Thursday 15 March 2018

The Wretched Cave - a short Tequendria adventure

In the purple dusk that seeps over the green hills of Mondath, something strange moves. Villagers from Pom have been disappearing in the night and now those who remain fear for their lives. Green candles flicker in the dark panes, casting a emerald glow on the frightened cheeks of those who peer out into the dying light. 

This short adventure is suitable for first level characters.

The village of Pom is being assaulted by a Rider in Black who is dragging villagers into its cave and draining their life essence, leaving dried husks. For everyone it drains, it becomes more powerful. 

Plot hook

A hunter falls across a withered grey body in the Forest of Sib. He identifies it as Floderin, the son of Hassian noble Thedew Sundale. Thedew offers whoever can find the murderer access to his Sacred Word - the most mysterious word in all of Mondath - containing the power, once said, to rain gold from the sky (useable once per day - raining 2d10x2 shards from the sky). 

The village of Pom

This small village of Pom used to sing in the dawn. Now silence reigns and people seldom leave their homes. 

The Barliman's Acre is the local Inn. The door has several huge gouges in it. The owner, Wenda, has spidery limbs and a bronze eye and has a voice like the ocean breeze. Like everyone she has heard the sound of heavy hooves and smlled sulphur on dim nights. Her daughter is missing. 

Pit is a stable hand with a wooden sword and a pet mouse called Wren. He saw a dark rider three nights ago take an old lady from the street and carry her into the forest. 

Old Nabbernook babbles incoherently about a pale face. His wife was the old woman. She was out after dark chasing after their cat. 

The Forest of Sib

Even gods do not stroll here. Sib is home to the Thunder mushroom - a 4ft mushroom that, if touched causes an electric shock (1d6 damage). 

The murky pond whispers words of death to passersby. 

Several body husks are here. The old woman carries a little cat collar. 

A bear and her cubs wander this place in search of food. She will defend to the death. 

A hermit called The Simple Man lives in the tree canopy, descending on vines. His laughter echoes. He speaks of the rider as a creature from outside the realm of mortals - a being cast out from death who must stay in this world by feasting on the life force of others. 

A wretched smelling cave is here, with hoofprints outside. 

The Wretched Cave

A horse carcass lays in the cave entrance, it's eyes bulging. The stomach is expanding and will pop. Inside is a Duth fly swarm (aggressive, hits 1d8, attack d8 (sting d6), defence d8, action d6, wits, d6, ego d6, special: ranged attacks do half damage). 

Hypnotic moss gathers on the wall. Those who look at it must make a medium wits test. If unsuccessful they are physically drawn to it. Arms will reach out of the moss and attack the victim (1d8+1). 

More corpse husks

The Black Rider is here at the end of the cave, with a child tied up, hanging from the ceiling - still alive. This is Wenda's daughter. A black horse is feasting on bear guts.

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