måndag 3 september 2018

Adventure: Vale of Oblivion

 I took the key elements of The Buried Giant and made them into encounters. To turn them into an adventure, just place the numbers 1 though 16 in any region on your campaign map or use them for a quest. The original setting is mythic Britain, but you can easily reskin it to fit your world.

Encounters 1-16

1. In a shallow pit lives the she-dragon Querig, breathing a pacifying mist that seeps out into the entire region. Her hoard of roman gold is small by dragon standards, yet sizeable for this meagre land. Save or be unable to attack it. Once bloodied, the dragon will gasp for air and suddenly memories of old wrongdoings and suppressed animosities will flood the minds of all nearby characters. If killed, the denizens of the valley will be overcome with murderous rage for seven days and seven nights.

2. The legendary knight Gwain, well past his prime, traveling on the mandate of a long-dead king. The knight is on a perpetual quest to rid the region of monsters, but age has rendered him forgetful, clumsy and lacking in resolve. He is seldom in the right place at the right time, yet he keeps patrolling the roads like he has done for as long as anyone can remember and occasionally kills a beast. Together with a good mood and a genuinely helpful nature this still makes him well liked by the locals.
(The absent-mindedness and clumsiness is an act: the knight's true mission is to protect the dragon).

3. Four orphaned children living in the cottage of their dead parents, herding goats. Each day, the younger siblings bring all gray goats to graze, while the white ones stay behind to be fed poison by the older siblings. The children plan to use the poison-fed goats to kill the dragon and claim its hoard, to revenge the parents that it ate.

4. Reed-elves. They drain life for sustenance and want the weakest member of the party; if s/he is extradited, the rest are free to leave unmolested.

5. A small pond with refreshing water. Skeletons of massacred children litter the shores, barely covered by heather and soil.

6. A Ferryman. For a few pieces of Tin, he offers to row to an enchanted island just of the coast. All passengers must answer three questions truthfully and they must travel in separate boats - the sea is too rough. The ferryman makes no guarantees that passengers will arrive at the same location - considerations of weather and of tide - but surely capable and loving companions can find a way to reunite?

7. A mountain monastery, swarming with birds of prey. Many pilgrims come there to seek advice from the sage Jonus, widely considered the wisest man in the region. The monks keep a monster in the cellar, feeding it dissidents. To absolve themselves from this terrible sin, the monks chain themselves to a grate and offer their naked bodies for the birds to claw and peck.

8-9. Soldiers serving Lord Brennus, standing guard by a bridge [9. crossroads]. A warlike stranger has made a hidden camp nearby; if spotted, he asks the PCs to smuggle him across the bridge. He has nothing to hide, he claims, but prefer not to disturb the Lord's peace or be caught up in the bureaucracies of passing a guard post while being an armed stranger.

10. A cockatrice
. It petrifies any humans it encounter with its stare to injects them with poison, after which it crawls away. A petrified victim recovers in 1d6 hours, but any unwed man bitten by the beast must save. On a miss, he becomes obsessed with finding the dragon and live as its guardian and lover; on a hit, it is just a vague yearning.

11. An old crone
, bitterly following a man with old-fashioned clothes who has made camp in a ruined villa. She complains that the man tricked her husband into his boat and that now she cannot find him. The crone wails and curses and tries to harass the ferryman into leading her to her husband; but the man maintains his innocence, for he only carries consenting passengers in his boat.

12. Trolls.


13. Two ogres.

14. An elderly couple, slowly traveling form their home in burrow-town to the monastery (7) to seek counsel about a son they haven't seen in years. They have poor eyesight and suffer from mild dementia, but something in their stride suggests a prouder past.

15-16. Two villages: one in burrows (15) dug under a hill, the other built from planks and shielded by a palisade (16). Once, the villages waged war on another but hostilities are now a thing of the past.