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Rating: 3.9167
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ID: 3492


December 26, 2006, 5:18 am

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Woodland Tale


A Village by a forest, and a secret few knows. Will the PCs discover what dwells beneath the surface?

On a journey the adventurers travel through a particularly strange forest, full of odd butterflies and black animals. The forest offers little in the way of harm, and soon they are clear of it.

When the adventurers exit the forest, they arrive at a village. Problem is everyone appear strange, their clothes outlandish and their dialect thick with accent. When the adventurers close in on anyone, they make religious gestures and back away, as if they were afraid of the travelers.

Possible explanations:
1. Isolated Community: The PCs have arrived at an isolated community, sheltered from the rest of the world by the strange forest, called Deadrealm by the natives. According to local lore, the spirits of the dead dwell in the forest and the only ones that ever emerge from that wood are the restless dead come to claim the living. True enough, for the forest IS connected to the realm of death and a particularly vile spirit has drifted in the wake of the party, inactive at day. But when night falls, the screaming begins!

2. Cursed Forest: The forest is cursed and so is anyone that walked within it. The peasants truly believe that the characters are already dead; they just don’t know it yet. Problems begin when the PCs health starts deteriorating quickly, their arms growing frail and their breathing short. Soon wounds start appearing on the bodies of the characters and as time proceeds, they get more and more sick. Within two weeks they will all be dead. The solution lies in talking with the villagers. For they can tell that within the forest is the tomb of Indisthe, and only by appeasing her wrath can they hope to survive. She rests uneasy, her presence the source of the curse. Not before the great injustice has been avenged, will her soul know peace. Note: As long as they stay in the forest, the characters won’t die, but on the seventh night they will turn into butterflies.

3. The Taint: The Villagers are the descendants of the followers of Sandastur the Black, the rebel Prince. Following his defeat several centuries ago, his followers were cast out of the grace of the King and the Churches. Turning to darkness for guidance, these people no longer tolerate the presence of followers of the King. At daytime these villagers are normal, like you and me, but at night they change their guises, becoming literal nightmares of horror and fear, were-shadows – a mold of living flesh and corrupted spirits. If the PCs decided to stay at the village inn, they are in for an interesting night indeed. If they camp in the wilderness, the perimeter guards will hear odd sounds from the dark, for the were-shadows dare not come close to fire.

This is an experiment in designing adventures in a format similar to that of the short “Tales of Terror” plots that have been used in horror-themed games.  In this format, a short adventure setup is followed by three different explanations, each leading in a different direction.  If enough of these are collected, a

Tales of Adventure

Codex will be assembled.

Those interested in seeing the original “Tales of Terror” using this format may wish to go to Steve Hatherley’s website:  http://www.talesofterror.net

There manfred, I repaid the favor!

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Comments ( 10 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Wulfhere
December 25, 2006, 20:03
Huzzah! An evocative beginning is followed by several eerie possibilities!
Voted Cheka Man
December 25, 2006, 20:42
Thank you for this Boxing Day gift.
December 25, 2006, 21:40
Interesting. Nicely done.
Voted manfred
December 26, 2006, 4:11
Take a well-condensed Ancient Gamer, sprinkle it with a little care, and it will swell into a full-blown plot that will keep you entertained for a session (or few).

Well done!
Voted EchoMirage
December 27, 2006, 3:05
Two thumbs and a tail up! Short but vivid.
Voted Chaosmark
September 10, 2007, 22:25
Ancient Gamer
September 11, 2007, 13:20
Nifty is a variation of interesting, and as we all know, interesting means not interesting.


(Continuing a joke we had in the chat the other day)
Ancient Gamer
October 1, 2011, 13:41

Gonna use this tonight, for my kiddie D&D game. The party is travelling to the Enkhalam Valley to the Fortress of the Paladins, and en route they go through this forest. 

I will combine option 1 and option 2, call the forest Deadrealm, but use the Indisthe plot instead of the drifting spirit.

As it turns out, Indisthe wants her husband's corpse (skeletal bones more like) back from the Paladin Fortress in the Enkhalam Valley, and she will not release the curse until the PCs return with her husband.

So the PCs have to steal from the headquarters of their Paladin allies.

Ancient Gamer
October 4, 2011, 16:04
To quote my son:
"It was so boring to talk to those villagers. I wanted a monster to slay, but they only blah blah blah"

Voted valadaar
May 6, 2014, 14:52
Love the anecdotes attached to this one. A good solid adventure, with just the right level of detail to spark it.

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Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Wet Faeries

       By: Murometz

Sages and naturalists frown at the common name given to these strange creatures by the small folk, but sometimes the silliest nicknames for creatures, places and people persevere in the minds of many. “Purifiers”, “Pond Jellies”, “Breath-Stealers”, “Lung-Ticklers” and “River Butterflies” are much less commonly heard appellations for these life forms. Wet Faeries are basically (and simply) a species of fist-sized, fresh-water jellyfish. Several traits steer them toward the peculiar category however. Firstly, Wet Faeries are nearly invisible in the water, much like their marine cousins but even more so. One can swim in a river swarming with these critters and not even notice their presence. Secondly, they possess the unique ability to clean and purify whatever body of water they inhabit. They do this via some sort of biological filtration process, sucking in all toxins present in the water, and releasing it back in its purest form. Needless to say, they are both a blessing and a curse to whichever folk dwell beside the rivers and lakes Wet Faeries inhabit. On one hand, no purer water can be found anywhere than a Wet Faerie lake or pond, and yet, in “pure” water “life” tends in fact to die out, lacking the needed nutrients to prosper. Thirdly, their “sting” is (unfortunately) virulently poisonous to all mammalians. Wet Faeries are loathe to sting anyone or anything, using their barbed fronds as a last line of defense, but if stung, most swimmers will suffer respiratory arrest, and die within minutes, usually drowning before they can make it back to shore.

Alchemists, druids, and less savory characters have studied these creatures over the years, and have predictably found all the ways Wet Faeries could be exploited. Morbidly humorous, some bards find it, that the Poisoners and Assassins Guilds as well as the Healer’s Union, all prize these creatures. The assassins use the extracted venom in obvious fashion, while the priests and healers use the still-living jelly-fish to sterilize other poison potions and to cure those already poisoned on death’s door.

It is known that a certain Earl Von Trumble keeps his vast castle moat stocked with Wet Faeries, the waters so clear that every bone of every one of his past enemies can be clearly seen on the bottom, twenty two feet below.

Encounter  ( Any ) | June 20, 2014 | View | UpVote 5xp

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