fredag 3. januar 2020

Graveyard of the Weeping Willow encounter

Graveyard of the Weeping Willow encounter

This is an idea that have grown in the back of my head. Feel free to discuss consequences, use your own take on it, or suggest variations of ideas.

As the party wanders through the forest they will begin to hear a voice singing in sylvan during night. It is beautiful in tone, yet carries with it feelings of sadness.
If the party wishes to follow this voice they will they will come upon a forest clearing with a pond. In the midst of the pond is a great weeping willow and below it sits a woman in white kneeling before a man lying on the ground. The man appears to pale, badly hurt, yet peaceful in his face expression.
If the party pays attention to their surroundings they will notice that there are several overgrown rocks, both on land and in the pond. A closer overation will reveal that these are dead soldiers wrapped in vines and overgrown in moss. Several of these will appear to have died from arrow wounds, but not all of them.
How the encounter can go:
- If anyone in the party speaks sylvan, they will recognize the song of someone lamenting a lovers death, the bravery of a man standing against many, a sacrifice to protect the dryad against soldiers seeking to harvest her magic. A warning against those who come to despoil her glade.
-If anyone in the party speaks elven (or if they are a bard), they will recognize the song as one of sadness, but failing to grasp the direct words.
-The woman will not be hostile towards the party, but will gesture for them to stay back unless the party manages a diplomacy check.
If they continue forwards she will be frightened and disappear into her tree.
(Depending on character level, consider having a Wood Woad appear as a guard. Alternatively nixies in the water.)
-If the party stops the woman from singing, all the overgrown rocks will awake as undead which will attack the party. They are not controlled by the woman.
Suggestion depending on character levels: Skeletons, led by a wight.
-If the party uses detect good or evil, they will know that the mounds are undead and the woman in white is a fey.

Aftermath of battle:
-If the party used turn undead or holy water on the undead before talking to the woman, she will recognize you as friendly. She will allow you to observe her lover. (Human/elven man. Appears as a soldier. Carries with him a sword and bow. He is as if someone had cast gentle repose on him.)
-If the party killed the woman in the process, the willow will wilt, the glade will turn black and the party earns the hatred of a treant.
-If the party scared the woman, but used revivify on the dead body, the man will ressurect and the woman will consider the party as friendly. Consider giving the party a great boon.
A hundred years ago a man fell in love with a dryad. He told his friends about it, but they misused his trust and wanted to use her magic for their own. They went out to kill her, but they had not accounted for the mans martial provess.
The fight was hard and brutal and the man was dealt many fatal wounds, yet at the end of battle he was the only one standing only to perish in the arms of his beloved.
Yet, many years later, the hatred of the soldiers still inger, only kept in check by beautiful song of the dryad.

Deidre: Dryad of the weeping willow. Her song has a calming effect and thus her grove is untouched.
Tristian: A man who fell in love with a dryad. He is a good man, though with a terrible choice in friends.
Marcus: Leader of the band of soldiers. Possibly turned into a wight.

The Ogre Inn - Encounter

This is just an idea I've been bouncing around in my head. It is open for discussion and further work:
As the party travels along the road, they come to realize that it is getting dark/bad weather etc.
A quick search around the area reveals an odd collection of very large rocks in the shape of a house.

If the party ventures closer they will see that a tree with its bark peeled off has been placed above a cave entrance. Upon the tree someone has carved deep with a crude tool (or a large fingernail) the word "in" and what appears to be a bed.
Within the "house" they see a fireplace, and some piles of moss that is supposed to be makeshift beds.
Upon the side of the wall they see another crude sign: "Pay fod." A crude wooden table seems to be the place to leave anything of value.

How the encounter can go:
- Players leave rations or saved food upon the table. (Create food spell or good berry will count as well.)
if the food is over a certain amount (discretion of DM) the night pass without trouble. The party wakes up rested and sees that the food is gone.
-If one of the players is awake, hold guard or pretends to sleep, they might notice that a boulder will shift and a hand will reach out and grab the food.
-If the players didn't leave any food and didn't have anyone stay awake to guard, a boulder will shift, an ogre will step and begin murder and eat the party.
I suppose a battle can be avoided if the party wakes up, dodges and gives the ogre their food with a good diplomacy check. A mediocre result can turn into one of the party being held hostage while the others have to find food, (or sneak in during night and save their friend while the ogre sleeps.)

Mashie the ogre. A female ogre with a broken arm. Figured out that it was easier to make food come to her than to chase down after sheep etc.
(Doesn't have to be an ogre. Can also be an ettin, hill giant or some other large creature.)
The inn consists of a large open space, an enclosed hidden space and a refuse pile inside the hidden
room where discarded bones and items are placed.
Some merchants might have gone missing over time and thus some bags of gold,+items of minor value can be expected.

tirsdag 25. juni 2013

Than'akh, wizard castle

In the country of Marrachia magic users are hunted down ruthlessly by the red guard. There is however one place that is safe and that is the mountain castle of Than'akh (which s not a name I just made up on the spot, <cough>). Situated high up on a mountain, the only way to get there safely is by magic. Once a year the teachers of the school take the trip into the lowlands to see if there are youth who knows magic. From there they give them an offer of joining them, away from the fears of being hunted down.

lørdag 22. september 2012

A wizards letter

A letter from a wizard to another, or 
alternatively: The uses of cursed dryad 

Dear Augustin,
Though we have not talked since I sold you that sphinx that actually turned out to be a castrated manticore, and it tried to eat you a couple of times, I felt the need to take contact with you once more in the hopes that you could find it in your heart to forgive me.
Hopefully the information this letter provides will be useful to you and you`ll avoid the mistakes I have done.

It all begun last year around the summer solstice when a band of adventurers came from the north carrying what they claimed was cursed dryad wood. Now, we have discussed this before, but for the sake of refreshing your memory as your specialty are cogs and not flora:
The dryad, aka the living tree human, or the tree spirit, belongs to the group of Homo Sylvus, or more specifically to the under group of Sylvus Dryadis. When it reproduces it sends out pollen which then is combined with any plants it encounter. If it is some sort of tree, you will have another Sylvus Dryadis grow up within the forest, but if happens to land in a flower, you will end up with a pixie, Sylvus Fatae, (Though there is the occasional, but rare one that lands within a carnivoreous flower and you end up with Sylvus Muscipula).
In any case, my research have found that though there are ways to make a dryad cursed, there are one way in particular that seems to affect them: The appearance of Sylvus Nidiformis. It can be best described as a mushroom pixie, and it happens whenever dryad pollen merges with a parasitic mushroom.
The end result is a flying parasite that will attach itself to trees, preferably dryads and then proceed to suck out the life-force from the dryad. As the dryad is in no way capable of detecting the danger, it does not notice it at first and instead tries to replace its waning life force. As the parasite continues to grow on the dryads’ body, the mental processes will deteriorate until the dryad is nothing but a carnivorous tree that attempts to eat anything that comes close enough. In addition the roots will tangle themselves to the roots of any nearby tree and drain them of their life force as well. The result is rather horrifying, and thus the idea of “curse” appears.

These dryads are however easy to spot by wandering adventurers as they are no longer able to bloom, they attack without warning (normal dryads are usually a bit more pacifistic in their approach and they get a appearance that looks absolutely horrifying. This is not actually proven, but the reports coming from adventurers seem to suggest that this is true, those who survived this are.) Not to mention the areas of gray forest that surrounds the dryad.

The local Sylvans usually do not wish for foreigners to chop down their trees, but they make an exception whenever this happens. Whether it is superstition or experience, they do not want to come near an area where the parasite has settled. Thus they usually call for adventurers and promise gold and treasure.

Anyway, as I started saying, at last year’s summer solstice adventurers appeared with a big load of this “cursed” wood and as dryad wood has a good deal of magic in it, I tried to make a bargain and bought some of it. I was not the only one however, and soon the adventurers had sold all they needed, counted their money and disappeared as quickly as they had arrived.

Soon after, the reports of this wood began popping up, and truth to be told, I was not completely unscathed myself either. I got myself a couple of books made from this material that I could write in. Now, I have encountered books that SHOULD not be read, but this is the first time I have encountered a book that does not WANT to be read. Opening the covers of one takes two strong men and holding it down to be written in requires a pair of metal blocks to hold the sides of it down.

Unfortunately as I was writing my notes, one of the metal blocks slid off and the book slammed shut around my hand, causing it to fracture in two places in addition to breaking two of my fingers. It had even pierced my skin several places as the book had apparently had decided to grow teeth out of spite.
Nevertheless, I decided to put the book issue to rest for then and instead opted to take a nice breakfast at my new table, which unfortunately was made out of the same material as the book. I had just poured myself a cup of fine tea when the table suddenly kicked me in the shins, threw all the content on its back onto the floor before it ran out the main door not unlike the image of a horse galloping.

Though the worst event was yet to come as I had forgotten I had ordered a chest to be made of this stuff as well. It played nice until I put my robe in, whereas it tried to slam its lid onto my fingers, before it chased my around my room, slamming it’s lid open and shut like a maw attempting to eat me.
Fortunately one of my servants came in and saw what was going on, and with quite the quick move, he grabbed an axe and cleaved the chest in two. Unfortunately my robe couldn’t be saved as the chest had tried to digest it somehow, making it all slimed and wet, whereas my servants axe made some irreparable rifts.
With the chest all hacked up, we tried to find another use for it, this time as firewood. Unfortunately the fumes coming from the wood is highly poisonous, but not deadly. Though I was in no condition to take notes at the time, it seemed to cause muscle cramps, and vomiting which lasted for several hours. A rather interesting side effect however is the ability to glow in the dark. I did not appreciate it at the time due to me having severe muscle cramps in my body, being unable to move anywhere for at least two hours.

As my breakfast table had ran away, and my man-eating chest had been burnt to ash (at this point I was not sure what to do with the ash, so I just put it in a lead covered box which was then melted down to prevent any openings.), I was still stuck with a pair of living books which attempted to chew out the remains of my library. Though the teeth easily managed to carve their way through the other books in a way that would make the most vicious cannibal proud, they had more trouble with the bookshelf which is made of iron oak.
We managed at last to capture them (though they put up quite the fight, much to the dismay of my servants who now got sore fingers.) and bind them with iron chains. As we can’t burn them, I decided to throw them out in my yard, whereas one part of the chain is fixed to the book and the other fix to a rather heavy rock. It is only a temporarily solution until I find a better one, though at the moment they seem serve a purpose at least: to scare away any beggars who come at my door.

I was not the only one with trouble concerning the cursed dryad wood as reports soon came in from the city. A few were concerning a galloping kitchen table that ambushed wanderers at the roads, but I was not sure what to do about that considering that it could even outrun the fastest horse in the county.
Another report came from old Stevenson who had a wardrobe made of the wood. He was quite surprised when it not only ate his clothes, but also decided to eat him as well. He had luck though as his daughter was nearby, and you know how tough she can be (she was the one who castrated the manticore I sold you.) Let’s say there wasn’t enough of that wardrobe after she was finished with it to build a dice. Besides being wet and confused, Stevenson recovered quite quickly afterwards.
A pattern seemed to suggest that the bigger the collection of dryad wood, the more trouble it made. For instance a couple of dice made out of the material had a rather stubborn trait to always get results not favorable to the owner, whereas forks had a tendency to stab their owners. Well, attempt to at least, wooden forks aren’t the most dangerous of weapons.
A scarecrow made out of the wood would seem particularly effective against the crows as it killed most of them on sight. Unfortunately it also harbored hatred against local farmers as well and attempted to strangle poor Ms Wilson son. Luckily it was not particularly well made and collapsed upon the effort.
The worst is however Captain Jack Blue who was to sail a ship made out of this wood. He was not deterred at all by the insane creaking and howling of the ship when he and his crew walked onboard one night. All that was left of him and his crew was a pile of bones and his hat we found in the morning. The ship had somehow eaten them, stripped them bare of their flesh and somehow discarded whatever it didn’t like on the nearby docks. I have no idea how it managed to do that, and I hope I will never find out.

In any way Augustin, if you ever happen to run across a bunch of adventurers who want to sell you a load of cursed dryad wood, please don’t. It is way more trouble than it is worth.
Also, you might want to stay clear of any black ships without crew that howls when you come near.

Your friend (hopefully),
.- Markus.

søndag 9. september 2012

Country of Barathia

Barathia, the land of the giantkin and mountains.

The few humans that live in this country reside in the southeastern parts of the country behind thick and tall stone walls.

In other parts of the country you find a few settlements of giantkin. Whereas in the mountains there are big caves carved out of the mountains where the king of giants reside.

Giantkin are humanoid creatures who have some resemblance with humans, though their size is rather different. They have many names, but they are often referred to as trolls, giants, ogres, cyclopes, dwarves and gnomes.
(The latter two may also be referred to as midgetkin.)

Little trade is done between this country and Marrachia due to the man-eating giants that pour over the boarders, making the lies of the Marrachians quite difficult.

Politically, the country is run by the Mountain King AKA, the biggest and toughest of the giants. Anyone who opposes him is deemed outlaws and exiled from the country.

mandag 6. august 2012

Marrachian fort

Just a small picture of a Maracchian fort guarding the river alongside the border.

It is a harsh job to be a border guard as giants have a tendency to not care about borders. They try to cross the river where it is shallow and in turn the guards fight them back with arrows and ballistas. It is a harsh fight, and many do not survive. Still it is a meager price as opposed to the damage a giant can do if it manages to cross the border.

There is a small village off screen which supports the fort with food and supplies. Their thoughts about the soldiers might vary, but they are always grateful when a giant is killed.

lørdag 28. juli 2012

The country of Marrachia

 Marrachia was originally a much smaller country, but during the last centuries it expanded its borders to the east and to the west where it met little resistance and quickly annexed the areas. Though the leaders of Marrachia have little control over the northwestern place, they still own it in the name.

 The country harbors a rather harsh hatred against magic anyone who uses magic. Though it hasn't been attacked by a wizard in a long time, it was totally devastated by magic users in a war a long time ago.

The survivors of said war survived thanks to inherent magic resistance and ability to spot magic. Fast forwarded today it means that there are very few magic users within the country, but very many who are able to fight against it.

The country is not at war against the Jawhanian empire, but there has been hostilities between them and they don't like eachother very much at the border.

At the northeast they do their best to protect the border against the constant onslaught of wild giants who constantly try to invade and tear their villages apart.

The country is divided into 6 different counties whereas each is controlled by a general. Each one has some responsibility of protecting the border against insurgents and invaders.

 The rule of the country is actually divided by the three upper generals who each have their base in the capitol. (the light green, teal and light blue counties.) They are the heads of the Red Cloaks which is a organization that is bent on hunting down any magic users as they see magic users as rather evil. The reasons may vary among the generals, but the result is the same.