Friday, November 27, 2020

Some Brechewold Forest Spots


These are a few hexes that will be part of the preview chapter of The Yellow Book of Brechewold.

B1. Waterfall Mine and the Crone

  • Landscape: wet, pool-filled foothills leading to craggy mountains; the River Slither finds its source here

  • The River Slither is thin here but leads back to a pool into which a tall, slender waterfall empties

  • Barely perceptible, a set of narrow, overgrown stairs is carved into the cliff up the side of the waterfall, leading to a rough-bored mine entrance behind the falls

    • Entrance: moss and lichen crust the rocky opening, mist and mottled light from the falls. Ahead, a rickety ladder pokes out of a wide hole. Ten feet above the hole, a round trap door is mostly obscured by a layer of moss

    • Hidden Cache: 

    • Descent: an old wooden ladder leads down a 60 foot shaft with about a foot of water at the bottom; 1-in-20 chance of the ladder breaking on the way down, increasing by another 1-in-20 for each additional person who uses it

    • Mourning Ghosts: a swirling collection of 1d4+1 elf ghosts dressed in ancient garb, from the time fairies lived on earth. They mourn the death of King Mountain-Fears-the-Rain, not realizing that they themselves have died. They encourage others to join in the mourning, and will attack guests who try to leave

      • Elf Ghost: AC 6 [13] HD 1 HP 4 ATTACKS 2 (Hobbling touch: save or take d4 Dexterity damage, Distended jaw: save or take d4 Constitution damage (plus any change in HP)), immune to non-magic damage

    • Altar: a large rectangular slab of quartz ornately carved, on which rest offerings of flowers and candles occasionally left by questing fairy knights; anyone of fairy blood may leave a meaningful offering in return for ancestral guidance on a big decision

    • Elf-Silver Seam: an unlit old gold lantern (1,000 gp) hangs from the ceiling. If lit, it will illuminate a large seam of rare elf-silver, as strong as iron but may be used by elves

    • Tunnel: a rotting wooden catwalk leads the way over the waterlogged tunnel; 1-in-6 chance of breaking through a board and plunging into the water, which is infested with hallucinoleeches

      • Hallucinoleech: AC 9 [10] HD 0 HP 1 ATTACKS 1 (Bite: +3 to hit, save vs. poison or believe you are in your favorite place, never wanting to leave the water: -1 HP per turn spent there motionless and leech-covered)

    • Flood: The low chamber is flooded completely with glassy water; the ornate stairs and just-visible statues of griffins peeking above the water hint that this place is very different from the rest of the mine. In the center of the room is a chest with some of the king’s effects: elf-silver idols (2,000 gp), ceremonial gold headdress (3,000 gp), barbed whip, tinder that will light a fire even underwater (400 gp)

    • Tomb of the Warrior-King: the mummified remains of King Mountain-Fears-the-Rain are entwined in roots which have grown around him as a sort of sarcophagus. His shield is at his side (bronze, grinning sun motif). Before him is a stone pedestal carved with bell imagery with a neatly folded note on top: Had to nip in and borrow this, chaps. Return it in a flash. ~M. This is the true resting-place of the Jade Warning Bell (The Crystal Cave, p. )

  • Perched on an impossibly high peak is a little chocolate box of a cottage on chicken legs. This is the home of Mim the Crone of the Maiden, Mother, Crone coven

  • Fat, wrinkled, with wild hair and warts, she is nearly always naked; speaks like a sweet old lady in a Monty Python sketch until stressed, when she flies into a histrionic rage

  • She rides a somewhat uncooperative copper pot through the night, looking for children to cook and eat

  • Resources: elf-silver, hard as iron but won’t burn elves

C1. Bargaz and Saint Ophrenia the Only-Lightly-Singed

  • Landscape: a marshy, sandy, and desolate estuary

  • Bargaz, a cave-dwelling giant, is a mass of scarred, knotted sinew with raptor eyes and crooked teeth. He is naked save the large key he wears around his neck and drags a shillelagh behind him

  • The key opens the Smoking Mountain. His father was contracted to build the mountain, but took the key when the Knights of the Round Table refused to pay a pagan savage

  • Bargaz is one of three giant brothers who live in the forest, along with Balam (A4, p. ) and Bancroft (see Random Encounters, p. ). Each takes a different approach to humanity. Bargaz lives as little more than a wild predatory beast, believing that any semblance of civilization is mere pretense and a denial of the world’s true nature

  • The shrine to Saint Ophrenia, patron saint of third degree burns and disfigurement sits half-buried in sand among the rushes along a tributary to the River Lethe

  • The saint stands peacefully, holding a sword before her, sculpted to be wreathed in stone flame to commemorate the warrior-nun’s battle with the Dragon of Dyfed Mawr

  • Blessing: Those with grievous wounds earned in battle, particularly burns, may present an offering of vanquished foes in return for healing and making all your scars look really cool, giving you a mysteriously magnetic aura (+1d4 Charisma, up to 18)

D2. Watchtower and Saint Fagan the Unwise

  • Landscape: rocky crags, twisted oak and scrub pine

  • A ruined watchtower sits atop a rocky outcropping

  • A partially-intact stained glass window depicts Arthur and Guenivere presiding over feasting knights

  • Thanks to a rift in the fabric of this enchanted forest, once per month the house of the Fates teeters precariously on top of the tower in the light of a waning gibbous moon halfway between full and half

  • The Fates go by Orddu, Orgoch, and Orwen in this part of the world. They sit at three looms, hopelessly trying to weave a single tapestry which covers every surface in the house, bunching and fraying in many places. They frantically attempt to coordinate, but are hopelessly confused. They may appear as wild-haired old women, radiant maidens, or any other form

  • They will each take one question, but their harried, distracted answers will only direct the questioner to a certain fold in the weave of Fate. Examination requires a save against magic. 

    • Fail: temporarily blinded and insane for d4 hours after glimpsing the incomprehensible underpinnings of the Universe 

    • Pass less than 20: the Fates have directed you to the wrong part of the tapestry, and what you see does not help you 

    • Natural 20: you find your thread weaving its way into the future and work with the GM to answer your question. Additionally, on one future roll that directly affects you (rolled either by you or the GM), you may choose the number rolled and reveal that you spied this in the tapestry

  • The Shrine to Saint Fagan the Unwise sits in the center of a set of stones placed in the River Lethe as a crossing. Fagan is the patron saint of doomed enterprises

  • His statue exudes youthful exuberance and overconfidence. It faces a waterfall, behind which is the old lair of a troll he attempted to convert to Christianity. He succeeded, but could not stop the troll from eating him anyway

  • The lair is strewn with piles of gnawed-on bones and coins, jewelry, and weapons worth 120 gp. 50% chance of finding one of the forest’s trolls rooting around (see Forest Encounters)

  • Blessing: for an offering of a valuable object acquired foolishly, the supplicant may choose to pass a roll with a 20% or less chance of success. Mark one use of the blessing. The next time the character wishes to use the blessing, they must roll above the number marked on a d4 or automatically fail the roll

Monday, November 16, 2020

Brechewold Preview Chapter Cover

I’m nearing a full draft of The Yellow Book of Brechewold. I’ll post more excerpts soon. Once I’m happy with the words, I’m going to work on the layout of the surrounding forest chapter as a sort of proof of concept and preview chapter that I’ll put up on DTRPG or something.

A huge chunk of the art is also done. I still have the maps to do, and I think I will have to wait until I’m far along in layout to know if I want to do any more watercolor illustrations. The covers for both the preview and the final book will be digital, bright, and simple. Here’s the preview cover: