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Comments: 10
Ideas: 0
Rating: 3.9167
Condition: Normal
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:

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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