An Incarna™ Steel Realms [fantasy] Side Trek for characters resting during the Transformation of Crestwold campaign. Set on the dream isle of Shanlehare, the characters are pulled from wherever they are in Crestwold and catapulted in a dream to the dangerous isle that represents the anger of the goddess Elancil. The characters must figure out a way to thwart the goddess and get off the island.
Read through the entire adventure and familiarize yourself with the entire scenario and encounter set. If its too much to track, break the game session and milestones into what you can manage - generally it is better to end early with a good experience than fumble through a poor one. Materials are presented here in groupings of the most likely order the players will experience them in. If they go off-script, you must be ready to adjust and improvise.
The optimal experience for using these materials is as online content. This material contains links to material outside the text - familiarize yourself with this content as well. Follow the links, and print out or have loaded on a device ahead of time all materials needed to effectively run this adventure. Print friendly PDF or ePub versions also maintain the links in most cases.
Tactics to be used by the creature appearing above.
Combat vs. Story: Combats come often and are very deadly. Characters cannot die permanently, though death results have campaign impacts. Combat dangers can be greatly reduced using the skill outcomes.
Specific Challenges: Traps, tracking/finding, physical and survival skills, sailing and boat skills, sea creatures/kelp, zombies, apes, goblins, a strange mist, bedraggled cloud giant, dire wolves, and a sabretooth tiger.
The characters have no idea or clue about the nature of the adventure to start with.
It is intended to be part of the Transformation of Crestwold campaign. Because it is a dream, it can be used as a side trek in any campaign. Some of the names can be changed easily to fit an existing campaign theme.
Only the events mentioned in the prerequisites are pertinent. These set up a reason for the goddess to be angry.
Here are some preliminary items the GM must be familiar with.
Misfortune Tokens: See the Transformation of Crestwold Campaign Guide for more details. The tokens of misfortune gained in this adventure are for Elancil. They have no bearing in this adventure.
SALT Damage: The salt water that is inimical to the PCs in this adventure is from the dreams of the goddess Elancil. Where SALT is noted as the source of damage, it does either Acid or Necrotic, whichever is more effective. It is a watery liquid that has a slight salty smell and flavor, and has crystalline fragments – like salt – in it. Where it is noted to do splash damage, fire damage negates and piercing damage prevents splash effects.
Character Death: Characters cannot actually die in this dream quest. If a character dies, the PC group gains one Token of Misfortune for Elancil in the Crestwold campaign. Any death result, or drop below 1 HP indicates the character experiences the wrath of Elancil in its full fury, scarring them mentally in addition to granting the group misfortune. For each death, they suffer a cumulative -1 on Sanity and Constitution checks while caught in the dream quest. Total Party Kill > This counts as double the misfortune tokens. Skip to the [Waking Up] encounter afterwards.
> Read This To Characters Who Die >
Characters return to play where they died after 3 rounds of intense healing and returning to 50% of their health. Their body slowly knits and repairs itself before their companions eyes. If they died at sea during the storm, they can rejoin the rest of the group after their body washes onto the shore.
Shipboard Experience: Any characters with a navigator, sailor or similar background or Favored Terrain that involves boats (sea, coastal) gains advantage on all checks to move around on a ship.
The adventure picks up right where the PCs are, at night or during a rest period. Characters start off in the dream with the HP they had when it started.
If any character is damaged, DC 10 Constitution save or D4/2 more SALT damage from the mist. The PCs are in full battle kit, with a single primary weapon and smaller backup weapon if normal. They may have a field kit (medical, satchel with spell book, etc.) if they normally have one, but no adventurers day packs or the like. Really, just ready for combat.
Finding the Exit: DC 12 Insight (Wisdom) check to figure out where the stairs are. It takes one round to find them, and another round to unbolt the hatch and open it – flooding the area with light.
If they party has not moved out of the hold at the ends of 2 rounds, the gale will hit. In the hold, if it is dark or the character cannot see in absolute darkness, they suffer D6/3 damage as they go tumbling about. Getting out of the hold requires either 3 rounds of DC 15 Dexterity checks to move and find a way out (each failure means the character is thrown for D6/3 damage). Characters may hold on indefinitely until the ship finally breaks up (5 rounds) using a DC 10 Strength check and gripping whatever can be found. If they do so, proceed to the [Cast Upon the Shore] encounter next.
