The End of Shadow

Tonight as we head further closer towards the conclusion of this yearly adventure with The Defence of the Wall. This month we have a level 10 adventure and at the end of this adventure we will be wrapping up the 11 month campaign..

As with usual 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 which has had some bits modified over the months content. Now including the original content, and some bits added this is a smaller than normal length, only just making 7101! words long. I really do appreciate the time you take to read through these end of month adventures.

All Maps were made in Inkarnate using their Pro license, Art was created in Artbreeder and the statblocks were created in Tetra-cube AND the balancing of encounters is a mixture of experience and the guides found at Kobold Fight Club.

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

Part 1 – Pursuit of the Oni – 244MoPuOTOn

With the retreat of the Oni and the cracking open of the mountains peak the party woke up feeling refreshed. After the defeat of the ice queen and defence of the wall against her magic the wall guard offered them the best room and comforts available to them. Four walls and a bed each.

In the morning the party emerged to find the wall quiet. The land beyond the wall was even more so with only the occasional movement at a forward base camp the shadows minions had on the ridge further towards The Shadows Throne. The oni and their slaves, the Butatō, were the only things that could be seen as left over from the battlefield. The Spirit folk and other creatures that had been fighting the party and the wall guard had disappeared which gave the wall guard a day of repairs to the wall.

“Message from the General. Lord Toshio was found dead in his tent and his troops had surrendered. Apparently they have all claimed enchantment and enthrallment from the Yuki-onna and the warriors claim that Lord Toshio took his own life when he heard his wife had been killed.” The messenger from the general recited to wall captain Hou and Kyoko. “The General has begun to detain and question the Toshio troops but Lord Harimasu has pardoned them on condition that they return to their homelands and begin to broker peace between the two families again. The general is on his way here to make an attack on the mountain. He will be here in two days however he needs what ever intel we can provide him.”

Kyoko frowned at this and asked for a map of the battlefield from what the scouts had been able to map out. “This camp of Oni. How defended is it?”

“We estimate that it would be a few dozen Oni, their leaders and slaves at a minimum. A frontal attack would go poorly but if there is another way that we can get the intel without risking more lives or leaving the wall undefended then I am all ears.” Captain Hou replied as he pointed towards the map, indicating where he would suspect the intel to be kept.

“Sir, I volunteer to lead the operation to retrieve the intel.” a voice said from the door. Wall Guardsmen Gin Seng stood there looking determined and fatigued. “I’ve grown up training to fight these creatures, to defend this wall. If I can help finish the war then I want to be involved… Sir.” he added with a moment hesitation.

“This mission is too crucial to leave it to one person. But too difficult and risky for a large scale attack.” Kyoko said as she nodded to Gin Seng.

“Perhaps these heroes from across the sea would be able to be of assistance once again?” Kit Hou said as she smiled at the group. “They seemed to have saved half of Ryokughan already from the Oni and the Shadows influence so what’s one more mission?”

General Hou frowned at his daughter. “We put too much pressure on them. They have done enough. We can not rely on them forever and I fear that there may be worse things up in those hills which we just haven’t seen yet.”

Kyoko smiled to the party. “It’s up to you. But we may need help distracting the main force if we were to send in a smaller group of wall guard to retrieve the intel. If you can help with either endeavour I would feel more confident in our success. The entire Oni force would know of you by now and surely they would want to have a chance at gaining the Shadows favour by attempting to best you in combat.”


“Sir, I volunteer to lead the operation to retrieve the intel.” His voice echoed in his mind as he looked over the battlefield. In four hours the sun would begin to set and he would begin the mission.

As he looked across the soldiers clearing the battlefield of their dead and piling the enemy corpses onto a pile he called out. “Place the spiritfolk in a separate pile. They dont burn their dead with the Oni. They think it an offence to the spirits who guide them.” He said to Kit who, as punishment, was in charge of the bloody duty.

When the party and Kyoko looked his way he smiled sadly. “I spent some time with the spiritfolk when I was young… Some things you cant forget.” He began. After a moment he explained further.

Gin was born the son of an alchemist, two infact. His parent’s were non-conventional to say the least. His mother was a human but his father was one of the Spiritfolk who fell in love with the human woman who kept foraging in his forest.

Intially it was professional completion amongst each other. Finding the best reagents or herbs before the other could. But before long it blossomed into more.

Their son looked completely human except for a light covering of fur across his torso. His fathers goat legs, horns and tail were not gifted to his son but his reflexes and inhuman strength was. In the village they lived in the villagers quickly accepted Gin and his parents union. Especially when the quality of potions, charms and lotions were as high as his parents. However, happiness – like most things can’t remain for long.

Halfway through Gin’s tenth cycle an oni raiding party attacked his village. His parents locked him away and kept him hidden from the oni. But the Oni eventually found his parents. When they worked out that a human and spiritfolk were a could they made a sport out of their torture. It was ok display to the whole village yet Gin couldn’t see his parents in their last moments. But he could hear them.

The following month he pledged himself into the service or the Harimasu military and dedicated his life to hunting Oni.

“and I’ve been here ever since..” he said with a touch if pride on his face.

“sir! We have movement!” A guard shouted as they hurried towards the wall.

“Hold! It’s the spirit folk to send off their dead.” Gin called out to his fellow guardsmen. “See. Wait and watch”

A few moments passed and gradually all types of Spiritfolk appeared around the pile of their dead. Then slowly they formed a circle and began to sing and dance around their fallen. “They are celebrating the reunion of their parents, elders, children and friends and the spirit world. Where they believe they will hunt in the endless plains of their ancestors.” He explained. “This will last until sunset at which point they will take the bodies away and burn them amongst the rest of their kin.”

Sure enough as the sun set the spiritfolk gathered their dead and singing out in joyous tones they carried them away from the battlefield and into the wilds beyond.


Moving forward as the sun set Gin and those who followed behind him looked anxiously at the oni camp. “We will be there soon. Remember. If we get into trouble or the mission is at risk to fire a drift globe shaft into the air and aid will come.” Gin said to the people standing nearby.

With agreement from those gathered he began to creep across the battlefield once more, signalling to stop periodically when something moved up ahead. Soon they were in the shadows of the tents. The setting sun and the shadows of the hills, mountain and nearby forest aided in their mission by creating pockets of shadow.

As the sun hit the edge of the mountain it plunged the camp into a mixture of amber glow from the setting sun and dark shadows. A few hundred feet away war horns trumpeted signalling that the second part of the plan had begun and that it was now or never to enter the camp.

The camp

As the oni and butatō left the camp in a hurry to meet the attackers head one. Slowly Gin and his entourage crept forward towards the main tent and waited for the oni captain to leave. As the captain stormed out with its armour buckled in tight a few slave Butatō followed in its wake. Taking this moment as the one to move Gin and his companions skulked forth once again and cut a hole in the canvas tent. Once the coast was deemed clear they entered silently.

None of those present realised the mistake that had been made until it was too late. A deep unholy growl rumbled forth from the shadows of the tent which threatened to bring the entire oni warband to the captains tent. A neat table lay in the centre of the room and contained a map, documents and scrolls. For their brutal use of weapons and mastery of war and savagery the oni were also expert tacticians.

As they stared at the multi limbed creature that confidently strode forth Gin prepared his drift globe shaft in a hand crossbow and prepared to state the words that would activate the arcane device. Looking between his compatriots and the creature he hoped that he didn’t need to call for aid and that they would be able to deal with this threat quickly and quietly.

Environment and running the adventure

Gin He has five drift glob shafts which are small drift globes that are crafted into arrow or crossbow arrow/bolt shafts so that when they are shot they activate the moment they start to slow from being launched. This causes the bolt to slowly fall to the ground whilst the drift globe emits a light (of pre-determined colour).

If the party go with Gin they are in the tent when the creature reveals itself. It’s not a hard fight but as it falls it calls out loudly (unless silenced in some manner – Player and DMs decision).

If they don’t the Party are with some other warriors fighting Oni, captains (a larger one in full plate with a large shield and battle axe) when they see several drift globes activate above the Oni Captains tent signalling Gin needs help.

The camp is built on an incline, rather sharply so. The tent are setup in a rather ingenuous way where they form a solid slab-foundation of wood, earth or even snow under the tents to level the tent.. to some degree.

The snowy hills pose an interesting mechanic for us. One way difficult terrain. Moving up the hill through the snow towards the camp is considered difficult terrain where as moving down isn’t. Patches of snow pose a further hindrance as fighting in these areas would impose disadvantage to dexterity checks and strength contests (not checks) due to the slippery mud and shin-to-knee deep snow.

Encounter – The Bakegamoto

The Bakegamoto is a large dog like creature with a pushed in snout, large bat like ears and at least two large tusks jutting from their bottom jaw. The males are generally endowed with larger tusks and are a mixture of faun with a ruddy brown light mane that sprouts from the neck.

Females are generally lighter in colour without the mane but their tusks are shorter and generally thinner and sharper than the males. Trained bakegamoto are extremely obedient, strong and powerful. Normally kept by Oni captains or chieftains as a sign of power and strength they defend their master completely and obey orders to the best of their ability.

After the encounter:

The party move on for another day of walking before the wall is seen on the horizon. Although they have bested all that has been thrown at them so far they fear the worst still lies ahead of them.

30 Minute Challenge, Train

So Saturday has come and with it brings a opportunity for a writing challenge. Todays challenge is to write an an adventure whilst on a train, about a train.

The normal restrictions are in place.

Rules of the challenge for me

  • Single word or theme
  • 30 minute timer
  • 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.

30 Minute Challenge, Train


The party have been recruited to escort goods along a long stretch of road. Their employer is a paranoid gnome inventor who made his name known for creating constructs that can pull several wagons along that dont need food or rest. But they do require heat to provide the energy for their movement.

The goods in question are also one of his inventions. Steel hounds, dog like constructs that work like his wagon pulling constructs by turning heat into life. Burning wood, alcohol or anything else in their internal compartment will bring the construct to life.

Now the paranoia comes from a group of mercenaries trying to bully the inventor into giving them the steel hounds. He is moving them to a secure location as well as selling a few to a fiefdom to the east.

The convoy starts moving. Each series of three wagons is linked together with the six legged oxen like constructs tied to the wagon infront and behind them. During the first day they notice a group of riders travelling in the same direction but think nothing of it. However as they move further into the week long journey the riders are persistent and start to close the distance.

The first attacks come from a swarm of hawks attacking the party member’s, attacking the wagons constructs where the party isn’t available. During this attack some riders make it onto the wagon and activate a handful of the steel hounds using wooden bits of the wagon. The hounds and the attackers then move through the wagons attacking the party and looking for the gnome.

Moving between the series of 3 wagons ans the construct pulling them is dangerous but doable. If done slowly and tethering to guide ropes its safe but a slow journey. If not, creatures risk falling through the gaps and under the wagons behind them. The steel hounds are particularly poor at moving across these gaps due to their weight and construction.

The leader is a particularly good shot with a longbow and rides next to the wagon and will shoot at who ever appears at windows or tries to cross the 9 wagons. His crew know his tactics and generally avoid the windows, occasionally talking amongst themselves about why they avoid windows (incase the party are listening).

The front of the wagon series the inventor has six steel hounds activated with alchemists fire. He explains that this is particularly dangerous as the fuel source burns quickly and is volatile. The constructs reflect this and are more aggressive, attacking anyone not the one who activated them and if the containment vessel is damaged they explode. The damage is equivalent to a 360 arc of burning hands being cast from the hounds torso.

Once the leader is dead they all retreat. If it doesn’t die but his men do then he will retreat with them to fight another time (and adventure).

A nice steampunk-esque vibe to this adventures. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for more content and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Aerial Terrors

Friday is here and tonight I have a small update which really is just exploring the concept of Aerial Terrors. For me this is fitting for not just D&D but any TTRPG as well as for my other passion, Warhammer. The idea of creatures flying down from the sky to harass and disrupt not only enemy archers but wizards and sometimes warriors is really appealing. It creates an extra level to combat and it doesn’t have to be a dragon, corrupted vulture, griffin or something else terrifying but even something like a flock of ravens or bats can pose a risk.

So let’s briefly explore Aerial Terrors together tonight.

Aerial Terrors


Now the following statblocks are something that I would recommend for any level campaign, from mundane to legendary. The difference really is that at lower levels these can also be deadly where as later levels it will pose more of a nuisance rather than risk for the party.

All stat blocks taken or modified in tetra-cube.

The idea behind these creatures is two fold. Swarms surround the party member, ranged or otherwise and act as a distraction for hard hitting ranged party members. They also can swarm on melee combatants and force the choice, disengage and move towards another target and suffer attacks of opportunity from the swarm OR stay and fight something whose purpose is to tie you down.

Individual targets can fly down and attack one by one before flying out of reach as a way of creating distractions or forcing people to expend readied actions or reactions to counter. These creatures, and these additions to encounters, are relatively low in threat so adding these to a few encounters are summons, minions or just natural inhabitants to a cave could spice up encounters.

That’s all we have for tonight. Don’t forget to come back this weekend for more content and the end of month write-up and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Shadows Throne Ritual Hall

Welcome to Thursday where today I wanted to spend some time creating a final battle arena for the Shadows Throne Ritual Hall.

