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Adventure Report – Storybooks and Witches

17 March, 2020

So, every three to four weeks, I run D&D at my local game store (Tyche’s Games in Athens, GA, come by and visit) as part of our Friday Night Initiative program to let people try roleplaying games.  This last game was just really fun so I wanted to write it up so that other people could enjoy.

We had nine(!) players, four returned, five new to the game (of those three new to D&D entirely) and the campaign is Sea of StarsPetrichor, the hexcrawl part of the world.

Crystal MountainsThe existing group was on a mission to find a missing cousin who was last seen heading for the crystal mountains, the new group was venturing to the crystal mountains in search of (surprise) valuable crystals.

The original group was just coming out of the village of Yarrow when they were spotted by the new arrivals.  A few members of each group had noticed that the horizon low looked like a painted backdrop, like a stage set or an illustration in a book.  They meet and talk.  A raven lands on one of their shoulders.  Just in time to hear the thump, thump, thump of heavy steps as a two-headed giant approached the village.  He (they?) is not armed and is here only to collect butter from the village, they two heads are Nog and Tog and they are quite chatty.  Before leaving, with his butter, he drops a bag with a loud clank saying “You will need these.”  Inside were nine pairs of iron shoes, matching the size of the characters feet . . .  The original group took the new members to the place where (last session) they found a blood trail leading to a body which Kron, giantblooded barbarian, decapitated and the body turned to paper and blew away.  The blood trail then turned to a narration of the event.  No one knew what to make of this.

So they decided to head on to the Crystal Mountain, as there were two bards in the party, they sang a song and it took them exactly as long as it took to sing a song to make it from outside the village to the base of the crystal mountains (apparently made entirely of crystal).  The path leading up into mountains is made of crystal fragments, so it is a good thing they all have iron shoes.  After climbing for two hours, they find a small garden off to the side.  it is neat and well tended, with fruit trees and flowers, and the characters are utterly terrified of it.  But they need a place to rest and eat so they step off onto the grass and do so.  While they are carefully eating their food, one of the bard notices four rabbits staring at them from the shrubbery, when it points it out to someone, there are eight.  One of the other characters approach and sixteen emaciated rabbits with jaws that open too wide explode out and attack!  There is a brief moment of panic as the characters fight back but a well-timed sleep spell puts the rabbits (and one character) out of action.  Kron then systematically breaks the necks of the unconscious rabbits.

Then they continue their climb, up and up, when they found a cave.  There was a fire ring and slightly deeper inside there was a small stream.  But some of the characters delve deeper and find their way barred by a heavy door.  They knocked on the door, a slit opened, questions were asked of the person on the other side of the door who answered curtly but revealed that a witch lived at the top of the mountain.  As they settled into to camp, they saw something unknown in the Sea of Stars, a sunset.  (The Sun, as a prisoner of the Dragon Empress, lives in a cell in the sky and is escorted around the sky each day before being returned to his cell.)

What will you find in a book?The next morning they make it the rest of the way up the mountain (as we were running out of time) and found a garden of practical plants around a hut raised far above on stilts.  Talli, the half-elf bard, ventured up to the hut.  Knocking on the hut, she is invited in.  Inside it is larger than outside and there is an old woman there “Would you like some tea?” she asks.  Talli asks if her friends can come too.  The woman agrees and everyone comes up and in, to a table now large enough for all of them.  The old woman serves tea and says, “You are not suppose to be here.”  When questioned on that, she pulls down a book and shows a picture of her serving tea to a princess (in iron shoes).  Kron produces the severed head he has been carrying around, the woman grabs it and tosses it into a cauldron.  “You had best be going now.”

They hurried down the ladder and the old woman stepped onto the stoop and blow an handful of embers which settled on the iron shoes as the hut and the garden faded away.  The character found there iron shoes changed into more comfortable footwear and themselves on the top of a windswept mountain with the raven still with them.

~The End~

Notes: Great fun.  I had hoped to pick this back up but with the COVID-19 situation, the University of Georgia is to online classes, and several of the players are Uni students, and I am not sure if we could meet safely in any case.  But a fun, fairy tale-like adventure that I was very pleased with.

Crystal mountains photo by Phreakdigital found on Wikimedia Commons and is in the Public Domain.  Book image “Art project: The Perfect Fairytale (book)” by Peter Kortleve is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.

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