The characters must grab rigging and sails, steer the ship.
Sail Control: DC 20 Dexterity check; DC 15 if the character has Shipboard Experience. Two characters may attempt this concurrently.
Rudder Control: DC 15 Strength check; DC 12 if the character has Shipboard Experience. Characters grabbing the rudder and failing the check will take D4/2 damage each round from the beam hitting them and tossing them about. Only one character can get on the rudder at a time.
Success > If at least one of these can be prepared when the gale hits, the characters stand a chance. If the characters manage to get the ship under control, a warm southern wind blows through, healing characters of 50% of the damage they have taken in the dream.
Failure > If both are not secured when the gale hits, the ships keels over and breaks fairly fast. Characters may hold on indefinitely until the ship finally breaks up (5 rounds) using a DC 10 Strength check (or suffer D6/3 damage) and gripping whatever can be found. Or, they may attempt to swim using a DC 11 Athletics check for 3 rounds – failure indicates a part of the ship hit them and they drown. If the ship breaks up, the characters die. Proceed to the [Cast Upon the Shore] encounter next.
Familiars and Pets: All die in either case unless the character can get a hold of it without the expense of letting themselves die. If a familiar dies, it cannot be re-summoned while in the dream.
The PCs have 3 rounds to get control of the rudder and main sail as per [Controlling the Ship] encounter. At the end of the three rounds, they must have secured both, or the boat capsizes as described in that encounter. If the PCs get control, they must make enough continuing Rudder Control and Sail Control checks to get them near the island.
Rudder Control: DC 12 Strength check; 2 characters can contribute to 10 checks or 5 checks each. There must be at least 6 successes. Failure indicates the outcome of in [Surviving the Gale Hit] in the [Controlling the Ship] encounter
and read the following:
Characters failing to control the rudder, and those within 10’ take D6/3 damage from wood splinters when it breaks. The characters die. Proceed to the [Cast Upon the Shore] encounter next.
Sail Control: DC 10 Strength check; 3 characters can contribute to 12 checks or divided evenly among them. There must be at least 8 successes. Failure indicates the outcome of in [Surviving the Gale Hit] in the [Controlling the Ship] encounter
and read the following:
The characters die. Proceed to the [Cast Upon the Shore] encounter next.
Characters managing to maintain control of the ship to endure the gale will negate the first Misfortune Token they acquire in this dream trek (one per character).
Character should all make a DC 10 Constitution check. Those failing take D6/3 damage from extended fatigue and exposure.
Rudder Control: DC 10 Strength check (2 checks; 2 characters can attempt at the same time); if the character failed their Constitution check above, it is made with Disadvantage.
Sail Control: DC 10 Strength check (2 checks; 2 characters can attempt at the same time); if the character failed their Constitution check above, it is made with Disadvantage.
Success > If the PCs make the control checks, they sail for another hour with the island in view and the gale dying down. In the end, the ship strikes a rock near the island as they are maneuvering it and the PCs can easily get to shore. A warm wind blows and the characters are healed in full. They flounder in the surf undertow, but persevere.
Failure > If they fail either of them, the mast snaps and the ship keels over while the gale is tossing them about and sucked into the undertow. In such circumstances the PCs must make three DC 9 Athletics check to swim to shore; each failure is 1 damage x char level damage. Familiars and Pets: All die unless the character can get a hold of it without the expense of letting themselves die.
The island of Shanlehare is a prison for the enemies of the sea queen who she is punishing my baking them fight for her benefit. It may be an obscure incident, but each creature or band of creatures has thwarted her through her minions in some way and is paying for it now.
Recognizing the Environs: Characters with some navigation, survival or world lore will not recognize the moon, stars and horizon on a DC 6 check or better. It is not the world they are used to – this is evident because nothing is where it is supposed to be.
Resting: The party can get a rest in any time. The mist may be cool, but the breeze is warm. It is a tropical island. After 16 hours of knowing the party has come ashore, the cloud giant Vitorienese will come seeking with the pair of dire wolves, hunting the PCs. When a party resist, have their tracker or scout make a DC 10 Survival check.
DC 6 Constitution checks to keep dragging themselves up. One character who uses a Second Wind or similar ability can pull the rest up, and they all collapse exhausted afterwards. Otherwise, they are too slow and burned by strange kelp that tries to entangle them as the tide comes in. Kelp: D6/3 SALT damage.