Shadows Throne Ritual Hall


The ritual hall has six supporting pillars around the centre pit. A single altar in the middle glows with an unholy power. The room is masked in constant shadows where the eerie blue light from the braziers doesn’t provide more than a glow within 5ft.

The pit itself is 3ft deep, difficult terrain, and if people fall prone in it they will need to make a DC14 con save or become poisoned until they leave the water.

Made with

Nice simple quick one tonight just to have a basic map ready for the monthly adventure to be finished this weekend. Don’t forget to come back the next few days and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Shadows Demise

Wednesday is here and its a chance for me to expand and add to the current plot or the continuation of exiting plot. Tonight I look at the Shadows Demise, what occurred as the party felled the Avatar in the depths of The Shadows Throne. So sit down, relax and let’s look at the death of a monstrosity, and the birth of perhaps some trauma.

Shadows Demise


As the creature stumbled before them, great swaths of shadowy energy flowing out of the now broken form of the avatar it began to shift and change. Falling to its knees it looked upon the party, the dark pits of unfathomable evil were slowly focused for a moment with clear blue eyes. As the dark energy receded the body seemed to shrink, becoming smaller, frailer and the full extent of the damage they had wrought became visible. Broken bones pierced the skin, welts, burns, gashes and cuts littered every inch of exposed flesh.

As the last of the energy left the body and disappeared into the ether, disrupted by the radiant glow of the weapons they carried a tear escaped the eye of the shadow in front of them. The light in the eyes of the body in front of them disappeared and the blue orbs became unfocused. As it collapsed backwards the face shifted slightly, appearing as several people they had met already. Sai Tsugen, to a warrior that they had seen with Lady Toshio when she had given them the cursed horses.

The body of Karyn lay before them, broken and withered. The Shadow had no pity or mercy for those who had failed or slighted it and Karyn was proof of this. Her body used as a vessel, her natural magical ability to shape change and her warriors grace had all been used by the Shadow as its avatar.

Despite all the Shadows attempts to stay alive its avatar had died. Felled by the creatures that it had sought to destroy and rule over. In fact it was destroyed by the blessed weapons of its ancient enemy, Huangdi – the guardian dragon of the Harimasu family.

As the last of the corrupted and ripped apart soul of disappeared the body of Karyn looked like something of nightmares. Used and discarded by her evil master her life ended how she spent it, in the service of the great evil of this land.

Moving out of the gore filled pit the dead minions of the Shadow filled the halls. As they moved through the carved stone rooms and pathways the soldiers who came to aid in the siege rushed up to them and let them know of what had happened. All the warriors and servants of the Shadow, but a few spirit folk, suddenly dropped dead. Searching the halls they found nothing but death. Some evident from the party and their hands or blades but many were just simply dead.

Liz greeted the party outside the halls and attended to their wounds as best as she could and soon they were travelling back towards the wall. What ever they had deemed worthy to carry out and the vision of the tainted halls was all they dared take from the unholy ground after the Shadows demise.

Thanks for joining me for a bit of a closure / wrap-up update tonight. I had planned for Karyn to make a more prominent re-emergence to the story much earlier however there didn’t seem to be a good time. This ties up a few threads in a way that makes sense but also gives a bit more depth to what this creature was. Don’t forget to come back the new few days as we wrap-up and finalise more of this months adventure and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Surprise NPCs

Welcome to a slightly different NPC Tuesday where we look at surprise NPCs. Tonight I didn’t want to create a new NPC or look at expanding upon an existing one but I wanted to look at the process I follow.


Surprise NPCs


Tonight I wanted to explore something that we may realise we do that’s natural for some of us who have been in the game for a while. Creating NPCs is an artform. Whether we take the time and effort to carefully sculpt a NPC to fit our campaign or we just need to answer the question our players throw at us “Hi, my name is Togrim the Terrible. Who are you?”

To aid in the brief discussion I have created a flow diagram that I asked myself when thinking about the different NPCs that I have created before (created in Canva)

As we can see we have a few questions here to answer and the rest are kind of obvious but I will explain below.

  • Quest – Is this for a quest. Is this the princess coming to the Tavern to find the roughest looking group around to ask them to kidnap her?
    • Side – Is it a side quest? See “Can you get me floof mellons from a nearby field. I will pay you handsomely for each one you can bring back?”
    • Core – Main story line quest. The princess changing her mind or the parameters around her kidnap.
  • Actor – is this someone on the streets / road / in the building. Are they someone you need to add in that doesn’t immediately result in a quest.
    • Agent – A spy, thief, butler, someone working for someone.
    • Distraction – a pickpocket, crying maiden, innkeeper – someone who serves no immediate purpose other than to distract from the main quest at hand.
    • Vendor – someone who sells something to the party whether its potions, lotions, axes, mittens, information or.. errhm.. something more non-pg friendly.
      • Stocked – are they in stock? Do we need a side quest to get that item in?

There are some common themes across the trees. These are things that will pop-up constantly the more you go through your NPC and jot down notes.

  • Dangerous – Are they dangerous..
    • Yes? Does the party know this? How to they react?
    • No? What do they do?
  • Help/Hinder? Are they friend of foe? Gere to help the party or here to set them back?
  • Motivation? – what motivates them? If they aren’t pushing the core plot along then what do they want with the party?
  • Permanency? Are they permanent? Once this interaction is done do they disappear, or die? OR do they stick around and reappear later?
  • Vulnerability* (only called out once) – Do they have a weakness. Are they vulnerable to silver. OR do they only want to save their family and that’s why they are working with the Kings hunter to bring back his daughter?
  • And of course, Appearance – This includes the name but how do you describe this person/creature/thing? Are they a human, bat, lizardfolk or talking spoon. Descriptions including how we Role play NPCs can cement them into permanency for our party.

Although not an exhaustive list I will use this for the next few months and see if I can tweak it. Most of us follow something similar and occasionally do it automatically when our party asks the dreaded questions “what’s your name” or “who are you?”.

Another night down and I have a new printout at my desk. Thanks for joining me tonight and hopefully this can be useful for you in impromptu NPC creation. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow as we cover off another end of campaign writeup and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Distortion Field

Welcome to the last Monday where I create content related to the Adventure of this last month. Tonight I want to propose something for those players who decide to travel across thr waves and head home to Fareun, a distortion field.


Distortion Field


The salty sea wind caressed their tired faces as they stared towards the bow of the boat. It had been a week since they confronted the Shadow and defeated it, though at a steep cost.

Now returning home felt like the best option for those onboard. Away from the evil they had seen, witnessed and the loss of those who they had grown accustomed to.

“with good weather we should be home within a week” the captain called out, not Kyoko… She stayed behind with her family.

“be on the lookout for pirates and beasties now. We need to warn them we have the heroes of  Ryokughan onboard so they have a chance to flee with their lives” the captain barked out in a mirth riddled tone. The crew laughed and cheered as the large ship bobbed up and down on the waves.

The captain was right. They had made good progress and the few ships they did see left them alone. The weather was fair and great for sailing and they were perhaps halfway home already. “You’ll be glad to be home now aye?” One of the crew asked as she handed around a bottle of liquid, rum. Definitely rum. “I can’t imagine going through what you lot have but is going home the right thing? After all you’ve done and seen. Surely you have the hunger for adventure. I know when I was a young girl and joined aboard..” she was cut off by a loud whistle.

“all hands on deck. Look lively. The spotter has seen some oddities in the waves. Be on the lookout for anything strange…” Now it was the captains turn to be cut short as a wall of wind and translucent colour materialised infront of the boat and spread out like a curtain of some great jellyfishes stingers.

The boat had no chance to swerve or adjust and plowed into the curtain of colour. Except, it didn’t. The bow of the boat passed through harmlessly as the colours danced across the hull, sails, rigging and crew alike. As it crossed over the party their skin tickled and as they spoke it was in several octaves higher than normal. The crew laughed and marvelled at the spectacle and as boat slowed they realised they had come into a pocket where no air was present.

“be prepared men in to paddle us out. I don’t like this at all.” Thr captain squeaked.

The crew moved to prepare the long oars whilst giggling at the captains voice. This distortion field affected other things too. Colours changed, sounds were different and even walking felt odd. As they were about to put the oars into the water the sails picked up again and the distortion suddenly stopped.

“onwards. To Daye!” The captain called, much less squeaky than a moment ago.

Under the waves alien creatures swam and moved through the water away from the boat. The creatures that flew on the wind currents up high beat their three pairs of wings as six eyes scanned below for a meal.


A distortion field is a way to either throw the party into a new realm, new horrors and adventures or have that world seep through. Or, it could be nothing but a weird occurrence and the party carries on with another story to add to their tale of the land of Ryokughan.

Well its the start to a new week but end of a eleven month campaign. Thanks to all that have followed this journey with me and I look forward to what comes next. Dont forget to come and read the last week, this week, as we wrap some things up and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Confronting the Shadow

Welcome to another end of week writeup where we follow our party as they travel through the Shadows Throne and end up confronting the Shadow. This week our party moves towards a hidden path into the shadows Throne, or the front door, and prepare to confront the being that has haunted them for almost a year now. So sit back, have a cup of coffee and let’s catch up on what was created this week.

Shadows Maze


The party scurried forth towards the heart of the citadel. Or at least that’s what they had thought at least. The citadel was a tangled mess of halls and tunnels. The halls were obviously well crafted at some point but tunnels were dug between halls.

The halls were largely barren and empty as were the tunnels. Occasionally they would witness a screaming wounded oni being dragged down a hall before disappearing into a tunnel.. But otherwise the minions of the Shadow were frantic. Their movements, organisation and coordination were disorganised and hasty as if anxious or fearful. They did have an army at their front doorstep and their master was weak or so the vision had indicated so.

The party were running out of time but they were getting nowhere fast. They would have to find a way to the dark master soon before it was too late.

The very human cries and screams brought them to their present moment and without a moment to lose they took off down a well used hall. Eventually they began to notice a pattern for the tunnels as some lead to new rooms, hallways, dead ends of refuse pits. As they were approaching what smelt like a refuse pit they heard the muffled screams again in the tunnel. Venturing forth they found a well concealed secondary tunnel, unlike the others to date, perhaps, which lead to a large chamber with cages and cells built into the wall. A large ogre stood in the middle of the room brandishing a whip as it lashed out at humans pleading for mercy.

The ogre stopped flaying a middle aged man and looked up towards the party. The look of shock was quickly replaced by a stupid grin and malicious twinkle in its eye. The Shadow would have to wait.

Servants doubt


The diminutive creature watches as the party squared off against the ogre and a silent smile crossed its face. This could be it, the moment its freedom was bought.

Since it had watched its friends, comrades and children fight for the Shadow and fall for it. Since it has watched the same once revered master feast on their broken bodies and imbue itself with their dying life force. Enough was enough.

As the ogre strode forwards towards the party the shrieks from those still in cages got louder. Some wailed for saving, some cheered for the party but others cheered for blood. The ogre roared in approval at the terror and lust for blood as it brought its whip and cracked it over the head of the party as it waited for the first move.

Power Starved


As the bodies piled up around the alter the power started to seep into the dark waters and flow into the cold slab of stone. Sitting atop the stone the Shadows Avatar sat in silence, power starved. A fragment of what its former self used to be and far from it needed to be and time was running out. In fact from the increase in wounded and dying Oni, Trolls, Butatō and captured slaves suggested that the light bringer, those chosen by the dragon were here.

The creature watched as the power gradually ebbed and flowed like waves as the ritual channelled the power within the dead and dying into its form. As the casualties piled up a gnawing concern rose in the creature. If these mortals were able to do this to its servants and chosen minions then is it enough? Was this meagre power that was being drawn from these husks enough?

There was a single option, a fail safe, that was available to the creature now. Modifying the ritual slightly small channels opened up in the ritual pool. Slowly the tainted waters began to spread and weave their way through the citadel, causing water to drip down upon all. If all went well then the creature wouldn’t have to resort to it, but the thought of doing it anyway did cross its mind.

A sudden pang shot through the creature, one of its shadow-touched had just been killed. As the shadow-stuff that empowered the creature disappeared the power that was lent also did. No, no, no. There was not enough bodies here, not enough energy to rebuild its form and its strength.

The ritual, there was only one option left to it and it had best be started now. As the shadow magic pushed outwards and touched everything who had been touched by the tainted water pockets of light were also felt. These cursed weapons and trinkets! They protected the mortals from its ritual. Regardless once the ritual was complete it would have enough power to squash these humans. It was just a matter of time now, a race. Them to race to its chamber in time or it to complete the ritual first. The winner would surely claim victory.

NPCs this week


Environment and running the adventure

Bottom of the map

There are some cave ins that don’t look like they can be fixed with a pick and shovel but most of the map is connected. Most rooms are left bare to be filled in as we see fit. There is a mess hall to the left of the ritual hall and on the top of the page there is a set of stairs leading to a balcony where archers could be stationed, perhaps a large table for looking at a map for defence coordination.

Top of the map

The top half of the map is new, roughly carved, uneven ground with sharp edges. Even the walls and square(ish) rooms are uneven and basic however there is evidence of technology and infrastructure taking place in most rooms. A barracks to the left of the large room of the main entrance serves to feed troops to the wall or the the defence of the Ritual hall or southern rooms. The warren where the prisoner cells are could be filled with critters or beasts that get fed the scraps (dead prisoners) or as a sleeping quarters for the lowest of slaves and servants in the citadel.

The prisoner cells located at the top right of the map is where the Ogre encounter happens. The tunnels to the Ritual hall (centre of the map) should be hidden and either investigated and stumbled into naturally or with a guide. The bottom half of the map should be a mixture of old dwarven stone work and newly hewn, rough stone (likely the Oni).

Inspiration – Map less adventure (246ThLoOTThOSh)

Made with


The War room

Several creatures are milling about preparing to either go out to the battlefield or command it. Several Oni Captains stand by with Oni sentinels acting as guard and a handful of Oni to get ready to fight.

The Oni are on the lower level. They are surprised by the party if they come through the front door (if applicable). The sentinels are not and the captains quickly engage to curry favour from the Shadow.

The Training Hall

The Training hall is within shouting distance of the main hall if the party let any creature escape towards the hall.

The hall itself is rather empty with some training dummies against the wall. The stench of sweat and blood is strong in here as the Oni, and their trainer have been drilling for what seems to be hours. As the party appear they are eager and keen for a fight. They will have advantage on saves vs Fear AND have advantage on attack rolls for the first battle round.

The Mess Hall

The Mess Hall is filled with drunken Oni. Some injured, some not. These Oni appear to be celebrating and none of them are fit for a fight. They are considered to have the Poisoned condition.

Collapsed Room

The collapsed room looks like its undergoing restoration. A team of 7 Butatō are busy moving rocks from the wall and startle quickly. They have no weapons but tools to move and break apart soil and rock. They are quick to flee and will dont want to cause a fuss. They seem to be very disloyal to the Oni and The Shadow and harbour resentment. Mayu be willing to help the party outl if asked.

The Warren

The warren is a series of tunnels and 10ftx10ft (or bigger) dens where the Bakegamoto are bred. Its attended by a head breeder, some servents (Butatō slaves) and the parents with their pups.

The Cells

The Cells are where the Shadow Born Ogre watches over and bosses the slaves and captives around. Shockingly intelligent he uses the prejudice of being a dumb brute to his advantage and will attempt to feint being dumb – but he is a bad actor and his ruse is easily seen through. There are two sets of cells in this room separating the Humans from the captured spiritfolk (Cant have the prisoners and slaves eating each other now..) and several creatures tied to benches or racks receiving torture from the Ogre. A few Butatō slaves are in the room but they cheer on the party as they start to see the Ogre get hurt and be bested by mere humans.

The Butatō slaves are very very willing to help the party and will approach them and speak in broken common to plead for them to save them and kill their Dark Master.

Creatures in the halls (all created in tetra-cube)

Shadow Bound Ogre

The Shadow is very selective in who it trusts and loans its power to. This Ogre through sheer strength, malice and willingness to spread the shadows corruption was one of the favoured ones. Engaging the party quickly and with great sweeping blows I would set his initiative to 15 and keep it there. The shadow didn’t just bless this brute with more strength and shadow infused blows but with a cunning intellect. It knows when its in trouble and will act accordingly. Willing to grab, grapple and hold hostages this should be a tough warmup fight.

Created in tetra-cube

The Shadows Avatar

Bit of a spoiler – the ritual goes off but not half as much as it would have wanted. By drawing the life from all its minions (through its back up plan) it manages to scrape by at this power level – not the full force of a deity but close enough for the average mortal.

Fast, intelligent, charismatic and having the ability to induce fear upon the entire party this is a mean creature. Immune to damage unless magical or dealing radiant damage this will take some chunking before it goes away.

Having a unarmed attack that can turn into a free grapple is good, as a legendary action it can help make this creature feel stronger and more imposing that it should. The scimitar is also quite strong with its strength drain ability. Party members will start to fear this attack if the fight goes on too low as instant death is a rare thing in D&D5e.

The fall

In Confronting the Shadow, and his Avatar the party inadvertently defeat the host army. The creature they fight slaughters all his servants and slaves, using their souls to increase its own power for a final confrontation. The rest of what happens will have to wait until the end of the month…

This is it. The final weekly wrap-up for the eleven months of this campaign. Thanks for sticking with me for this long and for joining me tonight to go through the end of week write-up. Don’t forget that this week I will touch some things up. Probably create some loot for the citadel or something. Also, as with every signoff, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

One shot ideas, Lights

Welcome to another Saturday night filled with creative juices. On the mend and staring into a darkened room I bring you one shot ideas, lights!

Lights for many mean comfort and safety. It reveals that there is nothing in the shadows and it brings with it warmth and comfort. But what we see outside of the dome of light is limited as comfort and warmth blinds us. Perhaps the better question is what can see us as we are revealed by the warming glow of the light.

Tonight, as last week, I will cover a few one shot ideas around light.

One shot ideas, Light – 1

The party is content around their campfire as they sit down under the rocky overhang they look at the map before them. Rumour was that there was a beast out in the hills they were travelling through that was responsible for entire herds of sheep and goats going missing. They had spent a few nights searching already but they hadn’t seen any trace in of the creature.

Across the clearing the beast stalked forward, the figures in the campfire illuminated perfectly as they huddled over a box.

As the party continues to look at the map they become increasingly aware of the deafening silence of the wilds around them. Standing to look away from the map they looked past the flow from the flickering flames and out into the muted darkness, not aware of the creature that looked straight back at them.

He classic beast stalking party at night just outside of the light of the campfire. A chase scene, perhaps backwards and forth between werewolf and the party.

One shot ideas, Light – 2

The party strolled down the streets of Fobertown they marvelled at the sights, smells and delights that the city brought. As they continued to stroll down towards the seaside. Having had their fill of shopping and feasting they marveled at the costal city and its wonders.

Slowly faint bobbing lights drifted across the waves towards the city. The party watched as other city goers stopped and watched the lights as they spread across the waves. Slowly the number of lights multiplied and the party began to feel uneasy.

It’s another classic. Pirate raid on a costal city! This one the party will have to fight through a few pirates as they try and raid the city and take the party, and citizens as prisoners. Perhaps a slaving ship could be involved from lizardfolk raiders. A lot of potential in this simple plot.

That’s it for tonight. Thanks for joining me as I went through two different adventure ideas on tonight. Light works both ways with predators and party both benefiting from thr party using light. But it goes noth ways. It could be the party ambushing where their quarry, bandits or poachers, have a campfire and the party move in for a surprise attack.

Light isn’t just for people it can be for traps. A solitary torch may draw in the party for a trap or ambush, the possibilities are endless and light can be a useful tool in our kit. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for end of week writeup and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Shadow Born Ogre and the Shadows Avatar

Welcome to Fight night where I have something perhaps a bit exciting to reveal. Both the Shadow Born Ogre and the Shadows Avatar stat blocks! So sit down, have a coffee and lets go through the creatures lurking in the shadows.

Shadow Born Ogre and the Shadows Avatar


Created in Tetra-cube

Shadow Born Ogre

The Shadow is very selective in who it trusts and loans its power to. This Ogre through sheer strength, malice and willingness to spread the shadows corruption was one of the favoured ones. Engaging the party quickly and with great sweeping blows I would set his initiative to 15 and keep it there. The shadow didn’t just bless this brute with more strength and shadow infused blows but with a cunning intellect. It knows when its in trouble and will act accordingly. Willing to grab, grapple and hold hostages this should be a tough warmup fight.

Also made in Tetra-cube

The Shadows Avatar

Bit of a spoiler – the ritual goes off but not half as much as it would have wanted. By drawing the life from all its minions (through its back up plan) it manages to scrape by at this power level – not the full force of a deity but close enough for the average mortal.

Fast, intelligent, charismatic and having the ability to induce fear upon the entire party this is a mean creature. Immune to damage unless magical or dealing radiant damage this will take some chunking before it goes away.

Having a unarmed attack that can turn into a free grapple is good, as a legendary action it can help make this creature feel stronger and more imposing that it should. The scimitar is also quite strong with its strength drain ability. Party members will start to fear this attack if the fight goes on too low as instant death is a rare thing in D&D5e.

This weapon deals a lot of damage and it intrinsically linked to the Shadow – if someone else uses the sword it loses the negative damage but will regain its ability to reduce strength scores – for a prince. The shadows corruption. But I will cover this later.

Thanks for dropping by to have a look at this weeks stat blocks. I am quietly confident that we will have a few good fights in this weeks adventure as we wrap up the 11 month campaign so don’t forget to check out the finished product this weekend. I will also be looking at a creative write up on Saturday so don’t miss out on that as well and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe