[This is specific to the Aelfpath of Cormyr adventure, by Eric Swanson 2019] Author: Kelly Berger, 2020
Background: The party, having defeated the handmaiden of Lolth and its allies, are searching for a safe place to return to the Forgotten Realms (™) setting. They are on the shore of a vast sea, mirrored in the realms east of Cormyr.
The battle has left you exhausted, lying in a bed of blood and ichor, staining the ground around you, and interrupting the pleasant colors and relaxation you had grown accustomed to. A cacophony of small and strange woodland creatures slowly rises to a crescendo – but the creatures remain out of your site, small and hidden all around you. Finally, a beautiful man steps from behind a tree, naked and shining, and motioning for you to gather around him. By now, the strangeness is normal, and you assume had he evil intentions he would have made you aware.
Let the party make any preparations. Nothing happens unless they take direct action to harm the figure, otherwise hostile actions will not provoke any response.
Finally, you assemble and listen to what he has to say. “Many thanks from those of this path. While you could not sense it, our senses were assailed by the abyssal stench from those whose blood you spilled. The shores of the sea remain polluted for us, but it will wash away in time (he smirks). We offer you the gratitude of our place and time and hope you will stay and avail yourself of the brief comforts we can offer. Music (as a soft piping begins to play in the distance from all around you), feasting (at which strange flowers and vegetables bloom where he waves his hand), and warmth. From all around small motes of light drift, warming the area and illuminating it with colors and lights you have never seen.
The party gains the condition: [Indebted Path] while in this Aelfpath until they leave it, then the condition is gone forever..
Eating restores all normal damage done to a character.
Resting in the sun removes any poisons or diseases (magical or otherwise) on a character.
The day passes. The food is strangely unfilling – though the taste and texture is a delight and you eat far beyond your usual amounts. After a day of rest wherein you barely gave a thought for your lives and happenings in your homeworld, the air clears and you realize you are out of place. You awake to the sound of a clock ticking, and the symbolism of the perils of staying here too long are evident to all. There is a haggard look in everyone’ eyes that was not there yesterday. It takes you a long time to shake off the morning lethargy before you are ready to go. You prepare trek to find a safe place to return to your homelands, a shadow of a place that will allow a safe “landing” on the other side avoiding foes and friend alike who may mistake you.
You realize that Masrah al Calim [NPC] is gone. One of your companions is also gone – Rivkin.
“And now, the path calls me, and i must deliver the news along the Laey so that all may rejoice that the pollution is cleansed.” And with that, the figure turns and seems to slip sideways into some shadow and is gone. A slight puff of smoke drifts away, turning violet as it goes. The normal sounds of a forest return faintly. Each time the wind blows through, these sounds fade… as if they are echoes.
Perception DC 15
You hear a faint whistling in the distance.
Follow it to its source… a singing dryad can tell the party exactly what happened to Masrah. The Dryad Oakleaf Greenblade can tell the party the Satyr took Masrah, and she will live forever here in the Aelfpaths.
SIDE TREK RESCUE: If the party insists on looking for her, it will take several tracking checks overland opposite of where they want to go, and into the Gold Misty Vale. Here they will have to navigate the mists, find her, and battle the Satyr prince in a contest of music. Attacking him will summon a dozen satyrs. Eventually a charmed party will be set back where they started, each older by 5 years and pale – as if they had had no sun in that time. They will have Disadvantage on Constitution saves until they leave this Aelfpath.
Per dc 15 = scared
The party can attempt a DC 15 Persuade check. If it succeeds, she will mention that Rivkin was also taken – but by the Three of Hyphee. The three women of the Well of Hyphee. “Dangerous they are, radicals, wicked, some say even colorless. Best to let them have your companion – they never take without sinister design. To even speak of them is dangerous! Follow the ancient Broken Road. I will speak no more!” She will dissapear as the shadow of a tree brach blowing in the breeze crosses her.
Dc 10 int colorless
> The PC’s can look for a trail (DC 10), it leads through blocking thick foliage that hides the Broken Road.
The characters have been exploring deep in the woods and wandered through a strange mist, or have had it settle on their campsite. This mist has brought them to the shore of a sea in a strange land. They awaken after feeling as though they are falling for hundreds of feet.
You fall, your breath lost and unable to scream. What was once the soft embrace of a mist that crept over you, turns into a shudder and then your legs are standing on nothing, Just as your sanity begins to crack, you blink at a stark and clear night sky above you. Stars of all colors that you do not recognize seem all around you within reach. A figure appears out of the shadows, and you sense no malice in its approach. “Welcome strangers, the path of Mafain has drawn you forth from whatever duty or task you have been on to one here. There have been great disturbances recently, and the Laey is unraveling. Taken from me is my mate, and it is our vision which holds the strands of the pattern together here. Without him we are doomed to fade from memory. I implore for your help. I can offer nothing until he is restored to me. I will see to your return, and grant you a boon as a token of my happiness. What say you, the mist is fading fast… you must return whence you came or embark upon the quest for my sake.”
She will answer few questions until the PCs decide to accept the quest. In such a case, as the last of the mist flows away it will remove any disease, poisons, and damage the party currently has. It will hold any curses at bay until the recipient leaves the Aelfpaths. It will fade to reveal a bounty of breads, puddings, vegetables, and wines in ceramic cups. As the party slakes their hunger and thirst, she will explain that her mate has been kidnapped, by someone or something. There is a old Broken Road which leads from the sea – it is overgrown and unused by any but a few. I can take you to it, but i must stay here. My power generally cannot move without my mate. It appears that whoever kidnapped her used this road.”
Storm Giant’s Breath
You are trudging the area around the lake, looking for clues. A great boom is suddenly heard, causing you to drop and look for cover immediately. Its as if a giant had landed from a fall. Its followed by another booming, and then two more. From over the horizon, a blue form can be made out. Lightning crackles around it. It is pursuing some serpent like creature through the air – how either are flying is beyond you. They pass over, seemingly oblivious and the serpent turns out of the water and the battle is joined. A massive column of water arises, and figure writhe and twist in it, jumping off onto the giant to aid the serpent. Smaller serpents come from the depths, flying up to join in the battle. Suddenly, the giant flies a hundred feet higher, and you see a nimbus gather around him. Lightning lances from clouds that looked peaceful a moment before. It hits his body and all the tiny creatures annoying it turn to ash and die – their screams drowned out by a mighty wind as the giant exhales a massive breathe and pushes the serpents rising to meet it back down into the water. The downdraft never stops, it hits the water and rushes out in every direction – knocking you over and causing you to be bowled 20 or more feet, lifting and throwing some of you. The quiet after is stunning. The large serpent regards its foe, and slithers its way from the sky back into the waters below. The giant watches it, ignoring you, and flies straight up until he can be seen no more.
The Downdraft: Any time the party tries to use a fly, levitate, or the like either item or spell, they will find a downdraft slows them to half speed and does not allow them higher than 10’ without forcing them down until they touch the ground,
> The action may reveal the overgrown start of the Broken Road to help the party if they need it.
Setting Off on the Broken Road
Following the trail you have been alerted to, you hack your way through the foliage along a long unused road leading away from the great sea on who’s shore you camped. The foliage seems to slowly grow back behind you. You keep hacking, a hundred feet and you can barely make out light but up ahead is a beam of sunlight streaming down. The massive bramble walls part and the road is made obvious before you. Standing in the beam of light is a shadowy figure. It patiently waits for you to reach it, and smiles warmly. Its eyes sparkle but other than humanoid, its form is mostly familiar but the details are indiscernible. “Well met and well kempt. Souls of a stranger and you must not hide from danger. Thin am I, though tough and spry. The Laey of the land, I take you in hand. Follow the path, avoid the sisters wrath.” It closes its eyes and puts its finger to its lips, while stepping aside and gesturing down the path.
Dc 15 int = stick around = more?
The figure will not answer questions – they insistently point down the path. Characters may try and Persuade them (DC 15) to aid them further, in which case they will stop and pull a flower (had not noticed) nearby, speak in some variant of Elvish, and the flower gains a fresh appearance. “Take this, crush it and it will brace your spirit in times of great fear.” If the Persuade check is a major result or they have the [Indebted Path] condition, then: “The figure gives you an scintillating acorn, and says to plant it into the roots of a tree if you need aid. It will only work once, and cease to be of any use once you leave this path.”
> The flower will dispel all fear/horror effects in a 30’ radius (it only works in the Aelfpaths). = insight dc 17
> The acorn will summon a shadowy spirit, to answer a single question (can direct the PC’s to the easiest route to the Well of Hyphee – through The Grim Arch and Misty Cut using a tune whistled as they walk it will be revealed), or summon allies to aid the party as a 6th level Conjure Woodland Beings (https://roll20.net/compendium/dnd5e/Conjure%20Woodland%20Beings#content)
The Broken Road
[Many Aelfpaths Feature This] The Broken Road seems to be so called because its generally broken up by encroaching foliage every so often. Its rolling, and meanders back and forth – no straight lengths more than 150 feet. The road itself allows for normal travel pace, its just every 150 feet or so, a fallen tree, overgrowth or brambles covers all or a majority of the road. Easy to go around in each case.
The real reason is more insidious…
After a mile, the PC’s should each make a DC 11 Dexterity save or they fall, twist an ankle, sprain a wrist in breaking a fall, or in general get bumped, broken and scraped. Wind. Each failure is a point of damage which cannot be healed unless the PCs are 100 feet away from the road.
Optional: For each 3 points of damage they sustain, they will lose 5’ of movement.
Dreams End Ford
Up ahead is a old stone bridge that spans a river, and on the other side a rickety old Inn. It appears to be in sad shape, slightly leaning, greying wood, in need of any help it could get. However, the sign outside is freshly painted with a cloud and jumping sheep. A light puff of smoke drifts from an ancient stone chimney on one side. Theres a barn in even worse shape next to it, with a old sign in front of it.
Inn Sign > It reads “Dreams End Ford – Last hot meal for a damn long while. All are welcome!”
Barn Sign > PER DC 15 = sprite/small movement – finishing writing sign
It reads “No smith on premise. Corral and feed your own damn horses.” In tiny print, it warns about first come, first serve and no fighting, spitting, poo flinging, mud throwing, etc.
Inside, the Inn appears bigger than the outside.Smells like musty bread. It still appears to be in bad shape, and the floors all creak and hinges squeal. There only appears to be a single person in the Inn, behind the bar an youngish looking country man (human) dressed in rough clothes and furs. The place is clean but sparse. A large two handed cudgel hangs behind the bar. He smiles and his teeth are a wreck – dirty, growing in different directions, and obviously cutting his lips often. He speaks with a lisp. “Ah, welcome strangers. Dont get many visitors around here. Come saddle up to the bar and tell me how it is with you and wither thou go!”
Whadya say, whadya do, whadya know?
Demet’s Story: Not from any place you ever heard of, refused to share my fire with a gypsy and ended up here when i woke up. Frankly, my teeth aint got worse, i aint aged, and its not a bad gig – lonely (he shrugs). I get few visitors, theres always food, the seasons dont change much. Could be way worse friend!
> He is actually a wereboar. https://roll20.net/compendium/dnd5e/Wereboar#content
“Theres no charge for any service, except maybe a story, some news, music if you can and a dance if a lady will oblige me. Things do get a little weird out there on the road. I dont know how to explain it, but its safe here. Every now and then, stuff goes missing – i always find it, but im sure it those little buggers i see sometimes when im chopping wood. Small price to pay, really. I couldn’t cook to save my life, but here, it all turns out ok. I guess i probably cant still cook, but hey, someone’s gotta like me!? Anyway, stay for the night. Ill go make sure the beds are fluffed – so long between guests and the dust does collect. HAd one guest sneeze his way out and curse me for an shoddy innkeep – but that was… i dont know, a hundred years ago? Two? I was new, so he could have cut me a little slack. Took a year before the curse stopped and i did not sneeze myself every minute.
> It appears 100% that hes non threatening.
He says he dont know what they are, fairy, leprechaun, sprite, whatever. Truly weird shit prowls the road a mile onward.
Cha dc 12
The hills in the distance – the low ones – thats the Sticky Hills, and the big old mountain range is the Bluetfrost Mountains. Yea – no one goes there, big blue giants and other things there, avoid it like the plague. Not that its got plage, but you know. Anyway, Ive only been a few days travel down the road. Lots of weird shit out there. Like wierd, like i dont even know how to describe it. I think i must have ate some of those special mushrooms – if you know what i mean. He smiles, and his lip splits with a fresh cut as blood dribble down. “Ah shit. I hate that.”
Per dc 12
He can be persuaded for entertainment to tell his only travel tale. He says he traveled past a small forest with some odd critters that talked to each other, a clear lake (there were a couple of hot chicks there, i tried to smile and talk to them, but ive never had much luck with the ladies), and saw a shimmering blue-purple topped forest and felt a sense of dread. “Thats when i decided this gig was as good as it was going to get for me. So, here i am. Mister hospitality!”
=not speak of them… curse
Menu: Grog (whoa!), [very young] wine, and he makes his own Port (he traded the recipe for his left testicle “left test”- literally to a fairy, the grog and wine he hates). Quail, eggs, bread, fruit, goat and lamb, cheese.
The PLAN: As the party gets drunk (food takes forever – last one cold), the Boggles hidden all around will try and pilfer things. If the PC notice it, Demet just says it will all reappear by morning, all around the Inn. As an example, he will set a cup of Port down, looks up – whats that- and go to grab it and it will be gone. Perception DC 20 and a person can hear high pitched laughter.
See invisibility = nothing. The faeries still hide. Use illusion to make it seem like faeries/sprites
Per dc 16
Dc 15 nature
The REVEAL: If pressed why he does not get upset of vanished things he says that the party has got him.
“HE dont age, but he can die – almost did a few times. Look, the fairies – its a test. IF you get mad, they keep your stuff. IF you pretend like it does not matter, they bring it back. Mostly i get lone travelers and the fairies end up keeping something – that makes em happy. I run for it, the traveler usually breaks a bunch of stuff or tries to fight them. One tried to burn me down! Anyway, a day later they move on, i move back in, and the fairies keep fuckin with everyone.”
= Sounds convincing. But its a lie. The Boggle are trying to disarm the party, then attack.
There is [Party # x 2] Boggles – See Volos Guide
Cudgel: He calls it “brain smasher” – 2d6 + 8 on a Major Hit or better, the target musk make a Constitution DC 16 save or be Incapacitated for 2 rounds. He will get an attack of opportunity next round if they stay within 5’.
Detect magic in bar = door dpwn + ;ock dc 15/poison shape change dc 15 = reincarnate curse major
Door = magic mouth
He mostly has to give stuff to his Fey allies, but he has accumulated a small hoard.
A massive set of scrolls from [PC homeworld – he has been using as toilet wipes] on rare and uncommon history of the founders of a prominent nation. Its near priceless, and at least 20% is brand new minor and obscure facts that were never known from ancient sources. A career could be made off of it. The dialect is old. There is a diary of the author’s travels – the last entry says that he is traveling into the Feywild to seek an ancient elf to barter for the last bit of hidden knowledge he thinks is missing.
3 Candles of Invocation (2 chaotic evil, 1 lawful good ) from a duel in which the winner was killed by the Innkeep!
A Bag of Beans 8
13 assorted gems @ 25/50/100/250/500/1000 (D6) value each
1481 silver coins
203 gold coins
Furs worth 500
Various sundry items in the Inn are worth a few hundred.
Rinse and Repeat
No matter what, the Innkeep will rise up from whatever grave he gets buried in after a relative Long Rest. He will return to his haunt and seek new allies.
Marith – if burned attracted
Per dc 12
1 mile – fades with flame
Left side; getting lost random. If success find a pond with woman and shawl or lost
Current calamity p112 dmg
The Grim Arch
Check the weather when party arrives > DMG p. #109 = odd
Ahead along the road is a open area. Two to three wagons could easily stop here. There is evidence of old fire pits that travelers once sat around for warmth. They are long unused. No one appears to have been here. The road continues on. There are several spurs that lead to open areas where travelers have set up tents – it looks like a crossroads with five paths, but it is simply a flat area that many have camped in. It reminds you of how tired you are.
Dc per to find 20
Only if the PCs have been taught the tune and at least one is whistling will this arch reveal itself. It appears to be an archway in a stone cliff base that leads into darkness. The arch is in the shape of a maw that will swallow any who walk into it. It is cool in the passage and flat.
> As long as the characters are whistling when they go through it, nothing happens. Each character must whistle the tune, or the maw will bite them (Dexterity DC 20 check or 8D6/28 damage) though let them pass if another is whistling.
The darkness seems to stretch out forever, and just when you are about to give up hope, it opens into a plain. The plain is covered in mist, but there is a trail you can barely make out. If you go slow, the winds keep enough of the trail visible to allow you to keep on it.
> Getting off the trail will cause them to exit where they came in – the arch.
Camp = nightmares; dream. = exhaustion dc 11; Of an arch nearby – down every path. Fotce goi into arch =
Follow = sanity dc 20 d6/ 15 2d6 psychic/ 10 4 d6
Int check 10 = human arrow / no clothes
The Misty Cut
Unless the PCs are coming from The Grim Arch, the Misty Cut can only be found on a DC 25 Perception check.
Coming From the Arch > The pathway begins to get more worn and stable. On both sides of you are hills that rise hundreds of feet. Ahead a sad wind blows, and the mist becomes as salty as tears. You stumble out into a roadway – the Broken Road – as it winds in both directions through a valley you are in.
Divination = san check dc 10 / nothing
The angry Satyr
The road winds off into the distance. There are valleys on either side, and low rolling hills. A sweet breeze brings the sound of far distant music, and then fades. The sky is open, the air is warm. It is almost as if you are compelled to take a deep breath. When you do, your nostrils flare and your skin vibrates with a strange sense. You shake your head and the road seems to vanish for a moment, but reappears.
If the PCs are all charmed (each one has to make two checks; dc 13 and 18), then the Satyr will steal an item from each of them, and make his way into the Feywild. His tracks will blend with those of a congregation of 10 deer and he will be lost.
1 mile and new dex check / free action = no
The Bear and Owl
The road goes through a forest. Ahead is a large tree. At its base is a bear, on its hind legs talking to something in the branches.
> Getting closer you see a giant owl in the tree looking down. You can make out what the bear is saying, it appears to be reciting poetry! Oh sorsha, i dwell in darkness without you
The bear is romancing the owl. This is how you get owlbears!
The party can ignore it (the bear watches skeptically as they pass) or help the bear. If any character has a skill in song, poetry or storytelling, they can help the bear succeed in his quest for romance.
If they do, the character helping comes under the effects of a Protection from Good/Evil for 24 hours. If they attack the bear, the owl will attempt to lift and drop, and claw and peck anyone attacking her potential boyfriend.
Dc 13 = – 1 curse
Desc = ???
Winds rise up
Per 13 = singing / insight 10 malign – singing is nice otherwise.
Sylvan – sounds of wind and flavor of salt; stonesmuth is our home and now the home of the dead
The shore is not named because its water is clear, its named because of the clear sound the sirens make as their song skips across its surface. The harbor at Stonesmuth used to be a place of refuge in the Stormladen Sea. The Sirens would tame wave and winds in the harbor to allow boats to anchor and weather out the storms. The faeries would fill the mirrored beacon with light to help the sailors navigate in. They would do this in exchange for food, wine and rarities given their bare coast. Now, they have been corrupted by the Sisters of Hyphee, and cause sailors to wreck and laid siege to the faeries of the lighthouse. False light leading them to doom, charmed steersmen, battering winds and waves have taken their toll – several sunken wrecks litter the bay.
P #116 DMG – Rndom Sea Encounters
Check the weather when party arrives > DMG p. #109
Any disturbance brings at least one of the sirens on 1 on D4.
Stealth dc 9 assures quiet or ear blocks vs. song = disadvantage
Bay of Sherevan
The bay is choppy and the broken breakwater allows for treacherous tide flows. A weathered lighthouse stands watch on the promontory – its light is either dead or broken – after watching for several minutes a weak flash appears in the top of the lighthouse. The beach on one end is clear and smooth, and covered with dunes on the other. Near that far end, the remains of docks can be seen. It looks like one ship is still moored to the docks. Little remains of them though – it appears they have been torn apart over the years of constant lashing and battering. Strange winds blow in multiple directions in the short time you are observing. Nothing here feels settled. Opposite the breakwater is what appears to be a barren cove.
Beach of Bones
What was once a white sandy smooth beach is now mostly covered in drifting dunes. Strange braches stike up from the ground. As you get closer, the branches are seen clearly for what they are – the bleached bones of humanoids. To get to the docks, you would have to pass through tis eerie graveyard of a sort.
The characters can be careful to pick their way through it to get to the broken down docks. A DC 14 Perception check is required for each character. If they are retracing another character’s path, it’s a DC 10. Otherwise coming within 10’ of a skeleton will cause it to animate.
A 1 on a D6 indicates they have a cutlass (D8) and belaying pin (D4) and get 2 attacks. Otherwise they are armed with their boney hands (2 claws for D4)
The docks are clearly falling apart and dangerous. The pilings are often broken and massive holes in the planking provide for unstable paths. Storms have stredded any supplies and all thats left of the wharehouses on the beach are the foundations of chimneys. Debris covered the area, bleached by the sun and weathered by wind and rain – it all looks ancient. The boot that appeared moored from a distance is actually sunken in place while moored. Its mostly intact, having been hurled onto the beach before being breached. The backend is breached and sea water rushes in and out.
Partially Submerged Wrecks
Two wrecks are still explorable – they have not sunk.
1: 100 x d10
2 100 x d10 + 5
The one denizen in the wreck has eaten all the others. It fears the sirens and simply stays hidden from them, biding its time. It has escaped its cage and hunts seafood to live, waiting for a mmonet to break free.
There are several that can barely be made out and can be explored.
Can negate hyphee powers.
A lonely cove, barren of any seaweed, vegetation, or creatures stretches before you. The bleached white driftwood blends in with the white sand, framing what was once a decorated entrance to some sort of cave. Now, the driftwood is haphazardly piled over the entrance – blocking it from casual glances or sightings from a distance. It lies just 20’ from the edge of the water. Nothing moves.
A giant crab guards the entrance. If characters begin to move away the driftwood, it will attempt to run from the water and using surprise grapple a victim. It will then take them underwater to drown (suffocation – not holding breath at rest) and feed on.
The cave entrance was once framed with beautifully decorated driftwood. Now it is old and weathered. There are no tracks, but its obvious the something comes in and out of this place. The cave is about 8’ at the mouth and 5’ wide. It opens into a tunnel that curves left after about 20’.
See Sea Cave
Made of shells and rock, this is an obviously artificial breakwater. How long it took to construct is anyone’s imagination. The shells glint colors in the sun, and waves into whispers when they hit it. Odd birds of scintillating colors nest on it, flitting to and fro, searching for sea life to dine on.
After a while it becomes obvious that the sea birds drop the used shells of food they find on the breakwater – this is probably how it was built.
Perception DC 20 or Nature DC 15 to recognize that some nests have young or eggs in them – there appears to be no specific season for hatchlings.
Arcana DC 15 to recognize the colors of the birds and Faerie Fire colors.
If an egg is thrown and hits a target, it is covered in Faerie Fire for 24 hours. Hatchlings can be used as an animal messenger spell, cast at 5th level.
If a hatchling or egg is stolen, the breakwater erupts with a Swarm of Ravens (scintillating sea birds) to attack each character; each swarm can cast Faerie Fire and Thunderwave 1/Short Rest. Two whole swarms can together make a Wind Wall spell 1/Long Rest
The passageway meanders back and forth, leaving no single stretch more than 15’ as a straight line. The wind makes strange noises as it whistles in and out fo the passage. The floor of the passage has a small stream with a trickle of water running out of it towards the sea.
The water is freshwater, not salt.
Any movement in the passage which obstructs the wind and changes its flow/tune will alert the sirens. Any remaining sirens will be here, hoping the party has exhausted themselves on the other hazards.
Their “pet hound” – a water elemental. It will attack intelligently, when the party is most vulnerable and using any water created or the small stream leading to the beach to travel behind the party and gain surprise.
The sirens can also command a swarm of the scintillating sea birds from up to a mile away.
Common Siren Powers
Fog Cloud, Gust of Wind, Wall of Water (2 D8 Cold/2 D8 bludgeon; moved 30’ back and knocked prone or Save for half and no prone): 1/Short Rest
If the Sirens can, while in their cave they will send the party back into the tunnel with wall of water, which will do an additional 2 D6 bludgeoning damage as the party is battered back against its walls for double the distance as it acts as a funnel)
Charm Person (1 Action; 120’) 1/Round; Use Bonus and Reaction to extend range each by another 120’
Power word stun
Bigby clenched fist
Passage = sharp banacle covered = gust of wind
If sirens rescued = reverse curse
Sanity dc 8 = or drawn to Debia
The Low Forest
Dex dc 12
Check the weather when party arrives > DMG p. #109
The Mad Dryad
Ahead the path you are following drops into a heavily forested ravine. You can hear the sound of a young child crying echoing through the trees.
Dc 12 stealth
Speak with animal?
-A dryad sits crying on the stump of what used to be her home, slowing descending into madness. Animals shreik and wail in alarm and she turns to you. “No! You will have no more of me! You will not take me or those i hold dear – pull them down my little ones!”
> She will attack the characters on sight! She has many animal companions – wolf, bear, owl, fox, swarm of crow and insects she can call on that she has made friends with in her glade. The swarms leave non natives infected with a itching, stinging feeling that courses throughout their blood. Any time a character attempts a Action or Bonus Action they have disadvantage for 24 hours.
Con dc 17
If the party subdues her instead of killing her, then she will grant them a blessing that lasts for a day when she wakes and listen to reason. The animals stop attacking if she is subdued or killed as well. Killing her will cause the party to be attacked at the entrance to the Mournful Valley – forced to go through the Howling Marshes. If she is healed, she says that her tree home was violated, her slippers stolen, and her flower garden wilted by a nasty old ‘black branch’. She cannot elaborate – except to say the black branches are the opposite of here. IF they get her slipper back (she made them with her hair), she will tell them how to pass the guardians of the Mournful Valley.
The party could help her try to find who did it, maybe leaving her with a druid to rehabilitate while she waits. If they do it, the Druid gains +1 CON while in this Aelfpath.
The Blighted Ones
Several blights torment the dryad, and destroyed her tree. They are feeding off the life force they drained.
Blight Warlock 11th
4 cantrips – Eldritch Blast (3), Poison Spray, Chill Touch, Minor Illusion
1 – Hellish Rebuke, Charm Person, Protection Evil/Good, Unseen Servant,
2 – Shatter, Invisibility, Mirror Image, Misty Step
3 – Counter Spell, Fear
3 slots @ 5th level
Minion of Chaos: Conjure Elemental
REpelling Blast (10’)
Mire of the Mind: Slow
Dreadful Word: Confusion
“Oh my slippers!” She laughs with joy and spins each of the party around and around, dancing and leaping with happiness. She asks for them to be silent, dons her slippers, and the party can watch her sneak silently up to a beehive up in a tree a hundred or so feet away (she tells them to keep back). She steals honeycomb from the hive. A piece for each PC – this heals the eater fully. It also casts Darkvision on them and Eagle’s Splendor (advantage on Charisma checks) both for 24 hours after eating. “Now i will tell you the Tale of Love’s Lost – this will get you past the guardian in the Mournful Valley on the road ahead.”
> She tells a tale of an ancient elven prince, who pledged to defend his family and his love in the same breathe. He had to choose between them and could not, losing the love of all and cursing himself in the process. Now he presides of the souls of the Winter Fey in a broken and lonely place.
If the party cannot get the slippers back, she thanks them for not hurting her and circles them with laughter and vanishes in the mist. The party is free to go, but does not get the Tale of Love’s Lost to tell the guardian of the Mournful Valley.
Goblin Road to Nowhere
Dc 12 dex
Goblins standing in a spur of the road, about 300 feet off the main road, arguing over something. They do not seem to notice you. Some of them seem to be standing around in a circle, while other argue, pointing in different directions. The ones in a circle suddenly break out into a fight. Only when it seems you could drive a wagon by without noticing, do they stop and point at you. Far from the “charge” you expect, they all start cheering. One of their number, dressed in black with a rune or something on his red cape, is hoisted above their heads and paraded around. They drop their sacks and packs and seem to be breaking out in drink.
The cape says “#1” in Orrish.
Arguing over whether or not a summon spell worked – party is clear evidence it did.
Goblins got trapped here, sent by infernal warband as a scout brigade. They have been lost. The shaman “summoned aid” – he thought the group was going to tear him apart. They have to go back along the road and someone put up a toll booth. Its guarded by a giant, and the goblins got no money since they got lost and could not participate on the raid.
Options: Fight the goblins
Options: Pay the toll
> 10 gold coin – must be gold; or the giant attacks the “cheap bastards”
Option: Kill the giant – sleeping surrounded by cans on strings = steve
> The hill giant actually breaks into tulip petal confetti if it dies.
Option: Walk away
Dc 12 dex
Giant badger with glasses/lost
Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh stay away, stay away! Dont hurt me! I’ll scream! I swear it! Raaaaaaape!
Yells as go by
Dc 10 something hears
3 dire wolf hunters that fly
Per dc 15 to hide
Dc 12 dex
Ahead there is a hill, and the road gently sweep around its base. You stop, for a form charges up the hill, perhaps looking to fire on you from above! You hear “Weeeeeeeee” as the figure – obviously the silhouette of an animal, rolls some sort of boulder up the hill. When it gets to the top, it uses its snout to hit the ball hard. It sails over the road and lands in a tree opposite. The beast snorts and site, shaking its head. And then it begins to cry.
Giant boar chasing a ball, ball gets stuck in the tree.
Option: Kill the Boar – wereboar
Option: Get the Ball
The Olde Tree
Dc 12 dex
The sun is high in the sky. It seems like its just hanging there, blazing down with nothing between you and it. A large tree sits astride the road. Its roots are large and deep, and the tree offers inviting shade. You throw down your gear and take refuge in its roots. You drink thirstily from your stores and relax for a moment. Suddenly ancient and deep voice echoes around you, “So tired. So very tired. My roots have dried up, the sun’s trek across the sky is almost done. Tell me a story before i go friend.”
Option: Tell a Story
Major: -1 curse
Option: Kill the Tree
The road continues to meander. Never a straight line for more than a few hundred feet. A majestic figure steps out of a light mist. The magnificent stag holds its head back, and the sound of a hundred braying donkeys echoes across the rolling grasslands. All the grass leans over, as if sound and scent is driving it away. It hits with the stench of a privy, the heat of a brushfire, and the weight of a stone rolling over you.
Option: Kill it. If it is shot or attacked – “stop it” – + summon a biting swarm leaves stebch/cp;pr
Party lamp is preferred gift
A Seahorse Balloon
Bright blue trees loom up into the sky, covering a small rise to your right. A strange sound can be heard, repeatedly. After each sound is the crackling of branches and an exclamation.
Giant floating sea horse farting around
A Gorgeous Roadblock
A massive forest of thorns mysteriously appears between the party and their destination.
Giant frogs in pond having discussion
The frogs are speaking in Sylvan. They are having a deeply complex conversation about magic. If the party listens to them, they find that the sun is sinking low and they have lost track of time.
DC 14 Intelligence check = +1 to any Arcana check
Bear on the Run
Giant bear charging / cannot see giant bees pursuing
“Oh shit oh shit”
Turn on the Bat Signal
Swarm of bats makes moon in sky crescent
None Shall Pass
Animated armor with animated sword with animated pavillion tent
“None shall pass” – empty stream bed with fancy foot bridge
Red cap on a stick/staked out in a clearing = warning (magic mouth – if destoryed turns into aswarm of rot grub (volo guide)
Sprite zombies = warning
A Warning Sign
Elf crucified w/magic mouth = swarm of rats w/disease
Glen of madness (DMG madness)always sunlight on the other side = cast shadows, shadopws do cold damage.
Hunting trap D4
mockery sprites using a horn to amplify
Horn flying through the air
Message for you Sir
Elven runner to court – message for you sir!
The Talking Cave
Merragon mord foes = guards
Mm nothic – trase knoeledge
= mordk foes
The Scholars Tower
Mordekainenes foes – Allip
Time has placed both allip and its vitim in an endless loop
An inviting tower from afar is surrounded by tidy gardens and a few small homes and sheep, goats and chickens. The aniamsl seem normal, other than their rainbow colors.
Ram with white horns = defends its flock
Oi – who goes there!?
Mournful Valley of the Winter Faey
A spirit graveyard in the Realm of the Winter Fey (the realm closest to death)
The spirit of a long dead Elven king. Winter Elarin (mordfoes)
Sustenance. COn 18+ = no effect/Con 15+ = smelly flatulence every 10 minutes/CON 13+ = loud and smelly flatulence/CON 10+ = loud, smelly, food or drink makes you sick
Swamp cats prowl the howling marshes. They will not leave the marsh, so staying on or near the road keeps travelers safe. But those wanting to avoid the Mournful Valley sometimes try and shortcut through it – causing the beasts to attack.
Check the weather when party arrives > DMG p. #109
1 on D10: Random Monument (DMG p. #108)
The Valley of the Hills
Dex dc 12
The party must navigate a field filled with massive oxen—each as big as a hill. The oxen are all sleeping, and appear as hills. The party will make enough noise to rouse them and they must get to the other side of the valley without being stepped on. The brutes are sscared, not malicious.
Ahead the tracks lead through a valley that is dotted with a dozen or so large mounds. The mounds are covered with foliage and a several streams wind between them. It smells verdant and lush.
Check the weather when party arrives > DMG p. #109; note that the weather inside is different than the weather outside!
The party can escape from the giant oxen by going into the city of Erumfale. It is easy to spot in the distance (Perception DC 10) and also to notice that the oxen seem to avoid it – despite the fact that they could trample its walls down easily.
Stay = 40 pts on d6 a 1 = t party dex dc 12
= if party sees it
You are offered refuge in the bustling city. Its not readily apparent where all the people come from, or where they are going to, but you find that your mind wonders when you try and dwell on such things long.
Can go to religious services for Healing Word
Can contemplate nature in one of the many parks for Remove Disease and Poison
Can Sleep in one of the many boarding houses or Inns for Remove Curse
Can listen to the skalds in the many fountain squares for Heroism (starts when leaving)
DMG p. #128
Well of Hyphee
Background – in city info erumfale
The Well of Hyphee is named for the three sisters of Hyphee (“Three of Hyphee”) that live there. Hyphee was said to have been a town of music and dance, populated by many small folk and fairies. Ages ago, the three sisters came there and laid waste to the town, taking the sacred well as their home. Its healing properties turned to foul and corruption. Around the town and lush and sparkling forest sank into a stinking swamp of festering insects and disease. Since then, the sisters have set themselves up as the masters of this realm, slowing fighting anyone in their way, gaining more and more power and influence. Once the Aelfpath was connected to the Steel Realms, a sparkling mirror of Dunstrand Vale. Then, the sisters corruption broke the Laey strand, and desperate to survive, the Storm Giant Bedovir grasped to any earthy plane he could and it has been connected to Faerun for hundreds of years now – bound by strange magics of elves that were testing hints of fogotten Mythal powers. The hags goal is the extermination of the Aelfpath, every denizen in it, in sacrifice to the great wurm Mog Creoch. They will then be eaten and the blood and bones of those sacrificed with be the stuff of their reborn bodies!
Dex dc 14/ 4 points -5 move
Check the weather > DMG p. #109
The road leads into a swamp on either side up ahead. Withered and stunted trees dot the landscape. Mounds and uneven ground make for tough going, but the old road seems mostly safe. The sound of insects and stench of decay is strong.
Nature DC 13: The areas trees used to be bigger – broken trunks of once tall forest are obvious for those who know what to look for. There are no tracks. Only a few hearty crows or ravens can be seen above.
Tactics: It has learned to sneak up on prey, not just charge in. The creature will try and get down wind of the party (randomly determine wind direction) so as not to give away its position. Its stench can also be used if it is upwind of the party up to 120’ away. Once it engages, it will attack all out. If under 30hp, will run away.
There is a 1 on D6 chance the group will be attacked by a Swarm of Insects after it retreats – they are used to picking through the remains. Any character damaged must make a Constitution DC 12 save or be infected with a rotting disease. After an hour, it will do D8 necrotic damage and prevent magical or other healing for the next 24 hours.
Explore: acorn will restore and weaken sisterd
Town of Hyphee (ruins)
Old wagon ruts lead into a town that is abandoned. The earthen walls are collapsed, leaving several way to enter. No smoke, no noise, and nothing moves except insects. The swamp has encroached all the way into the town, rivulets of murky water running between buildings and through fields on its outskirts.
The town is muddy and overgrown, movement is as through difficult terrain (halved)
Open flames burn sickly colors and have a 1 in D6 chance each hour of consuming the source in a quick blaze that does D4 to the holder and creates thick chocking smoke
The town is overrun. It looks like its been overrun for a hundred years. Every building is empty.
Each house and building tells the same story. The inhabitants seems to have left in the middle of something – meals unfinished and molding, letters incomplete, money on a bar, etc.
Encounters in the Town
If the PCs disturb anything, a contingent the Sisters Guards will show up (6 Quicklings and a Red Cap with its Shadow Hound hunter); they approach silently and try and ambush the group.
Tree Blights – The trees of the pack, orchards, etc were mostly diseased and are dying but a few areb ntransformed into BLights.
A Blacksmith’s forge in a long-flooded town (Maybe there’s a half finished dagger that can be completed underwater). There is
A wall of faces that cries and fills up a passage
All items taken
By leprachauns. Changed into flowers
Wounds: Left Eye (cannot see much beyond 50’; ranged attacks or effects outside are as if all opponent have partial cover); Left Leg (-5’ movement); Left hand (lost 2 fingers and hand gnawed – cannot hold a weapon bigger than a dagger) v
Hunted in woods
Vibration keeps people away
Arcana thunderwave against
Three of Hyphee
Town gets cleaner, sisters weak
Bounty Hunters on the Other Side
Kidnapped party member in well cave
Rivkin charmed and clavel vaide contacted; sisters promised ring of wish if they assist in setting up rivkins companions
Sitting at a table, eating and drinking wine
Theres the other, the ones with the bounties!”
The party will be shadowed by an agent of Clavel Vaide’s. When they transition back to Faerun, a group of bounty hunters will be assembled and attempt to kill them.
The bounty hunters are all members of a cult of Loviatar. They are dedicated to bringing agony and suffering. Not just death, but painful, drawn out death.
Raverth “Mage Hunter”
Fighter [champion] 11th (Human)
Hit Points: 66 + 33 = 99 – 23 +16
AC: 13 + 5 + 1 = 18 [+2 spell = 20] / Resilience 1
S: 12, I: 13, W: 12, D: 20, C: 16, CH: 10, SAN: 11
Strength, Constitution; Stealth, Poisoner’s Kit, Perception, Survival, Arcana
Feats: Lucky, Alert (+5 init), Resilient (Wisdom), Sharp Shooter
Ring of Fire Resistance
Brooch of Shielding: resistance to Force/immune to Magic Missile + Shield fo the Faithful 1/Short Rest ([minor] dedicated to Loviatar)
Ring of Mind Shielding (the trapped consciousness can activate the gateway to get to Vaide!)
Longbow +1 ([minor] dedicated to Loviatar), 12 Arrows +1 (D8 + DC 13 Constitution save or poisoned – blunt/non-lethal), Longsword +1 ([minor] dedicated to Loviatar)
Attacks: 3 (at 11th)
Style: Defense (+1 AC in armor); Archery (+2 attack)
Indomitable: Reroll failed save
Improved Major (not critical)
Second Wind (16); Action Surge
Tactics: Find the mage, shoot at range; Action Surge right at the start to poison the mage.
Della “The Destroyer”
Cleric 11th of Loviatar (War/Pain)
Hit Points = 55 + 22 = 77
Mark of Darkness: Forked tongue and black eyes
S: 15, I: 12, W: 20, D: 7, C: 14, CH: 14, SAN: 11
Feat: Heavy Armor Master (3 pts per blow)
Candle of Invocation (CE)
Demon Armor (Plate +1) = AC 19 +1 = AC 20
Potion of Fire Breathing (30’/4D6)
Book of Vile Darkness
Dark Speech (D12 self / 3D6 to non evil in 30’ psychic damage)
Command Evil: Dominate Monster 1 Action (evil only) 1/day
Cannot be Charmed or Frightened; +1 AC; Misty Step 1/day
Regain D6 HP per round at start, if HP greater than 0.
Blind if more than 10’ away; weight increase of 30 lbs.; Cannot smell
Erases all magic scrolls within 30’; Reduce Dex by 2
War: 5/Long Rest make extra attack as bonus action
Channel Divinity: +10 on attack roll
Reaction: ally in 30 gets +10 attack roll
Divine Strike: +D8 damage once per turn
15 prepared spells
Cantrips : Sacred Flame, Guidance, Light, Resistance
1st  divine favor, shield of faith, inflict wounds
2nd  spiritual weapon, hold person, enhance ability
3rd  spirit guardians, glyph of warding, meld into stone
4th  guardian of faith, death ward (drops to 1)
5th  flame strike*, hallow, scrying
6th  blade barrier*
24 / AC 20
14 / AC 18
4 / AC 17
8 / AC 16 (20)
5 /AC 17 (Tereya)
7 = rivkin
Paladin 8th (Human)
10, 8, 5, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6 +8
HP = 80 -7, -2, -6, -6, -6, -2, -7, -5 /41 -20 -17, -6 / 16 -5, -5,
Feat: Magic Initiate (Hex), Polearm Master (Glaive), Heavy Armor Mastery*
Chain Mail +2 = 17
Potion of Heroism +12
Monk Killer: Cleric 3 ___ / Fighter 7th
Slow or negate movement
Potion of Resistance:
One has an Iron Flask = Roll Randomly
One of them has an object that returns them to Clavel Vaide’s Audience Chamber
When you place the ring upon your finger, a golden arch is revealed several yards away. The archway flickers, pulsing as if with a life of its own. Your breathing slowly matches the pulsing of the arch and you sense after several minutes that the archway is safe. Only the wearer of the ring can see the arch. It beckons to you, and memories of home flash uncontrolled through your mind as you stare at it. You are drawn to it, and as you draw near your throat itches. You know there is a command that must be triggered.
The archway responds to you and the world flashes around you as you pass through it. The bottom falls out from underneath you, and you find yourself stumbling into
The arch on his side will pulse and provide him 2 rounds to prepare for the party. He will not know that it is the party or the people he sent to kill them. He will prepare for the worst, though he does not know.
> He polymorphs himself into a Blue Dragon form and attempts to dissuade the party from attacking.
Rogue 11th (assassin)/Cleric 6th (trickster)
Feats: 4 – Resilient (Wisdom), Lucky, Mobile, Tough (17 x 2)
Studded Leather +2 (of fire resistance)
Cloak of the Manta Ray 60’
Eversmoking Bottle (60’ radius)
Necklace of Prayer Beads (Lolth; Bonus Action) – Blessing, Blessing, Cure Wounds [2nd] or Lesser Restore
Dagger of Venom x2; LE; empathy and urges, sense up to 30’; 1 can detect magic, the other detect poison
Scarab of Protection (Advantage on save vs. Magic/1 day automatic save success for LE – Lolth worshiper)
Slippers of Spider Climbing (dedicated to Lolth!)
Wand of Polymorph (7 charges; self -Iron Golem, Cloud Giant, Adult Blue Dragon)
Sneak Attack: 6D6
Cunning Action: As Bonus action – Dash, Disengage, or Hide
Uncanny Dodge: Reaction for half damage
Evasion: Dexterity saves for none, fail for half.
Spells Known: 9
Cantrips:  guidance, sacred flame, thaumaturgy, light
1st:  Guiding bolt, detect evil/good, shield of faith +2
2nd:  mirror image, spiritual weapon, protection from poison
3rd:  blink, spirit guardians, meld into stone
Extra info on the Elfpaths story:
What the party doesn’t know yet: The yochlol was entrapped in a greatsword, by the Red Wizards of Thay. Enneres and his mercenaries recovered it from caverns in Thay, but the demon’s essence drove them mad, fighting each other until the sword was broken in their combat. ‘Adraxa’ was released, killed all of them except Enneres, summoned two barlgura, and started her conquests. Out of nothing more than malice she is tracking Enneres as he flees westward toward Sembia and Cormyr. (He’s currently in the Cormyrian countryside somewhere east of Suzail.)
and Adraxa was able to use magic of the Aelfpaths to be partly in both places.
Tereya’s ‘Big Plan’:
As mentioned Saturday Tereya’s requested payment was empty land. I don’t like DM’s running their characters as NPCs and giving them stuff, so that was just sort of a “it fits in” moment; however that is the goal. She wants to expand the 10 acre farm plot (currently a modest-but-comfortable stone farmhouse, vineyard, stables, and barracks) to a much larger setup. I’m scripting it as: her most recent travels were in the south, where she came across a breed of ox that can be used for dairy, meat, leather, and work. I.e. some analog of the Italian Mediterranean water buffalo, aka producer of traditional mozzarella. She bought a few for breedstock, hired a couple gauchos, and those that survived the trip back are being held in Suzail until this gets sorted out. Why a ranch? Not sure – just seemed different from the usual adventurer-opens-an-inn story; maybe inspired by watching the Yellowstone TV series; maybe having space for training, followers, and a source of income seemed good. Is it financially wise or viable? Who knows?! It’s never been said that a talented fighter and diplomat is going to be great at business ventures, but what the hell. The dream of an Abruzzo ranchmust live.
= The final moment that the party members have versions that have memories of coming here – anything else will be forgotten.
Party runs into themselves – 9 months ahead, right before the wedding. They have to kill themselves in order for their characters in the forgotten realms to keep going.
Create Trade between the various cities of Toril and Kroyer.
I believe Jacoule’s original introduction to the party was around dealings he was involved in with Clavel Vade. The party warned him away and he made an enemy. Taking over the trade CV has would be a sweet deal but seeing them fall would be near as good as well.
He feels inexperienced still. Rulers of Kroyer ( of which he is the heir) rule with not only their wits but also with their martial and magical skill. Increasing his mastery over both is important to him.
He has a desire to find and vanquish demons and devils taking from them a small piece of their essence. He hopes that in doing so he can display these victories to his people and show them the fiends are not invulnerable. The folk need to be wary of the fiends returning but they need not be feared.
Kroyer is a heavy seafaring nation. Their Navy is one of the strongest. The vessels are Captained by the best and are heavily augmented with magical support. Jacoule was, for all intents and purposes, marooned near Neverwinter. He has since been financing a new and better vessel to return home in.
I’ve been trying to think about what Katenga’s top 3 goals would be at a big picture/long term level. I have a tough enough time doing this personally, trying to do it for a character – whew!
He’d like to get out from under Clavel Vade (spelling?) so he doesn’t have to keep looking over his shoulder all the time.
In the spirit of his researching lore and recovering artifacts, are there established museums and such? This would be something he’d either like to establish or grow. I think he’d also be into uncovering truths where history has been conveniently “rewritten.”
Maybe when he gets too old to adventure he’d go into teaching, but that’s all retirement talk!