If even one character failed their check/stayed near the water’s edge, it will be bait for the drowned ones to come after them. If all the characters have managed to make their way to the top of the beach, go to the [Taking Stock on the Beach] encounter.
DC 10 Perception check to notice the gulls are quiet, otherwise the zombies come out of the water with surprise.
After 3 rounds of combat with the zombies, attracted by the noise, a giant crab will come to examine the cause.
The giant crab will use Stealth and try and surprise the party. It will only engage in combat if at least 1 zombie is still keeping the party occupied.
Noise: In a weird effect, the channels funnel sound up to the destroyed temple and cloud giant. If the party cuts down trees, one cries out in death fighting a zombie or crab, or any loud noise is made, it triggers a random attack from the cloud giant. A single boulder comes flying down 3 rounds later among the party members.
The giant throws one of the few full sized rocks he has at Disadvantage (he cannot see the PCs very well from his perch). After 3 days he will come and retrieve it from the sandy beach where it lies unbroken.
If the party made enough noise to commit the giant to throwing a boulder, after 3 more rounds of exploring the beach, the party will be attacked by kelp from the surf (if they are near enough). If they are not staying away on purpose, each character can make a DC 11 Insight (Wisdom) check. The character who fails by the most (if any) is targeted.
Characters checking the kelp wounds may know how to treat them using coconut based cream, per [Natural Area of Shanlehare].
There is plenty of wood, if the group has the skills to build a boat and sail off. It would have to be a crude boat. During the time of building the boat, there is almost no way to hide a boat making camp. After 16 hours the giant and his dire wolves will come looking. The saber tooth cat will stalk and attack a party – trying to drag one into the jungle after 1 day – killed party members wash back up on shore in 8 hours all their gear gone. It will only kill once. After 36 hours, the goblins will have found the camp and will launch a sneak attack to wipe out entire party. After a full 48 hours, the vile mist will find the camp and attack as well. Make a DC 12 relevant skill check.
Supplies for Leaving: DC 11 Survival check.
Goblins attack as they party is sailing away. The goblins will not enter the water. Round 1 = 3 spears / Round 2 = party# more spears at long range. If any character on the ship is hit, they must make a DC 6 Dexterity check not to let their blood drip into the water. If they do, 1 round later kelp will attack.
A total of party# x 2 in success results is needed or they ending up after 24 hours floating back to the island.
The party can go three days at sea without much sustenance, then things get bad. Fresh water is especially needed. Once they break the mist barrier it is open ocean ahead.
The turtle will attack with Stealth from under the boat. The initial attack will require all on the boat to make a DC 10 Dexterity check. This is made with Disadvantage if the turtle succeeded in a Stealth check. The turtle will attack one individual at a time, attempting to kill.
Character must attack from the raft using their Reaction to make a DC 5 Dexterity check, or in the water using their Reaction to make a DC 10 Athletics swim check. This check is made at the beginning of the round. Failure means any subsequent initiative check or attack in the round is made with Disadvantage.
If the characters win the battle against the turtle, it is their last and they can make landfall. In the rainy area, a mist will arise during which they transition to [Waking Up] encounter.
If characters simply try and hunt and survive and live on the island it will trap them. If they stay without trying to leave for longer than a week, in the material world of their body, time will begin the pass – each day they stay in dream a day will pass. They can survive for up to a year before the goddess kicks them out, proceed to the [Waking Up] encounter. Their body will not age, but they cannot be woken up. If they eventually leave the island, it will take a # of hours equal to the days they stayed over the first week to recover physically. All check will be made with Disadvantage during that time. If they stay the entire year, all Misfortune Tokens are negated.
If PCs took items, each one will have to make a DC 10 Sanity save for the PC that is holding on to it. Failure means when they wake up, it is not there.
This once proud figure has really let himself go. His sanity is at a low point. He has been trapped here for a thousand years. He is covered in massive fat rolls. He is weaker, less hearty, and dazed compared to others of his kind.
A character with proficiency in the Nature skill and an Herbalist Kit can make a DC 10 check to extract enough blood untouched to make a few Cloud Giant potions. Simple: 1 / Major: 2 / Critical: 3