One-shot challenge – Avian Raiders

Welcome to a what-ever Saturday where tonight I am looking excitedly at Avian Raiders.

This is a one shot generated using a tool I stumbled up on today – Goblinist RPG Tools and the random encounter it gave me for 4 level 7 characters. Now use at your own risk Goblinist looks like it doesn’t have all the security certification that’s out there so user discretion is advised.

Before we get into the one shot let’s go over some ground rules.

I will try and stick to 30 minutes, the same as my other challenges. The one shot also has to have the basic elements of an adventure (what I cover weekly):

  • Plot
  • NPCs of note
  • Twist or secondary hook
  • Extra Stuff
  • Stat block

The extra stuff normally being a map may be a bit tough to do in Inkarnate so I will see what I can flesh out within the 30 minutes. So without any more chatter let’s see how we go with the one shot.

Time started: 10:11pm

Avian Raiders

The rattle of the pottery that lines up against the edge of the warehouse was the first sign that trouble was afoot. The hired guardsmen of the wealthy merchant, who also owned the dairy and mill, looked around more alert now and drew their werapons as they stalked the outside of hte e wood clad building.

As the moments went by the very ground shook as a horrifying screech boomed down from the hills where the flocks grazed. Spooked the guardsmen run but only after hearing the screech echoed many more times. In the morning the guardsmen returned top find the warehouse ransacked, not a valuable item was left or a scrap of food remained within. Other than frantic hard to read footprints the only trace these the raiders left were seven large feathers


The party is hired, sought out in fact, by a wealthy merchant. The merchant believes that a giant bird had raided his warehouse at command of the local herbalist. The only proof that he has that it was her is an argument that they had where she threatened to unleash the wrath of nature upon him and, seven large feathers.

The herbalist has been established in the growing village for many decades and provided the village with many tinctures, balms, salves and other potions that has saved many lives. However over the last few months the forest where she gains many of these items is slowly being cut down. The merchant has been expanding his land to get more grazing farm-land to produce more milk, meat and cows for trade. The herbalist has warned the merchant that his greed will be the downfall of the town and that she wouldn’t let him destroy the city for selfish means.

The party need to talk to find out who or what attacked Samwells’ warehouse and bring them to justice. Sam urges the party to check with Jane as they may find that their investigation is over before it rally has to o begin.

NPCs of Note

Samwell Goldfellow – a young ambitious merchant who has done exceptionally well at his trade. Starting a small general store a few years ago he has built up his empire to control the generation of grains, milk and meat (mostly) in the village of Tollenbrooke. But this wealth has left him paranoid and afraid of his efforts being taken from him. To prevent his paranoia taking over he has armed guardsmen, paid thugs from around the village, guard his warehouse an, dairy and mill to ensure nothing happens to his business.

Ironbark Jane – as she has been called for years, is a forest gnome who is fiery rather than timid. She has been in Tollenbrooke for many years and most parents of the current generation of townspeople remember Jane from their childhood and swear by her cures and potions. Seen as a bit of a town mystic and holy-woman the town will rally to her defence and aid unprovoked if they believe that she is threatened. To this effect Samwell’s actions to try and remove her (as competition and a blocker of his progress) have been met by boycotts of his business which eventually see’s him leaving Jane alone.
However lately Jane has been finding that the forest that she tends nearby has become more and more sparse and that Samwell’s bordering farmland seems to grow with each passing week. Jane has also seen strange omens and markings in the forest which she has warned Samwell about but her advice falls on deaf ears.

Twist and secondary hook

Jane offers to show the party to the place she was seeing the omens in the forest. If not she draws a highly detailed map which is written in the way a herbalist would try and find a route (listing out plants, trees, natural landmarks from a gnomes perspective). Once there the party find that there are large claw marks in the trees and dirt that indicates that there was something large and clawed in the forest not long ago. Further on they find a smashed clay pot and congealed white substance inside that reeks (turned/off milk). Taking it back to the town they notice that are guardsmen acting erratically at the warehouse. When they approach the guardsman he requests that the party help him bury a cow. When they either refuse or accept he goes on to frantically explain that he found it this morning when it didn’t show up at the dairy. Believing he could personally find the raiders he searched for the beast and found it dead and half eaten. He fears the repercussions from Samwell and wants the party to help him.

Investigating the corpse they find a large feathered arrow in the beast (under its body and pressed along the ground.) there are large clawed tracks around the corpse as well as several more large feathers however the tracks look to be a many legged creature that has between six and eight legs.

When they return back to the village they are just entering the town with the evidence that they have found that night and they hear a blood curdling screech from the hills.

Extra Stuff’s

Map of the farmstead and wheat crop.

Original found at


Created at

Thanks for joining me tonight. Unfortunately this took a lot longer than what I had hoped to. WordPress seemed to want to time out and not register entire paragraphs of typing for upwards of 10 minutes at time so I had to do it in short bursts or hope that all the words I was touch-typing were accurate.

But it did give me time to work on a map whilst I waited for the words to load so enjoy that – made in Inkarnate as always.

Tonight’s encounter is relatively simple. Hobgoblins and their tamed owlbears (terrifying thought) attack the town and raid it because they wanted to. The owlbears were pushed out of the dwindling forest and trapped and tamed by the hobgoblins before they were used to attack the human town. Not super complicated with no dark master behind this one just a standard night-raid.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow night for the end of week write-up and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Magnus Vex – school days

As the sun rose and peaked through the window above his bed he knew the farce was up. Sighing he pulled the pillow off from his face as he swung his legs over the side of the bed and looked around his room.

The Sony’s light was slowly blinking yellow, obviously he had forgotten to turn it off after playing witcher last night. He’d already clocked if a few times over but he just loved the game. He couldn’t explain what it was but immersing himself in a fantasy setting just felt so right to him.

Standing up and picking an older T-shirt from the not-so-dirty pile he looked at the calendar on the back of his door. With a loud groan he realised it was three weeks until his birthday. His guardians had insisted that he invite some friends over but he wasn’t one for friends. He found it hard to connect with kids and normally kept to himself. That and his guardians were an embarrassment.

His ‘dad’ was a collector of things. He never spoke about work but the den was filled with trinkets and oddities. Magnus thought he was an archaeologist or tomb-raider but when he spoke he wasn’t cool enough for that. So Magnus had to deal with a lot of very old very weird things like ancient voodoo fetishes and staffs made from human bones and skin. Super weird shit.

His ‘mum’ on the other hand was a black widow. The boys at school all teased him on how good his mum looked and it got to his nerves. Whilst his dad was a hulking easy six feet tall and built broader than most football players his mum was thin, athletic and terrifying. She was russian and he wouldn’t be surprised if she turned out to be an assassin or spy like black widow from the avengers.

Leaving his room he was greeted by silence. His guardians were rarely home and when they were they spoke to each other like team mates or colleagues from work.

Walking down the stairs, his skinny frame and mop of dark hair completing his “hipster but not cool” look of jeans, boots, his anime T-shirt and a light jacket that was there to keep his skinny ass warm in an Australian Autumn. “Mag. Bus is here in five minutes!” Erin called out, his mum.

“Thanks Erin.” He said as he entered the kitchen and looked at the store bought lunch kit that sat on the bench. She did not cook. “Gerald will be out of town for a bit so its just us” she said with a smile that didn’t reach her eyes.

“Sounds good. Maybe you can teach me some karate or jujitsu? I want to learn” he said as he stuffed a square of cheddar cheese and a slab of ham in his mouth. Looking up at the clock as Erin thought about it he saw he was late. “Shit. Got to go. See you tonight Erin!” He said as he ran out of the kitchen, down the hall and out the door to the bus stop at the end of the block.

He made it with a bit of time to spare and checked his bag for everything. Shit. He forgot his lunch. As he contemplated going back he sensed someone standing next to him.

“Hi. I’m Alice” the person said standing next to him in full school uniform for his school. “It’s my first day.” She said with a nervous smile.

“Uhh.. I’m cute. I mean you’re cute. I mean I’m Magnus. But everyone calls me Mag..” he said with potentially the highest amount of stuttered words ever. He cursed himself as he turned towards the bus that was arriving. Saved by the bus. Alice just giggled and blushed.

Stepping up onto the bus Magnus plopped himself down in the first seat available, next to the driver. It was a pretty full bus today. Looked out the window at the suburban houses. When he felt the seat move next to him he groaned inwardly as he realised Alice ha sat next to him.

“So Mag. What do you do for fun around here?” Alice asked, still a bit flushed in the cheeks. As the bus moved forward with a lurch she slid on the seat a bit and bumped into him. “S-s-sorry” she stammered as she moved away hurriedly.

“Don’t worry about it. Uhh. Well I guess kids go shopping at the mall. It’s not much but it’s ok for a small to..” he began to say before the bus stopped abruptly. Magnus looked out the window just in time to see Erin knocking on the bus door holding his lunch.

“no-no-no..” he muttered as he tried to hide but it was too late. She had spotted him and the bus driver opened the door.

“you ran off so fast that you left your lunch. Growing boys need proteins, fats and minerals to ensure healthy maturation.” She said as she gave him the bag of food. “I’ll see you at home around six. I’ve got a client to see…” And with that she turned and left the bus. The girls laughed and giggled the boys, after closed their mouth whistled loudly.

“uhh.. was that your mum?” Alice asked holding in laughter.

“she’s not my mum… She just looks after me..” Magnus replied as the bus took off again with the chorus of whoops and laughter.

“well… She was a pretty hot mum…” Alice said in a muffled voice as Magnus groaned at the start of another shitty day at school.

30 Minute Challenge – Shepherd of Fire

Hi all and welcome to a 30 Minute Challenge evening. Now it has been quite some time since I have done something like this. In fact I haven’t I don’t believe I have done something like this as tonight I will be using a song from one of my playlist. Just one song on repeat for 30 minutes… So prepare for 30 Minute Challenge – Shepherd of Fire.

So it should be no secret that music helps invoke imagery and can really help provoke encounters, combat or key moments in the adventure. In fact music is a common tool I use for my creative writing or the daily adventures that I create for this blog. So without giving away too much and in the idea of getting through the write-up in some timely manner let’s roll on.

The rules:

  1. 30 minute limit.
  2. The them must be inspirited by the song Shepherd of Fire.
  3. Grammatical and spelling checks are allowed outside of the 30 minutes but the content must be there.
  4. At the end of the challenge the produced adventure should be able to be used for a D&D one shot.
  5. Must have some form of NPC, a creature, and a goal.

I have kept it nice and simple for tonight, no forced weird things or restrictions but if you want to see something like that feel free to suggest it.

30 Minute Challenge – Shepherd of Fire

Time started: 8:53pm

The party are mid-quest to explore a castle on the edge of the lands of a previous benefactor who they owe a debt to. As they approach the castle the area around them distorts as if falling through water and after a few moments of distortion they realise what is happening. A magic portal has appeared around them.

Whirling through space and time they appear in the hall that consists mainly of floating debris and a small landing attached to ascending stairs. At the top of the stairs sits a giant skeleton, It appears to be from a giant of some breed as it sits in a broken thrown in ancient heraldry. The last thing people notices, apart from the 20ft long mace is a three pronged crown that appears to have been crafted from fresh embers.

“Ah, hero. You have come at last it seems” the skeleton booms out from its risen throne. “I have been waiting for some time for the on who bears the ember. The one who will become the Shepherd of Fire.”

A moment of confusion and the party asking the being to who the skeleton is referring too but the questions fall on deaf ears. The massive skeleton shifts a bit, moving a massive two handed mace from one bony hand to the next. “You do not taste like the last to bear the ember but you will be tested like the others. With the rising of the next full moon you will have exactly one lunar cycle until your test ends. In that time you must prove yourself worthy to be the next Shepherd of Fire or you will have your ember snuffed.” the skeleton rumbled.

“It’s been four millennia since I was chosen to be the last. It has been four decades since the last trial of the Ember and that price, that ruler of men and women was found wanting and cast back into the coals.” The skeleton rumbled. Lightning flashed through the sky revealing swirling clouds and chunks of what would have been a grand city floating in the void beyond the dark and gloom of this plane. “I grow tired and the ember has long since consumed my body. It is time that we crown a new shepherd and the power that comes with it.”

With that the skeleton raised his mace high above his head and brought it down to point at the party and in a billow of smoke and soot the were launched backwards through another rip-tide of a portal.

The nausea was unexpected and new as the party stood in front of the castle once again. One by one each of them looked around checking if they each experienced the same thing. Suddenly a searing burning pain appeared on the left wrist of each of the party members. A crown of embers was being branded on their wrist with three points of it extending up the back of their hand. A faint ember like glow appears on each of their hands but its only visible to themselves.


The Shepherd of fire is a multi-dimensional being who was created during a time where the forces of chaos needed governing. During the first war between the layers of hell the Shepherd of Fire was created to stop chaos from destroying itself.

As time went on the title passed from being to being with the predecessor passing judgement of worthiness on the new bearer of the ember. The bearer of the ember was a mortal who holds the potential to carry the title and if they are found to be worthy in a set of trials that are secretly bestowed upon them they are worthy. Worthy of the power and title of the Shepherd of Fire. The last to be found worthy was a fire giant prince of significant power but in the centuries he has been testing people he has been unable to find one to bear the mantle.

This adventure hook works best with multiple one shots generally 7 to 10 levels in for the individual party members. This gives the party a good starting point towards the trials (one shots) but – all of them are branded as the holder of the ember. This means that one, or all of them could become the Shepherd which could create the beginning of a fun campaign around bringing order – well at least reigning in the chaotic nature of the layers of hell.

Time finished: 9:17pm

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow night for the end of week writeup and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

30 Minute Challenge – Image edition

Hi all and welcome to a 30 Minute Challenge evening. Now it has been quite some time since I have done something like this. In fact I haven’t I dont believe I have done something like this as tonight I will be using a randomly created image.

That’s right tonight a single image will inspire and generate tonight’s adventure and, lets hope, that its good. So using a random image as the base I then cross-bred it with two more images and then tweaked it until it looked, somewhat real. The trouble with Art-breeder sometimes is that the noise from over-breeding can take away from details you want to keep or enhance. But tonight I am happy with what we have so if you want to look at the original, or tweak it, you can find it here.

The rules:

  1. 30 minute limit.
  2. The them must be inspirited by the “randomly generated” image.
  3. Grammatical and spelling checks are allowed outside of the 30 minutes but the content must be there.
  4. At the end of the challenge the produced adventure should be able to be used for a D&D one shot.
  5. Must have some form of NPC, a creature, and a goal.

I have kept it nice and simple for tonight, no forced weird things or restrictions but if you want to see something like that feel free to suggest it.

30 Minute Challenge – Image

30 Minute Adventure challenge - Image edition: Revealing a green jungle with a river running through the centre.
Green Jungle

Time started: 8:25pm

As the party moved out from their tent the thick heavy curtains of fabric brushed against them leaving damp on their skin. Apart from the the sheer humidity of this jungle the second thing that hit them after being in a muffled tent was the noise. In fact the noise of insects and creature calls was the predominant thing about this jungle so far and it kept the party on their toes.

“Ah, good morning! Right this way when you please.” said a cheerful voice the sponsor, guide and seemingly jungle enthusiast declared. “We have much ground to cover before we reach the ruins but if we leave now we should make it there by noon.”

The party moved onwards through the sticky ground, the clouds of insects and the hardy and thorny plants. The trip over was easy in comparison to the journey on foot. The island that they are exploring, or paid to be body guards for, is several months travel away from Faerun. In fact the only way that they made it here was the marvels of both science and arcane powers. An airship. The double storied vessel was big enough to transport them, supplies for a month and even materials to set up a base camp on the island. This man came prepared , he was foolish or both it seemed.

A rustle in the bushes to the left of the path had the party draw swords and create a protective circle around their benefactor. “Oh its probably nothing… It’s nothing right?” the man asked through a twitching white moustache.

Before the party could respond to him the bushes rustled and something head off away from the party. A few tense moments later and the party began to move on, all except the one who was at the front – he was staring into the eye of something and it wasn’t backing down. “Are you coming or not! If you dally we will miss the right time and it will all be for naught!” called the scholar. Looking back to give a reply the mercenary looked back to where the eye was to see nothing.

Sheathing their sword, but not taking their hand off the hilt they rejoined the group. “As I was saying,” the old man was saying as the party member caught up. “The sun at the right angle at the right day hits this ancient gem at the precipice of the temple and it shines a light on the way through the doors. Fascinating stuff it really is. And to think we will be the first people to report back what lies within the temple. Many have come before but they weren’t as prepared as me. No-sir-ee they didn’t come with hired muscle or having completed half as much homework before coming along. And look where they are now. The jungle took them and holds them under its roots.” the man was nearly incapable of being quiet.

Scaled feet

As the creature returned back to its master they exchanged a few short, sharp chirps and purrs before it shot back off into the bush. The broad and lean body of the hunter stood watching his companion dart off to regain his quarries trail.

“Sek’eth.” a voice said from behind him. Turning with a mixture of annoyance and respect Sek’eth knelt before the wiry, small lizard-folk that stood next to him on a Pterosaur. “Some would think your hesitation to engage in these invaders is cowardice. I spoke up for you I really did but the others of the counsel have concerns. They believe that you don’t have what it takes to complete the mission. That you alone will be the reason that our sacred sites are invaded.” the corner of the lips of this runty lizard spoke otherwise to his support.

“They are different from the others. They have warriors this time unlike those who were un-worthy combatants. The scaled ones tell us that patience is how they sculpted the land to their will, not haste. I am merely practicing what our sacred ones have preached.” the larger reptilian humanoid said before standing up taller. “I will need more troops. Another flight at minimum. These are no ordinary scholars or insignificant warm bloods.”

The smaller lizard man seemed to broil under its fine scales but before that anger and pressure could escape its lips a larger clawed hand appeared on its shoulder. “You will have your flight Sek’eth. But if you fail in your task you will face banishment. Do not fail us” the larger counsel member said as he stepped up into the saddle of his monolithic Pterosaur.

Bowing deeply he waited for the counsel and their handlers to leave before he sprinted off towards the temple. Quietly as he leaped over a log he hoped that his companion could reign in its wild fury and wait for support from the rest of the brood.


The party has been hired by an eccentric scholar who needs mercenaries to help him explore a lost temple on an ancient island. What they don’t know is that the temple is a sacred site to a ferocious lizard-folk who have tamed reptiles from a bygone age.

The scholar, Cedrek Peetee – who claims to be a half-gnome, is more or less unknown in Faerun but has inherited a lot of wealth from his late parents and his previous master – a fanatic for lost temples of old. In one of the handed down books it was revealed that this mysterious temple was seen in the island – but they didn’t go any closer to it a they were running short on supplies and needed to reach dock.

The lizard-folk come in a few shapes and sizes and any colours imaginable. Sek’eth is a large crocodilian like beast of muscle and cunning. His companion, Rep, is a bipedal therapod with elongated claws used for gripping, ripping and tearing.

The temple will only open if the right rune is pressed, which is revealed by a gem mounted in the roof. And, you guessed it, the sun only hits the gem just rightly once a year. The inside temple contains the bodies of deceased lizard-folk who died from a terrible disease. Its both a sacred site due to the reverence that they hold over the dead, but also because they fear the return of the disease.

If the party make it to the temple and open up the door they will find bodies within its halls and rooms. Each body looks like they were just dumped in there but the truth is that they were alive when they were sealed up and died some time after their entombment. However, some survived. These creatures are ghouls with a lizard-folk body and possess a hunger that is beyond the norm. The party must fight to survive and perhaps convince the lizard folk to help them fight the undead.

Time finished: 8:54pm

Well I think I did ok with that writing challenge. Heavily inspired Warhammer (Serephon/lizardmen) as well as the Chult island it goes without saying that there must be other islands like that one out there.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow night for the end of week writeup and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe