each time!

Once the party reach Katya and Lizbet + company they would start to get 3~5 creatures attack in waves (every 2 rounds) until an ogre wearing leathers of a dock worker (and looking like he works on the docks) steps forward to fight the party. Once the ogre falls then all of the creatures fall and the dark mist floats into the sky and disappears.

2nd day – Decisions

The aim of day 2 is to get the party to consider shopping for things using the gold they have now as well as tying up any lose ends. They should see going over on the boat a desirable prospect and the right way to progress the story moving forward.


Notable NPC interactions.

Kyoko Harimasu – Interaction with Siu and the party when his true form is revealed, which upon him showing true selflessness he is gifted a more suitable draconic form. See – Twist of fate

Ophidian Island

Hi all and welcome to the end of the week writeup and, the last week of content before I produce the end of month adventure that looks at the last 4 weeks (yup. 4!)

This week we saw our party have to make an emergency stop on a lost island after their ship, the Red Fleets Dancing Drake was attacked by pirates. However unknown to them this island was home to a powerful creature who had claimed the vacant, fertile land as its hunting ground and with its demonic powers it had empowered its servants to kidnap any who dare take refuge on its sandy shores.

So without any more drivel or waffling on let’s get to the write-up!


Ophidian Island

As the storm subsided the party and the crew made their way across the waves their ship having sustained damage from the fighter and the Storm. It was on the second day that the crew saw across the waves and island with tall trees scattered across the island surrounding a lone mountain. Jutting from this mountain was a tall steep spire which towered above the island and into the clouds above.

As the ship limped its way to the sandy shores Kyoko limped forward having sustained a crossbow bolt to her leg during the pirates attack. “Alright crew. We rest here for three days. Get some in wood to repair the ship, get some fresh water and food and we leave. Anyone late to the ship in on the sunrise of the third day gets left behind” she commands and the crew, most of them fully healed from Lizbet, rush off to complete their captains orders.

She beckons for the party. “My maps show this island but warn people to not set up camp, they believe this island to be cursed. Can you keep watch over the crew, Siu and Lizbet to make sure we all leave this island in one piece, or at least the same state we arrived in” she requested, grimacing as she lent the wrong way on her injured leg.

The party nod as Kyoko turns to head back towards her cabin and maps. She had insisted on Lizbet healing her crew before using magic to heal her leg, Lizbet had used all her magic on the crew and was yet to fully recover her magic to heal the captain.

A hour later a group of four crew members run towards where everyone was set up not far from where the ship was moored, the deep water of the cove perfect for a ship of this size.

“we’ve found another ship that looks untouched that would have all the gear we need to make repairs. The other crew are too spooked to enter it and we are finding it hard to get the materials from the trees to make repairs. What should we do?”

Area of note

The breached boat – The crew members that scouted out the beach just north to where the Dancing drake reported in finding a large multi-sailed ship that had a abnormal breaching in its hull that was the ships doom, apparently. The ship itself contains enough material to repair the Dancing Drake and provide spare sail in case something goes wrong, though it wont be Red. However, whilst on and near the ship recovering the materials the party kept seeing glimpses something watching them from the ship – the crew members calling out saying that its the lost crew of the ship who have taken refuge onboard their broken ship.

The Beach – the beach is a mixture of soft, fine sand and smooth pebbles that coat the edge of the island in a welcoming soothing blanket of warmth. The sand, however, is so find that tracks of all kinds seem to melt away quickly with but the faintest of breeze so it’s easy to get lost and not to notice the presence of animals or other creatures until its too late.

The Forest – a relatively humid jungle has sprung up not far from the beach and waters edge. It’s home to mainly snakes of all sizes but any trace of them from when the party first encounter them seem to have disappeared once they enter the jungle in true after the disappearance of their crew and Captain Kyoko.

The Mountains – A large range of mountains has erupted in the centre of the island – large and imposing and so closely clumped together that they could be considered a single large mountain. Fresh water streams form pools at the base of the stone cliffs and, with some time searching, statues of humans bound and constricted by giant snakes can be found littered around the mountains base. Other ruins, evidence of settlement can be found and a large winding staircase was crudely cut into the side of the mountain leading towards a singular jagged spire that juts from the mountain into the sky like a spear piercing the clouds and heavens above.

The temple – at the base of the spire is a large, well crafted temple that is guarded by a large snake statue. The statue is so well crafted that it appears to be a snake until people notice the worn out foot and hand holds that appear to lead up to the snakes snarling jaw where two large blood stained fangs have been a carved out of white stone. These fangs drip with a sickening ichor and appear to have blood seeping into the white stone as the party examine them. The abyssal scripture around the statue states “the faithful, anointed by the serpents venom will be blessed by the serpents gift and will be welcomed as one of the faithful” and only once one of those present has placed blood upon the fangs will the statue briefly come alive and move to the side revealing the steps down. Those who force the snake fang onto their arm as a way of anointing the fangs with their own blood in this manner will feel the affects of snake venom (poisoned) but will feel a sense of unease like a creature is beckoning them into the dark depths below.

The Temple itself is filled with snakes, some forming a single humanoid shape when they encounter the party attacking as a swarm. Behind large sealed double doors an Abyssal Naga waits for the party.

NPCs in this adventure

Choi Fang

Choi is one of the crew members that managed to be spared from the abduction of the the rest of the crew as he was with the party near the other beached ship.

Koyko Harimasu

Kyoko and several other crew members were taken by the snake servants and are unconscious within the temple. As she still suffers a wounded leg (Lizbet being unable to heal her due to her magic needing to replenish and Kyoko insisting the crew take precedence) she is unable to move quickly or defend herself adequately.

“Wild girl”

Living on the island after having escaped the Naga within the temple when her ship’s crew and other passengers were taken after a freak storm ripped a hole in their hull, or so they think it was the storm.

Living on the island with the Naga’s servants has made her cunning, stealthy and self reliant but the potential of leaving with the adventurers made her do something that she swore she wouldn’t do. Hope. She trails the party, wedging the stone serpent statue open so they can escape whilst following behind them making sure that she is there in case she can help them leave with their lives.

NPCs

The Dancing Drakes Crewmates. Several crewmates are with Kyoko and unconscious within the temple. Luckily Siu and Lizbet seem to have been spared (safely onboard the Dancing Drake instead of being on shore)

Environment and running the adventure

The Island

The wind and fine sand makes tracking difficult (other than the site where the crew was ambushed where the volume of disturbance makes the tracks easily readable). Any survival check to look for tracks or signs of life are made with disadvantage on the beach. The sounds of the jungle in the trees, and the wind howling through it makes sound dissipate before it reaches the ears giving disadvantage on perception checks that rely on hearing.

The Temple – Entrance

Simply put, placing blood on the white fangs will cause the door to open. The script is written in Abyssal (except some parts in common have been added saying “Serpents Gift” – referring to the dripping white fangs and the ichor they produce.

Any blood smeared on the fangs will do and the puncture of the skin to place blood will inflict the poisoned condition on the person (DC18 to resist…) but that person will feel a strong connection to the temple afterwards. Many people can voluntarily be poisoned and each of them will gain the following:

-Advantage on saving throws vs charmed, paralyzed and poisoned from snakes or the Abyssal Naga.
-Poisoned condition until the end of a long rest.
-Advantage on perception checks to notice snakes.
-Advantage on Animal handling checks (snakes).

The Temple – Refer to map.

Room 1 appears to be a small entrance room, small shrines litter the walls where the emphasis appears to be on the worship of snakes. There isn’t much else to this room.

Room 2 is a large room that looks like it would have held books and a small library at some stage – the wall opposite the party a decomposed bookcase has crumbled away from the wall and has revealed what used to be a secret door that lead into a small room beyond.

Room 3 and 4 were separated by a wall that has long since fallen down – the rooms appear to have been bedrooms once but have long since rotted away to nothing. Home to snakes with area being warm and humid there may even be several snake egg clutches in these rooms.

Room 5 (and trapped hallway) a small spike trap will shoot upwards on any who step on the pressure plate. DC14 dexterity check will see the person unharmed, if they fail 2d6 piercing damage and their movement speed will be reduced by 10″ until a long rest due to the injuries to their legs.

Just outside the Naga room there is a wide hallway – at the end of this two large Constrictor snakes would be coiled around humanoid statues by the door – they wait like statues until creatures come within 10 ft or they take damage – at which point they throw themselves at the intruders as their Naga commands.

Naga Room a Large hole in the roof (not drawn in as it was decided later) appears the only other way in or out, on the left side there is a hidden trap door that will lead to a small treasure room that is little more than a crawl space. To uncover the room a perception check of DC14 (or investigation once the door becomes cracked – see encounter) will reveal the room.

Encounter

For this fight let’s assume that the party is Level 4 and that they have had a full long rest before coming into the temple. The aim of this temple is to throw a few creatures at them during the temple to wear them down on spell slots and limited abilities to make the Naga fight a bit harder (as it is just a single creature…)

Room 1 will have a Giant poisonous snake and a Swarm of poisonous snakes in a swarm. They attack the first thing they become aware of.

Room 2 will have one Giant Poisonous snake per person in the party with an extra one lurking behind the chests in Room 5.

The hallway to Room 3 and 4 – this area will have several holes in the top of the walls near the roof – as the party members walk by them giant poisonous snakes (three in total) will drop down on the party.

Room 3 and 4 will have a single Swarm of poisonous snakes guarding the clutches of snake eggs.

Room 5 the trap will reset but once triggered it is easy to avoid when someone knows its there. The room itself will have a giant poisonous snake hiding behind the chests and will lunge and bite who ever comes close.

The hallway to the Naga room will have two poisonous snakes come from holes in the walls when the party walks past them – but they will attack before the Giant Constrictor snakes will attack the party (so to not overwhelm them) while these snakes attack the “totally-not-statue-snakes” will remain motionless. Once the party comes within 10ft of the statues the Giant Constrictor Snakes will attack the party and engage them.

Naga Room – the Naga will drop out of the ceiling once the party reach the centre of the room. Along the back wall the crew members and Kyoko can be seen unconscious, drooling and staring open eyed as if hypnotised or charmed. Once the Naga reveals itself it will attempt to charm the parties magic users and then knock the others unconscious (as it did the crew). It doesn’t hold back and doesn’t seem to care about getting injured (knowing it will revive in a few days time) and will guard its resurrection like a closely held secret. Once the Saga is slain it will fall down, convulse and in its death throws it will break the hidden trapdoor – causing a crack to appear and the steps beyond to become visible to those who actively look there.

Swarm of snakes

The snakes will appear in a humanoid form, walking forward on two shaky legs made from snakes slithering together and they will bite their target by throwing long punches and grabbing the party member within range – the arms, legs and body flowing over the target creature as fangs bite into any exposed flesh they can find.


Giant Poisonous Snake

There will be many more of these in the temple than there would be other creatures. They would attack in hall ways and shouldn’t be limited to just rooms. Dropping from holes in the ceiling or from holes in the walls will be the plan with these medium sized snakes.


Giant Constrictor Snakes

The guards for the Naga room – looking like statues as they curl up at the end of the hall.


Abyssal Naga

Horribly vain, evil and malicious this creature doesn’t hold back and will start to try and charm, bite and fight the invaders of its net.

During this fight however it is careful to not hurt or endanger the crew and Kyoko along the back wall having plans to sacrifice them to the greater demon it wants to curry favour with.


Treasure

Distribute the following in the 3 chests in the map

  1. Immoveable rod
  2. 1x Potion of Resistance
  3. Ring of Swimming, Ring of water walking
  4. Potion of animal Friendship
  5. Chime of Opening
  6. Potion of Hill Giant Strength
  7. 4 Art items – each estimated to be worth 250gp each to the right buyer.

Thanks for joining this week where we had a small detour and explored a bit of a dungeon, albeit a short one it was one never the less.

Next week see’s the winddown of march and the hopefully publication of the end of month adventure, it’s a big one so don’t miss out.

Don’t forget to come back this week for the linking adventure titbits and perhaps some Soulbound material (and hopefully an age of sigmar battle report write-up too as I missed out on my game last week..) and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

The Silverborn lining of Dark clouds

Welcome to the end of the week writeup where we look at whats happening upon Kyoko’s ship – the Red Fleets Dancing Drake.

As the sea throws a Squall at them they also have black sails following them and no way to outrun them short of going through the storm itself.


Silverborn’s Storm

As the party settle into the Dancing Drake as it travels on the waves they encounter a large storm that is approaching them at fast rate. Not only that but they have also a pirate ship following them and gaining on them.

The storm hits hard and Siu is ordered to take Lizbet below deck by Kyoko who suggests to the party to tie ropes around their waist and then to the ship itself to prevent them from being lost to the waves.

Not long after the storm hits the Pirates make their move and attempt to board the ship.

Area of note

The boat – The Red Fleets Dancing Drake is where the party find themselves calling the ship home, for the time being at least.

NPCs in this adventure

Elizabeth “Lizbet” Scaulder

Lizbet is taken below deck when the storm hits and will heal those who are able to be healed after the fight happens – however she wont come to the top of the deck (as Siu wont let her).

Koyko Harimasu

Kyoko spends her time between the help, coordinating the crew and looking at her maps in her cabin. When the storm hits and the pirates board the ship she will not leave the helm and will stay there to keep it safe.

NPCs

Random NPCs. The Dancing Drakes Crewmates.

Environment and running the adventure

The Weather

The weather affects on the ship come and go (see Wednesdays post for a full writeup)

When a particularly bad wave hits the boat, a skill check results in a failure that would cause the ship to lurch or shift a DC14 Dexterity check will be required for the party to avoid falling prone on the deck.

Helping the ship

Moving about the deck to tie or untie sails, tie down cargo or hatches and the like or assisting at the helm. This can be done by a DC14 or DC15 Water vehicle check.

Helping/Saving the Crew

To help save a overboard crew member, lift up a crate or barrel of a pinned crewmate or you can roll a DC 14 Athletics or Strength check.

Repelling invaders

To push boarding planks or invaders into the sea a DC12 (or 14 if particularly heavy) Athletic or Strength check will see them in the water. To cut boarding ropes it would be a attack roll with an attack that could destroy or cut the rope (AC 8, HP 10).

The Boat – See Map

Encounter

For this fight let’s assume that the party is Level 4. For this fight Milligan wont appear on deck unless his crew look to be having trouble, which they will with our party, and when he does fight he will bring 3 to 5 of his crew into the fray with him. He uses them much like a sailor uses knots, to hold things in place while he can make the most out of the situation at hand and control the flow of the battle. For this encounter I would have 2 to 3 pirates attacking every 2 rounds, roll a d6 and add the number of pirates that are left fighting the party on the Dancing Drake if the result is 4 or Less then another 2 or 3 pirates will also join the fray.

Once 10 pirates have been dispatched then Milligan and his crew will join. If Milligan drops below 20 HP he will retreat to his ship and if the party look like they will dispatch the rest of his crew easily he will cut the lines (if not already cut) and will flee with his remaining crew to not return. He will plead a parley if he cant escape and is injured.

Milligan Silverborn (Dragonborn Pirate captain)

Born on the seas and pledged to the lord of the waves Milligan grew up with a connection to the weather and to the pirates he called family. After several years he grew so used to the rough seas to the west of Faerun that his proficiency went from something inherent to something mystical and those who fought with him also became like water and wind across the decks of those they sought to plunder from.


Silverborns Crew

The crew that follow Milligan Silverborn are more accustomed to life on the waves and amongst the storms than others and believe that their captain and the sea itself will protect them. As such they rarely wear any armour so their movement can flow across their prey like waves spilling over a deck


Thanks for joining this week. This week there was trouble on the water which overflowed onto the deck and caused issues for the crew and the party. As Pirates boarded they were forced to not only defend the ship but also keep it afloat and on course.

Don’t forget to come back next week as we look to wrap up this months adventure and look at some bonus content for the final adventure.

Oh, and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Siu’s Request

Hi all and welcome to the end of the week writeup – a bit of a slower week I will note but one that I think was needed to ensure that the transition from land to sea was done adequately.

This week we looked at Siu and his request of not only the party but also Priestess Lizbet and Kyoko – his cousins great granddaughter to travel across the sea to help save his families land and homes from the darkness that stirs beyond their borders.


Honour bound request

210SuHBR

Believing that his time was short and that his treasured gift of his humanoid appearance was coming to an end he used his time to warn the priestess and priests of Chauntea of the attack that as coming for them. Using the last few precious hours of his gift he went to do something that he had dreaded for quite some time, approach his family and reveal his true nature in order to begin to make amends for the betrayal he had committed to his closest family members.


Areas and places of note

The Temple– The temple has guest quarters where the party would have been encouraged to stay to rest and heal, as well as to have close in case more creatures appeared in the middle of the night. The people who call this place home, the priests and priestesses are kind, welcoming and excellent cooks believing that Chauntea’s bountiful blessings are meant to be shared to not just he devout but all.

Daye Streets – The streets are empty early in the mornings and talk of the creatures and nightmarish sounds from the night before are the talk of the town. Soon though merchants bring their stalls, wagons and carts out and begin to advertise their wares – it truly is a market city where the streets, particularly around the docks, are a source of just about all mundane items and objects you could seek.

The docks, however, of late have begun to start selling magical items and as the Red fleet begin to head home back across the waves to restock on goods the demand on magical trinkets and items is at a new time high with supply being short and the patience of the customers being little.

The Docks – Quieter than when the party first stepped upon the docks they are still busy with people from the red fleet still selling the last of their wares. Many of the large red sailed ships have left and several other trading ships have also arrived and they have brought with them not just their normal wares but a small influx of magical items. Different to the lucky trinkets and lesser magical items of the Red fleet these merchants sell potions, scrolls and other wondrous items – if the gold is plentiful enough.

People of Bracken Hollow (in this adventure)

Elizabeth “Lizbet” Scaulder

Being swayed by Siu’s plea for aid and her own predestined call to fight a wave of darkness Lizbet has organised for Katya to work with the other sons and daughters of Chauntea – having been instructed by them many years ago she believes that under their guidance Katya will surpass her one day. Having found someone to look after the town and its duties she is, somewhat anxious but resolved on going to help the wondrous merchants of the Red fleet defend their homeland if she is able to assist.

Kyoko Harimasu

Having heard stories of creatures from the mists and shadows able to look inside ones mind and deceive humans in order to devour them since she was little, Kyoko is still uncertain about Siu – but what he has said and a strange familiarity draws her to help him, and believe that he, the priestess and the party could really be able to help her family in the fight against the dark.

Siu

Using the last few hours of his human form he was sure that this was his final hours before a sword, arrow or axe would pierce his flesh the moment his true self was revealed. But to have the blow withheld and his mangy fur that he has hated for as long as he can remember shed to reveal a carpet of golden dragon scales covering his form was a shock. Not sure where the change came from or what spurred it to begin he is glad to be rid of the fur and thankful that he is still able to see his mission through.

The prospect of being free from his mater is beginning to take a back seat to wanting to see his family succeed and the foolhardy hope that they could beat back what lies in the shadow.

Environment and running the adventure

Decision– The decision to leave would need to come from the party – Going to go see Siu at the docks wouldn’t be a hard decision (he looks just like a man after all) and Lizbet would ask the party to escort her just in case of a trap before deciding to walk off herself.

The party can tell that she is nervous, perhaps anxious about the decisions to be made and her nerves would be obvious to all (she isn’t one to hide behind a mask).

The boat– Once the party see the boat the decision needs to be made – follow the creature and Kyoko across the waves with Lizbet to help save their people or stay back and wait. Regardless of the decision initially Kyoko will ask that the party and priestess give her a week to give her time to get ready for the voyage back home. This gives the party some time to shop, if they are short of ropes/ arrows / etc. and to find out more bout where they are going from Kyoko, Siu or any of the Red Fleet.

If the party do stay behind then the adventure at the end of the month will come into affect (with the aim of still getting the party to travel across the sea)


Encounter

There is really only only social encounters this week – talking to Siu, Kyoko and Lizbet about the journey, the apprehension behind it as well as what to expect across the waves as well as any shopping that the party want to do.


Thanks for joining this week – the goal is to really get the party across the sea to Kyoko and Siu’s homeland to experience new adventure, meet new people and creatures as well as fight a dark threat that threatens the stability of the Harimasu family and the countries western boarder.

Don’t forget to come back every day this week to see more content, this week will, hopefully, be the first week of sea voyage and adventure with new twists, turns and encounters for the party to steer through.

Don’t forget to let me know if you are playing through the content here, how you find it as a game master (if you are one) and how your players find it! All critique is good critiques in my view.

Oh, and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Daye and Knight

Welcome to the end of week writeup! Tonight we look at the town of Daye and nightfall there where the party are called to defend the Priestess and Katya once again as mysterious dark spirits attack them whilst wearing the bodies of creatures they killed only hours ago!

But, what’s this, young Paul has visions of grandeur of him being some knight to protect Katya from what ever dangers lie ahead – can the party save him again before his quest to protect her becomes his last?

Let’s roll on and see what we can do this week when the Party return to Daye.


Return to Daye

209RTD

After returning to the road back to Daye and being ambushed on the road by a horde of undead which seemed to be drawn to the raw life energy that radiates from Katya it wasn’t long until the port city of Daye was seen. The large red sails had diminished since the party had last been here and only a few of the large elegant ships remained in the harbour, but there was many people wearing the red robes and white masks walking amongst the street opening which was a good indication for the relationship being built between the two peoples.

Soon Lizbet and Katya had met, the controlled divine magic of Lizbet seemed to harness and reel in the raw power of Katya and together they practically glowed, radiating warmth and life as they strode through the streets. As the priestess and the blessed walked through the streets the party kept a defensive distance from their quarry and their employer. The horde of undead still fresh in their minds as they walked down the street casting a wary eye amongst the crowd.

Movement amongst the crowd, lithe, sleek and deliberate caused the perceptive members to pause as cats and dogs pushed their way through the legs of those who had gathered to watch the procession – their eyes never leaving the two that glowed with the radiance of spring.


Areas and places of note

The Road to Daye – The road back to Daye is long but easy. Its general downhill slope makes travel easy and the road after the ambush site, where the undead attacked, cleared out to have a sight of all potential threats for miles. Random encounters could be possible but they would be wild beasts, more undead (or fiends) but not brigands and the like would have a rough job trying to get an ambush on the party and their wagon.

Daye Streets – The streets are no more than 30ft wide, enough for a wagon or two to pass comfortably with stalls either side of the road. The buildings that line the road are one or two story predominantly with the odd three story building here and there. Currently there are people from the city lining either side of the street paying respect (silent or otherwise) to the priestess and her procession. The raw energy that comes from Katya would also put people into a shocked state as they are used to the grace and touch from Chauntea (through the temple) but not in such a potent form.

The Temple– A large, 50ft x 90 ft building with a large alter and statue to Chauntea being the centre piece of the large prayer room with several rooms off to the sides and a wing for where the priests and priestesses would sleep.

People of Bracken Hollow (in this adventure)

Elizabeth “Lizbet” Scaulder

Lizbet having been aware of another powerful chosen of Chauntea for a while immediately starts to try and help Katya quell the divine power that floods her – having felt that presence and power before she quickly helps her sister reign in but not control Chauntea’s divine magic so that she wont burn herself out from over exposure.

Katya Poleski

Katya appears to be taking comfort and guidance from Lizbet, the moment they meet her rampart energy seems to calm and become more controlled around the priestess. As they walk through the streets Lizbet walks through some mental exercises to quell the energy and the connection to Chauntea in an attempt to help Katya stop the flow of divine through her.

Carline Winters (and villagers)

Having decided to follow Katya to not only see the world outside of the little village where she had been a prisoner behind a grand enchantment from the Family she also feels compelled to help Katya where possible and sticks by her to reassure her as one of the people that grew up in the same town – her memories returned to her revealing that they used to be good friends with the young heiress to the Poleski family cause her to be protective of the girl and want to be the company of her.

Paul Turp

Smitten with Katya Paul follows along and immediately looks as to how to stay in her life. Taking up the self imposed role of her protector he wears a chain vest, short sword and a shield and never strays too far from where Katya is.

Environment and running the adventure

Street

No one would dare attack the party, not with the rumour spreading of what they fought in Bracken Hollow nor the spirit they fought in the city. Furthermore the presence of the city guard, the priestess and priests of Chauntea as well as the gathering of folk from the city would make it very difficult to get the drop on them. However once the party reach the Temple of Chauntea they would leave the priestess there and head into the streets.

On the streets they may become the target of the Shadow-mist creepers or the Shadow Stitched beasts – lunging at them n shadow in small violent bursts (up to 3 creatures at once, all mixed species). As night falls a dockworker would attack them – visible seems where the shadow-stuff that holds the flesh together glowing in the moonlight as it attacks them – the intelligence maliciousness would seek to attack the one who was last closest to Katya.

After the fight is over a bell would start ringing from the temple – the urgency and oddness of the hour should be alarming to the party and someone would likely step out from a building and state the obvious (a helpful nudge for the party).

Temple – The centre room once the party get to the temple is where the priests can be found praying to Chauntea, flooding the room around the alter with daylight. Katya, Lizbet, Carline and Paul with a young man who looks to be of the Red Fleets people are currently fighting back a few creatures that attacked the party. As the party fight their way through some of the shadow stitched creatures they notice a dog grab Katya’s robe and drag her from the room, rushing through the side door and into the outside beyond. Lizbet and the others rush after them and into the night beyond.

The dog carries Katya into the streets where the party who give chase encounter more creatures to come and push back at them – Lizbet, Paul, Carline and the young man (Sui) catch up to Katya and separate her from the dog but they are quickly surrounded.


Encounter area

As the party leave Katya if they move through a place with shadow that is too far from people (use DM discretion here) then its likely they will be attacked by the Shadow-stitched. The first attack would have one or two creatures attack but only as the party turn their back, an ambush as if carefully plotted. As one of the creatures dies the other would fall limp and the shadow-mist creeper would flee into the sky where it would dissipate (its energy spent). Examination of the body would reveal it being dead for hours and an arcana check would reveal that a dark magic (enchantment more so than necromancy but it has that tinge) held the corpse together as if possessed.

The second attack would be more feral – as if all control of their will power was gone – the astute party member would note that the creatures almost moved as if commanded or as if puppets to a greater powers will. These creatures would attack from the shadows but into the sunlight where they would flinch and a dark smoke would flow from their stitches – which glow black in the sunlight. As the creatures are killed (three, a cat, a dog and maybe a raven (use the owl block) then a dark mist would escape and bubble in the sunlight before dissipating.


The next encounter would be the temple after the bells start to ring (as the sun finally sets) – the temple would e filled with little creatures, cats, dogs, rats, birds who are in the shadows (away from the sunlight being produced by the priests) except for where Katya and Lizbet are – the creatures are braving the light to get to the princess.

1d4+1 creatures would actively block the path to Chauntea’s chosen and as the party slay the second last one then a large dog would grab a hold of Katya and quickly drag her from the safety of the temple.

In the streets every 60 feet another creature would appear, randomise what it is each time!

Once the party reach Katya and Lizbet + company they would start to get 3~5 creatures attack in waves (every 2 rounds) until an ogre wearing leathers of a dock worker (and looking like he works on the docks) steps forward to fight the party. Once the ogre falls then all of the creatures fall and the dark mist floats into the sky and disappears.


Thanks for joining me again here for the end of week writeup – most of this was new content (most of it) so it took me a bit longer to collate the weeks efforts into a single writeup. What that means is that you should go back to the previous weeks days to get extra info – what drives Lizbet (who is actually Elizabeth!), who is Siu, really, and what drives him to work for the dragon and what are the shadow-mist creepers and why do they create the Shadow stitched.

Don’t forget to come back this week for more content and if you like something you read here, or better yet, if you are playing through this adventure as I write it let me know! I am frim believer that feedback and critique is the best way to grow as a hobbyist and you are those best suited to provide that to me!

Oh, and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage!,
The Brazen Wolfe

30 minute challenge – Caravan

Hello all, welcome to Saturday nights writeup where this week we are looking at another 30 minute adventure with a randomly generated word.

Just like last week I will have the same except for one additional set of restrictions or rules to make it a challenge for me – well attempt to.

  • Single word randomly generated
  • 30 minute timer, start time recorded.
  • Must be a playable adventure
  • Must have at least one driver (antagonist/protagonist)
  • Must be D&D centric and attempt to be of the fantasy variety.
  • Can finish the sentence I am writing when timer goes off (I dislike half-written sentences)

And that’s the rules, deciding to remove the first two thoughts that came/come into my mind should make it a bit more challenging. So the clocks set, the word is Caravan provided by https://www.shortstoryideas.co.uk/random.htm

Right lets get on with it,.

Time: 9:32:13


Caravan – Precious Cargo

Initial thoughts – Caravan is an interesting one, relatively easy and not too hard to implement a three stage approach. You have departure, conflict (mid way) and then the Coast (what happens at the end – the coast into town). So this was probably an easy one to write through tonight so let’s see how we go!


Ok tonight is inspired by the one of the first novels I read when I was probably eight or nine (will touch on it in the closing thoughts). The party has been approached by a well respected caravan company to help beef up their protection of a caravan train that is leaving two days from now. The man seems to be skittish and paranoid as if reaching out to bigger mercenary companies or even posting the job at the normal job boards would draw too much attention and the party seems to be just the right mixture of unknown but capable.

What the caravan owner doesn’t reveal to the party is that the luggage is a princess who has been put under an enchanted sleep as a method of getting her out of her home city without drawing attention or raising suspicion. The other caravans in the train, the more impressive ones, are filled with spices, silks and goods that will fetch a good price regardless of where they are sold.

The princess, err, Claire, is the last heir to the throne for the kingdom of Wellhurst, once a prominent family which has had a string of bad lack with keeping their heirs alive whether it was illness, accidents or assassinations and despite the kings best efforts in hiring the caravan (people that he would never associate with normally – people smugglers, illicit traders etc.) and hiring a mage to sedate his daughter the caravan still has still been marked and those who would wish the princess ill are close behind.

The Caravan is currently settled in a small town called Hensroost, a small town that is normally known for its agriculture and the mines to the north which supply them with a supply of wealth its lately been seeing roaming bands of gnolls on the horizon which has kept the city on high alert and as made the caravan owner anxious to get going.

The Princesses family, the uncle in fact, made a pact with a devil to wrest power from his older brother allowing the devil to take what ever price it deemed equal. When the deal was done the price was called, the uncles children (Princess Claire’s cousins) were found dead within a day and the curse spread to make it so the uncle, although currently the ruler, would be the last of the line to rule the city. Despite his greed he couldn’t watch more of is family die due to his curse so he abjugated to his younger brother (Claire’s father) and revealed the curse.

The Devil itself cares not for the power of the kingdom but doesn’t like being cheated out of a deal and to make a statement he is sending some of those who also owe him a debt to retrieve the princess alive.

The gnoll’s are also drawn to the curse but because their demon lord – Yeenoghu – holds a special hatred for the devil who seeks the princess and wants to cause the devil as much grief and upset as possible without a direct confrontation.

The party will need to manage vehicle movement (caravans), travel by horses as well as fatigue on the animals if they are to get to the safer city where a Cleric of Tyr will look at breaking the deal by exploiting how it was written and signed.


Part 1 – Flight

As they leave the city on their four day journey all is well, the horses are pushed but not over worked. The party would notice though on the dawn of the second day that there are horses approaching quickly from the city. They can either stand and fight or flee.

If they stand and fight 7 ‘bandits’ and 1 ‘bandit captain’ attack them targeting the fancy caravans and managing to torch 2 of the 3 decoy caravans and ripping open the caravans to search them while they burn – announcing loudly that “SHES NOT HERE”. Any party member near by would hear this with ease, the Princesses caravan takes off as soon as the bandit attacks leaving the burning wreckage and the decoy takes off after them.

If they flee instead of fight then they have to try and outpace the bandits, which wont happen, and will end up fighting on horse back – at which point the bandits wont set the caravans on fire but will try and board overpower the driver and guards to get in.

Part 2 – Contact! Gnolls!

After escaping the raiders they may find out that the real purpose is the Princess – this would take the form of the main caravan wheel breaking and having to move the princess to a new caravan. The horses would have a level of exhaustion and would be getting fatigued by now.

Sounds like a great time for a dusk ambush by gnolls on day 3 – 1 day out from the city but the horses pulling the caravans may not make the ride in with how fatigued they are. Which means they would need to carry the unconscious princess on horseback!

A pack of gnolls and hyenas, maybe one giant one -a hyenadon) would be enough. Just enough to make it feel urgent to leave quickly but not enough to stop them there dead in their tracks.

Part 3 – Betrayal in the Caravan

So as they reach viewing distance of the walled city they would have what ever caravaners (not the main guy) turn on them – demanding the princess be handed to them so they can claim a bounty on her head. The party, since she will likely be on one of their horses, can take off for the city or stand and fight – I’d have about 8 “guards” as the statistics.

Once into the city the party make it to the cleric who removes the enchantment and begins to research into how to remove the curse. The Cleric produces a chest of gold (1000gp) as payment from the king and thanks them – the wards of the church to Tyr, and the sheer volume of knights and paladins in the vicinity should be enough to protect her until the deal can be broken.

Time: _10:03:30_


Closing Thoughts

Close! ran out of time and I finished the sentence I was writing when my alarm went off. A few moments I was pausing to make sure that I was happy with the direction I was going but overall I am happy with what was here. I even managed to get a few stat blocks called out in the adventure to hopefully help with the encounter.

Now higher level parties are easy to adjust – instead of hired thugs (bandits) chasing them you could have lower level devils such as imps or spined devils attacking the caravan, Volo’s guide to monsters and mordenkainans tome of foes both being excellent sources for alternative fiends as well as some great options for gnolls for that second encounter.

Really that’s about it – I tried to not follow the story line of Master Wolf (The third book in the Greyhawk series by Rose Estes but there are a are few elements through most of my campaign that are inspired by this series – being the first novels I read (then I went onto such books as Deltora quest etc.)


Thanks – I hope you enjoyed tonight’s writeup!

Come back tomorrow for the end of week write-up and don’t forget to let me know what you thought of tonight’s adventure challenge so I can keep creating more Brazen Wolfe Tabletop content that you want to read.

And finally, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Bracken Hollow

Hi all and welcome to the last instalment of our February adventure series.

Tonight we will look back at the parties visit to Bracken Hollow, their discovery of Katya and their efforts to free the village from the corruption that spreads from her family home – as well as how it’s not easy dealing with a undisciplined beacon of life magic.

So, first time trying this format (which coupled with the effort from the previous weeks should make it a lot easier – but let’s see about that).

Pages 1, 2 and 3 are content pages, the description, flow, random tables, etc. and such that you’ve previously seen.

Page 4 contains all NPCs and portraits to help the DM describe them and a bit about them to help play them out.

Page 5 will be stat blocks and map(s) – all that D&D encounter goodness that you want.

Now I will jump the gun and say thanks. Thanks for reading this – I have expanded, added and corrected a few things to make sure the adventure flew, well nice enough. If you do like this format do let me know, if you don’t also let me know so I can see what I can tweak for next time. this probably was just about as much effort as writing it all from scratch the first time around but this way I think it makes sense.


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


Part 1 – The road Bracken hollow – 205BrHo1

The high priestess of Chauntea in Daye, Sister Lizbet, impressed with the party and what they had accomplished, rumoured to or not, requested that they go to Bracken Hollow, a town a few days travel to the north east of Daye in Amn and to search for another priestess of Chauntea who was rumoured to be more powerful than she and to bring her to Daye. During the travels into Bracken Hollow the party met with a few travellers who warned them of Bracken Hollow and its general dislike to strangers – particularly from the family who lived in an old manor atop a hill towards the north of the village, and warned the party to not outstay their welcome how ever long it is.

Walking upwards into the sleepy village of Daye the party are greeted by farmsteads overlooking paddocks filled with crops or beasts, two the north east as dense forest could be seen in the distance as the road crept steadily upwards.

Entering the town there was very little. A small stable with may hitching posts lay at the centre of the village, a large water trough and nearby well the only visible water source for horses and people alike. To the left (west of the stable) lay a tavern, The Broken Tankard, which in the dwindling light provided by the setting sun looked like the only place of warmth and hospitality. To the north, about mile away on a hill was a pinpoint of light and smoke amongst a sea of tall, slender pines who had shed their needles already – unusual for the season.


Areas and places of note

The Stables – A small set of covered areas in the centre of the town. Big enough to house about eight horses if some are hitched just outside of the small roof that provides cover from the elements. There is no stable boy but there is clean fresh water at least if sans-food for the beasts that would be spending the night there.

The Broken Tavern – A brightly lit two room, double storied building that boasts three rooms for rent, two singles and a double room. The meals are hearty and of the land but cost a bit more than what the party is used to ranging from 1 silver for basics to 10 silver for something that is likely to fill you up for half a day or more. Despite the price the quality cant be doubted and the three dwarven owners, Milly, Billy and Ned are ferociously proud of the food and drink they serve in their tavern.

The Bracken Hollow woods – rumoured to be the gathering place for fey and other creatures from the fey wild the Bracken Hollow woods are relatively small in size but deep with a few cave systems within its twisted roots and sudden drops. Those who adventure within will need to be on their toes as its not just the environment within that could kill a man.

Environment and running the adventure

As the party enter the village an unusual cold change in weather has swept through the village, many blame the fey that reportedly live in the forest to the East but there is growing whispers, hushed or otherwise, that the family who live on top of the hill are responsible.

This cold snap brings about changes in the weather conditions. When the party arrive it is cold, but not extremely so and they are offered a change of clothes (for 5 gold pieces each) if they are wearing clothes not suited to the cold climates. The following morning you should determine the weather affect in place (d6 roll on the below random table) and for each 1d4+3 hours after that roll the dice again. On a 3-6 the weather gets worse and on a 1 or 2 the weather lessens.

The party should attend the Tavern, the only place to stay for the night. Upon entering the tavern they are treated poorly by the villagers within, looked upon as if they were bandits until Milly, the Matron of the tavern comes and pretends to rough them up a bit. Afterwards the villagers get back to their jovial nature. The party find themselves at a large table with Colin and Paul when the doors open again and this time a crazed man walks in. The music from Carline changes from a merry jig to something that is brash, abrasive and seems to openly mock the newcomer who asks Milly for a bottle of wine to go. The man then seems very interested in the party and tries to pry all information from them about their reasons for visiting Bracken Hollow. Paul steps in and fumbles, revealing what the party has told them that they are here for but Colin tries to cover for his brother and the party explaining that they are heading through the town and staying for a night or two. After the man leaves with his wine the party hear about the strange weather patterns that are happening and the two reason that they believe its occurring. The strange man called “Father” and his family or the fey in the woods are upset about something and have turned spiteful.

If the party go into the woods then the weather should be snowing (stage 5). They find a cave after some while which looks like it was lived in recently, there are some dead strange looking deer within that have a fey-like quality. The weather begins to get worse. If the party stay in the cave they find themselves unwelcome visitors to an half-ogre and his pet brown bear (stats below).

On the way out of the woods they are ambushed by giant snow owls (see stat blocks below) as the wind begins to pickup (blizzard begins). After the fight they travel for a few hours – the blizzard making it rough to move through and as the wind dies down (still extremely cold but no snow) they see a half-ogre and brown bear (If they didn’t encounter them in the cave that is) has followed them and then they are in combat.

After getting back to the village they find that Paul has gone missing when going to help “Father” with a problem with his fences.


Random table

Weather table.

ResultWeather affect
1Cold but not extremely so
1-2It’s begun to rain hard and its still cold, but nothing an additional coat can’t fix.
3-4It’s now dropped in temperature dangerously, its extremely cold and still raining.
5It’s now snowing and extremely cold.
6Blizzard (Extreme wind, snow and cold)

A Candid approach

Hello all, welcome to the ‘Saturday special’ where this week we are looking at another 30 minute adventure challenge with the supplied word (thanks reader!).

Now true to word I haven’t started writing or thinking on what I could do with this adventure, well, thinking about it is hard to reign in but I will do my best to handicap myself by throwing away the instant thoughts I had on this – but more on that in a moment – you will just have to trust that I am telling the truth on this one.

Just like last week I will have the same, mostly, set of restrictions to make it a challenge for me – well attempt to.

  • Single word randomly provided
    • Initial first and second thoughts are to be ignored – To make my imagination actually work for it for a change.
  • 30 minute timer, start time recorded.
  • Must be a playable adventure
  • Must have at least one driver (antagonist/protagonist)
  • Must be D&D centric and attempt to be of the fantasy variety.

And that’s the rules, deciding to remove the first two thoughts that came/come into my mind should make it a bit more challenging. So the clocks set, the word Candour (Candor) provided last week – thanks for the suggestion!

Right lets get on with it,.

Time: 8:52:15


A Candid approach

Well the first idea that came into my head was a King who is normally open, honest and truthful with everyone he works with being cursed to only lie, but the enchantment makes other spells and attempts to work out his situation come back with the resounding truth. He believes what he is saying. The story would go on how he knows he is cursed and he is trying to cry for help by wearing a red leather glove and openly declaring that its blue.. But – that may be for another time, who knows.

The second thought was just a stone throw away really – A crime boss has suddenly started telling the truth and he abducts the players. Any spell or affect will determine he is 100% telling the truth on anything he says. He believes that some of his own subordinates has betrayed him (note the words used) and he implores the party to do their best to flush out the culprits so he can revert the enchantment. There are no spells cast upon him but he is candid to a fault including his multiple affairs (if questioned in front of his wife) – Well that ones gone too – this one was different – he is just simply telling the truth to flush out the rot in his crew. Its all a farce but because he speaks the truth and speaks with conviction (and is careful with his words) to all that know him or hear him speak he is 100% truthful – ah goodbye Liar Liar spin off.


Ok the real on, third off the rank is a no-name merchant who starts to advertise his truth potion – any one dose will make the consumer hear only truths for the next day. This obviously goes nuts in the small city that they are in (a fringe city that isn’t really known for much other than its large livestock market and export via its very small dock.

Soon accusations of unfaithful ness, business cheats, charlatans and all manor of wrong doers are being exposed and this small time merchant strikes liquid gold – his her truth potion. (changed to a female antagonist). The party are called upon, to help sort out what’s going on here.

So this leaves me with a question – is the potion real or a trickery and I think the only path I want to go down is its real! (makes it harder for me). Now, sorcery or alchemy – my first instinct was sorcery to be frank but with the late addition (as I was typing) of the large livestock market its feasible that something rare, exotic or unusual may have come through there so I will say that it’s Alchemical.

So, a lady alchemist who uses, err, liquid from a creature that was acquired from the local livestock trade to distil a potion that makes the consumer hear only truths.

So how did she know about it, lets make it easier for me as my mind went with squids. Yup. Tentacles, beaks and odd eyes. So a land squid. Yep. That’s weird. Found in a cave to the north that happens to lead down into the underdark. This gives us a few things.

  1. The merchant to sold the squid would be visiting the underdark or paying someone to to bring back the gross critter.
  2. The alchemist would need to know what it is. Either she is Duegar, Drow or spent time amongst them. I tend to stay away with slavery so lets go with.. half drow? – Mother was particularly thorough in her prayers to Lloth and fell pregnant which created a half-elf – she cant even remember the sire. (no hate here – spent a bit of time reading war of the spider queen and it only seems fair that they would partake in these displays of excess…)

So the half-drow, Amalica, was spared because of her gender (extreme matriarchy down in the dark) and spent some time with a lesser family – a relative (cousins)- before she went in search of what lies above the earth.

Ok – so squid’s tentacles and beak secrete a poison that allows the squid to take control over the bitten and use their body as an all terrain vehicle, nice. Because she is half-drow she knows of the squid from her family and her cousins taught her to complete alchemy and limited sorcery that comes with the elven blood.

The created potion when it’s distilled correctly and mixed with certain mushrooms doesn’t open the mind fully for invasion but gives a strong temporary psionic ability to the consumer which enables them to read minds, well surface thoughts and limited ability to manipulate those thoughts to reveal the truth – all subconsciously.

Since her endeavour has taken off she has been searching for another squid but her supplier has gone quiet. Currently she is just keeping up with demands but has made enough gold that her little cart is now upgraded to a large shop front and her neighbours don’t like it so much.

So the party, where… called upon by the businesses near by, a mercantile body of them in fact who govern the commerce in the city – yeah. They are worried about the legitimacy of the potion as well as, if questioned or poked, worried about their own business secrets, deals, plots and ploys being revealed to their competition. The board has all agreed upon pain of ostracisation from the city and all the benefits of working for, as part of and within the city offer.


Part 1 – Finding out.

The party would need to find out how Amalica does it – they could sample the potion, perform their own alchemical wonders, cast spells or such but they all come back with that its not really a spell or enchantment but a drug.

If they break in and look through the store they find only meagre supplies and too many orders for what is there – they find the underdark mushrooms though and if one of them has knowledge of either the underdark (Ranger, drow, duegar, or svirfneblin) or a high survival check they would be able to determine what it is.

Maybe they would notice the merchant dropping off the mushrooms and tail him?

Part 2 – Confrontation?

The party would confront Amalica, the merchant/s etc. to find more info.

Part 3 – Discovery

Either the merchant body, or better yet people who tracked the merchant selling mushrooms find where she is keeping the Squid and kill it – leaving behind a Drow dagger (a spider motif on the handle) – she talks openly with the party and ask about what’s next – she thinks her merchant had found another two of the squids but she worries he was ambushed at his place.

And time…. well being candid it was over by 1 minute over as I didn’t want to finish mid sentence (must add that to the rules for next time…)

Closing thoughts

Hmm – taking the time to get some notes out this time for part 1,2 and 3 helped this time so I could go into those sections and tidy them up. I probably spent too much time on the setting as opposed to the actual content and flow.

I would change part three to a either or. Kill the squid if the Drow, or, if the merchants she becomes a fugitive as the merchants and their guards go after her – accusing her of dark magic. The Towns guard are on her side but its a bit out numbered – the party has a choice to either help her and/or the guard or the merchants.

Part 2 is also, well, merely a thought here – Talking to her, the merchants or the mushroom man to get more info. If confronted directly and approached with empathy and genuine concern (she would drink her own potion and know if they were lying) she would explain to them her background – the abridged version – and then explain that she is an alchemist and found a non-lethal non-malicious way to distil her potion. This is what the party want to be aware of – the other merchants would merely point at her and say that she is behind it (and may reluctantly tell truths of double dealings, black books, illegal trade and the like)

I think next time if I do this again I wouldn’t write the two stricken out entries until after the time is up – as they were thought up and discarded quickly, could have saved around 5 minutes.

The conclusion would be the the half-Drow alive – sorry for those who didn’t want that! but she would be tried for a witch if captured by the merchants and then found innocent, but the merchants would then ostracise her from the merchants network which would make it nearly impossible to keep running her business here – she would then leave.

If the merchants don’t catch her then she would flee and pass a large sum of gold to the party if they were with her when she left – else the mushroom merchant would find them and bring them gold from her if they held back the merchants and guards but didn’t help her personally escape


Thanks – I hope you enjoyed tonight’s writeup! I, honestly, failed tonight – The clock bet me tonight but I will endeavour to try again if its a format that people like!

So – if you’ve got a word for next week feel free to comment below and I will select one that has been provided, if you have some reasonable restrictions, rules, or “at minimum you must have…” then please put them down – I am doing this to, really, train my brain to be better at planning adhoc one shots and be better and creating short adventures on the fly.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for more Brazen Wolfe Tabletop content and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe