Heart of the Wolfshaunt

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Heart of the Wolfshaunt
Type Dungeon
Status Explored March 905 TA
Location Wolfshaunt
Hex 7916
Campaign The Wolfshaunt Campaign
Adventure # 118
Map-wolfshaunt2.jpg

DM’s Notes

It is March 905 TA. A year has passed since the last adventure. It is the beginning of the campaign season.

On Grandfather Rings

Backstory for Awakening of the Wolfshaunt

The release of the Nephew – a vampire who was slew Booth and pretended to be him during the last adventure – was able to contact one outsider to let him know of his location before being recaptured and placed back into the vault. This outsider – Loomis – has been searching for the Forbidden Library his entire life – as his father and previous generations have done before. Calling themselves The Cult of the Shattered Moon – so named because their organization lies sundered by the Wolfshaunt Gate – Loomis stole the cyptex, used their remaining tokens to travel back to the Grandfather’s Castle, and are now trying to open the Wolfshaunt Gate permanently.

Unable to open the device directly, but suspecting where all the answers lay, the Grandfather created the Book of Secrets to “guide” extraordinary adventurers to find the clues, come to the castle, and open the cryptex. Then, he sent a pack of wolves through the gate and left the book on the chair in the Chapel of Udolf to be found.

The correct solution for the party is to find the cyptex and take it away without opening it.

Backstory for the Wolfshaunt Unleashed

Released from the Wolfshaunt, Grandfather Josiah seeks to leave the Wolfshaunt and establish residence in the Reaches. In order to do this on a grand scale, he must bring darkness to the land - which will weaken the people, starving them and making them more docile - and allow him free reign.

In order to do this, he is attempting to create a vast network of lightning rods (which are the real threat - not the storm) and activate them to create a powerful magical dimming of the sun. This requires thousands of lightning rods scattered around the area. He is getting the locals to help him by having the Hermit "selling" them rods and forcing them to protect them from removal.

The second task is to rescue his people from the Library - which will require an army which is currently coming out of the Wolfhaunt. In order to do this, he has enlisted the aid of the Tomb Kingdom - to bring back the Sandwurms to transport the army across the Sands of Time and into Sandal - where they will take the Library by force. The party must go to the Tomb Kingdom and stop the summoning of the great wurms.

The entire Wittenagemot campaign is centered around getting the Wolfshaunt army to Sandal in order to get to the Forbidden Library to release the other members of the Houses that are entrapped there. This would be a good change from the random kill cities campaign. This will be one of the short adventures – go to the Tomb Kingdom and keep the Sandwalkers from arising! Oh, Sandwalkers – actual Wittenagemot units which will transport units across the desert. Brilliant.

The final task is to return to the Wolfshaunt and subdue Father Joseph's line of kin and gain control of a Grandfather's Ring. THE NEPHEW + 12 OTHERS ALLOWED TO GO FREE!!! The Nephew will give them the intel report about what the Wolfshaunt is planning.

Backstory for the Heart of the Wolfshaunt

The two introductory adventures are designed to affect Witenagemot. The first is the discovery of stone dwarven ships that can be used in the fight against the Tang Armada (and later the Old Kingdom Navy). The second is an attempt by Grandfather Josiah to open the Flower Gate. This gate is unique, as it accessed from outside the Wolfshaunt - kept running for centuries by gnomes sealed behind the gate.

A small adventure to the Bee Gate will provide an introduction to Grandfather Bela. The party will also encounter Radu, a rogue vampire who is the most dangerous inhabitant in the Wolfshaunt - although a free spirit that might help the party. Finally, they can visit Azura Morgan's tomb - to retrieve a staff that allows them to teleport between the Wolfshaunt and the Reaches without using the tunnel and token system.

The main event is the Mustering - which binds the wolves of the Wolfshaunt - as a means of keeping balance in the land. This time, the party can get involved in the Mustering - either failing and allowing the vampires to retain control or winning the contest and choosing themselves whether to bind the wolves or not. This will make the wolves allies or enemies in the final battle for the Wolfshaunt.

Mutiny Bay

DM's Background

In the second age, a group of dwarven adventurers seeking gold in the Wyrmwyld Mountains discovered 12 strange stone ships - ancient and alien in their construction. They were in a hidden valley high in the mountains - far from the ocean. The dwarven king sent his engineers and laborers to retreive them - although many felt they would not float. But indeed, when set on the water, they hovered above the water's surface - balanced in even the most stormy of weather. The dwarves sailed the ships back to Teuefeldorf.

By the time they made it to Teufeldorf, only a sole crewman was left, and he was mad. The dwarves set another crew out to the Tang Empire, but the ships returned again with a single mad sea dwarf.

So, the ships were buried under Dwarrowdelf in order to keep them safe.

These ships are massive stone vessels - impossibly old and carved with runes clearly not dwarven. Each has a bank of six large cannons. While slightly slower than their modern counterparts, they can move in stormy weather. The cannons (once activated with long distance powder) can shoot farther than modern ship cannons.

MORE IMPORTANT NOTE: The ships are powered by an energy that causes their crew to eventually mutiny until only one sailor is left - who then goes mad and kills himself.

Prologue

In the dark of the winter of 904, a dwarven crew working to shore up a lower storeroom that had been slowing filling with water came across an ancient stairway from the Second Age winding down into the darkness under Dwarrowdelf.

The dwarves explored the area thoroughly and eventually found a single room at the bottom of the stairs. In the small chamber, an ancient Second Age well stood in the chamber. On the walls of the room is the inscription: "Here be the dwarven docks. Home to the great stone ships of the WyrmWyld. Only the true of heart may enter."

The well is filled with a swirling black fog - thick and menacing. The mist and well radiate a strong aura of magic and a slight tinge of evil.

An expedition of six dwarves including Dugald Axeworthy's son - Harbid Axeworthy - volunteered to explore the well. Once they touched the mist, they disappeared. After two weeks, they had not returned.

In early February 905, Dugald Axeworthy petitioned King U-Gene to follow his son into the well. After a spirited debate, the elder Axeworthy descended into the well with five seasoned adventurers. They took with them a book that would allow messages to be sent back and forth with U-Gene.

It is now March 905. In the intervening weeks, all attempts to contact Axeworthy have failed. From the message book, a single word appeared today: TRAITOR.

Encounter 1: Entrance to Docks

As Ernie moves down the stairs, a small recess in the wall begins to glow faintly as he approaches. The nearer he gets, the brighter it glows.

The glow is coming from a six small statues that are sitting on a cleverly hidden ledge. It is almost impossible that the dwarves would have missed the shelf.

Each of the figures is a shrine statue - similar to those worshipped when Dwarrowdelf was called the Shadow Keep. In fact, these statues appear to be representations of the God of Food and Wine. Shrine statues were used to ask the gods for a boon.

Careful search will show a small oval opening several inches across in the base of each.

Along the base of the shelf is carved the following:

These tiles into words or phrases make,
Items of interest to all who may partake,
Master is one, slaves the rest,
Touch the master and solve the test.

Heart01.jpg

If solved (see below), the "dri" and "nks" will resolve into the following:

Heart02.jpg
Heart03.jpg


Placing Ernie's stones into the slot will cause the statues to animate. They will speak in a crazy voice - "Your faith is true and heart not sour, we grant a boon to your weapon of power."

Each statue is worth 6 charges.

+1 to +2 = 1 charge
+2 to +3 = 1 charges
+3 to +4 = 2 charges
+4 to +5 = 2 charges
+5 to +6 = 4 charges

Encounter 2: The Docks

You are standing on an ancient wooden dock - a raised, round platform 60 feet across. Radiating out from this central area are 6 radial arms - creating a 12 berth dock that can fit large ships. You are clearly in a very large cavern, although you cannot see the ceiling above - echoes and the sound of dripping water give away your location. Also, a number of large pillars are supporting the roof of this large cavern. The room is filled with fog that has a slightly salty tang and a moderate sense of evil. Several odd oil lamps mounted on poles provide scant visibility.

You have the uneasy feeling that you can hear dwarven chanting - distant and haunting.

11 of the ship berths are ghostly apparitions. A single corporeal ship is sitting at the dock.

The ship is made of grey stone, streaked with seams of brown and silver. It is a large three-masted ship with cannon ports. The ships are rigged, but the sails are furled.

Of immediate concern, however, are 24 large black hounds with glowing red eyes and writhing tentacles coming from either side of their large toothy maws.

NOTE: The ships are incorporeal, but the party can fly around them.

There are three magical areas on the ship - the cannon battery, the masts, and the great room

The hounds move to attack. They will use their tentacles to try and push the party from dock. They are incorporeal, however, and cannot be damaged by mundane means. If dispelled, they will reappear next to a lantern.

NOTE: The key to is destroy the lanterns - which will cause the hounds to disappear.

IMPORTANT: The water is actually swirling mist. If anyone is knocked into the water, then it will awaken the Soul Eater.

Heart04.jpg

OBLIVION: Docks are filled with the souls of all the dwarves (mostly in the Second Age) who were killed on the ship. They are wailing and pointing into the inky blackness of the swirling mist below the dock.

NOTE: Once the hounds are dispatched, the party will hear splashes and ripples in the water - as if something monstrous is waking up.

SHIP NAMES: Mutiny Bay, Privateer, Red Howl, Victory Lust, Savage Trinity, Hateful Saber, Hades Minnow, Uncultured Ghost, Silent Rovers, Greedy Deceit, Shadows of Plunder, and Filthy Tide.

Encounter 3: Main Deck

The main deck of the ship - like the hull of the vessel - is made of stone. The stone is heavy and well crafted. Etched on the surface are a number of runes of strange nature. The fore and aft castles of the ship rise in carved wood. Three masts of stone rise from the deck. The rigging and sails are furled neatly.

Hanging from the main mast are three figures. The figures' neck are at an odd angles. A black bag is over one of the figure's head. The others are clearly dwarves. The bodies sway slowly back and forth although there is no breeze. A book lies below the hanged dwarves.

This is Dugald Axeworthy hanging from the mast - a rope about his neck. Clearly he has been in a fight, as his wounds are fresh.

The book has all its pages torn out except one. On it, is written TRAITOR. (see handout)

First group - landed on dock. Killed by dogs.

Second group - landed on dock. All except Dugald and two adventurers killed by dogs. They escaped to the ship. Hid in the Navigation Room. The puzzle was already solved, so they don't remember anything about that. Could hear voices below in the Great Cabin. Lived on rations. The dogs didn't come on the ship.

Dugald found a book (later thrown overboard by Arvil as a treatise to He-Who-Lurks-In-The-Deep). It spoke of a small toy ship that was the focal point for teleporting the ships to Dwarrowdelf. However, Dugald never found any toy ships.

Then, his two companions (Kyran Slateclimber and Arvil Uglygold) turned on him. They hung him. Then themselves.

They did find out that the water is not real and will not support a dwarf who jumped in to swim about.

Encounter 4: The Navigation Room

This small paneled room is filled with a large map of the Realm attached permanently to the surface of a large table. Compasses, sextants and other navigational instruments are strewn about the room.

Three walls have large paned windows looking out over the dock and the cave. Some shimmering lights can be seen far off in the distances - yellowing glowing orbs like lanterns.

NOTE: The players may pinch to zoom in and out. A small glowing dot shows in the middle of the Shadowyarn Mountains under Dwarrowdelf.

The lanterns are actually will-o-wisps.

On the fourth wall, near the door, a small image is hung that glows in a warm yellow light. A small sign hangs near the picture.

One must exit, one must seek,
Trace to route, the ship to keep.
Turn sharply on the orange winds,
Yellow winds allow slight bends,
Any wind can be done straight,
Through all the winds navigate.

Heart05.jpg

With magic eyes, you can see ever so slightly a disturbance on the dust that covers the picture's surface, as if someone has run their finger across its surface hundreds of years ago.

This tells the party how to "activate" the ships.

Once a Navigation Room is entered by one person, all the rest keep teleporting back to the main deck (until solved).

The person in the room begins to feel a rising sense of dread and panic - they are alone on the empty seas, the ships out of control, they will never see their loved ones again...

This is followed by escalating physical damage:

1st round = 10%
2nd round = 20%
3rd round = 30%
4th round = 40% - healing is probably necessary at this point. Note after 10 rounds they will be killed as damage will equal 100%.

On the main deck, the party will be attacked by scores of ghostly dwarven apparitions. If they touch the party, they will be aged 10d6 years AND need to make a saving throw vs. mind control or be enraged at their compatriots AND modest damage.

The idea, of course, is that they all rush to other ships to get them to turn real.

Once the ship is solid, all can enter it, but they will start to think mutinous thoughts - one of your companions has been replaced. Seek him out or be killed in your sleep.

Once the party is in full swing - the Soul Eater comes alive and starts destroying the pillars that hold the roof up. If the party is available, the tentacles will strike at them too.

The other navigation room puzzles:

Heart06.jpg

Encounter 5: Great Cabin

Voices can be heard coming from the Great Cabin. Twelve dwarven skeletons sit around a large dining table in the center of the room. A number of empty bottles and flasks are strewn about, and twelve goblets and a large drinking horn - long empty - are also on the table. The walls of the room are lined with shelves - except the back wall which has a large bank of glass window panes overlooking the cavern. The finery of the room is tattered, but the site still reflects the elegance and craftsmanship of the original builders.

From the windows outside, the scene inside is easily observed.

These are the Mad Captains - the final dwarf from each ship. They have gathered here to figure out a way to escape. They ran out of ideas centuries ago.

They know that they were all crewmen - not all captains - who set out from Teufeldorf in the Second Age. Their crews mutinied, and they managed to get their ships back to Teufeldorf. They remember a dwarven wizard casting a spell to teleport the ships to "dry docks" for repairs - and ended up here. Trapped for eternity.

"Transferring command of the Mutiny Bay to U-Gene, do you accept the charge?"

They might attack the party, or they can be reasoned with. They will ask the party to become the captains of the ships - which will cause them to turn to dust. The party would then be unable to leave the ships - teleporting back until someone else assumes command.

Amongst the books, trinkets, pieces of driftwod, etc. is the hull of a small toy ship. It is made of the same stone as the real ships. It is intricate in its detail and seems to be a close replica. A hole in the deck is for a missing mast, and a small cannon galley below deck is missing a cannon.

EBONY TIME FLY, LAMP OF WISHES, HORN OF HOLDING

Putting the ship together will awaken the tentacled monster.

Encounter 6: The Cannon Deck

The stone stairs leading down into the cannon deck of the ship are slick and the air is fetid and reeks of decay. As you get towards the bottom of the stairs, the room is filled with boxes floating in a black oily, thick goo. The large form of cannons can be seen lining the walls.

From the goo, a white skeletal creature emerges with a cutlass. Then more and more. The skeletons will try to move large cannons to point at the party - without success.

The party must seek a way to get the goo out of the room - otherwise they need to search the boxes for a small toy cannon.

A locked room at the far end of the cannonade is marked "Long distance cannon powder. Measure carefully. Extremely dangerous".

Heart07.jpg

Time the solution: Treasure is a chit that allows an attack into an adjacent hex from the dwarven ships. Up to 10 chits.

Encounter 7: The Crow's Nest

At the top of the mast is the statue of a crow - extremely life-like in its countenance. The eyes of the crow are rubies. In the back of the crow, two large holes have been bored.

When touched, the crow swivels in all directions. It is actually a spyglass. Looking through it, you can see the cavern bright as day. Night vision!

The party can see what is going on in the other ships quite easily.

They can also see the large multi-tentacled creature at the bottom of the cavern floor.

Looking straight up the mast, you can see a bird's nest that has been built at the top of the masthead. Sticking out of the nest is a small toy ship's mast.

Encounter 8: The Soul Eater

The black mist is a tentacled monster. Characters cannot float in the mist and cannot breath in the mist. It will not attack until the end of the encounter. It is a soul eater from the deep - a legendary horror of pirates - a creature that seeks to capture and torture men and eat their souls - leaving them to wander the seas without hope forever.

Will awaken the ancient tentacled creature - which will attack and seek to suck the souls from the party.

If it is challenged, it will begin destroying the pillars that hold up the room. This could devastate Dwarrowdelf (or are they actually under T-Dorf).

Encounter 9: The Teleport to Teufeldorf

Putting the three parts of the ship: the hull, cannon and masts together will cause the little ship to fuse and transform into a single stone figurine. The figurine glows with a magical aura. On the bottom of the hull, the words appear:

Fill my sails with living air,
Return to the seas sailing fair.

Blowing on the ship causes the cavern to begin to spin, the air grows hot, and suddenly there is a loud popping sound.

You find yourself outside in a very familiar place. Teufeldorf harbor. It is the same time of day as when you left to descend the well in Dwarrowdelf.

NOTE: Each "captain" will be on their own ship - unable to leave until somebody else "assumes" command.

In a few minutes, you see the harbor master coming towards you in large rowboat. Several mate are with him.

Harbor Master Tobias Stryker.

Admiral Second Age - Gustav Seaspray

The Waterfall Chapel

Flower Gate

DM's Background

The powerful magic that keeps the Wolfshaunt closed except for the tunnels is created by two giant machines that generate an anti-magic barrier. There is one machine on each side of the mountain range. Taking down one side will not disable the wall - both need to be disabled. The one inside the Wolfshaunt is called the Fang. The one outside the Wolfshaunt is called the Flower Gate.

BTW, the secret saying for the Fang is: The fang of defense, Is sharpened by bone.

Gnomes run both sides of the barrier. On the Reaches side, they have let themselves be sealed in for hundreds of years. Consequently, everyone has forgotten their location.

A bug-eyed gnome - a deep gnome - comes looking for Hylax in Teufeldorf. He was sent to look for Cogwhistle, a gnome on the High Council of Evan Stoutheart - a Paladin King of Teufeldorf several hundred years ago. Cogswhistle is long dead, so he approaches Hylax.

  1. One of the village elders is dead. His body is actually stuffed in the air vent. Killed by a vampire.
  2. The gnomes opened up the door (mistake #1).
  3. They went to Hylax for help.
  4. While Clixworth is gone, the vampires came through the door and grabbed the elders.
  5. They tortured them and got the code.
  6. Knowing the party is coming, they quickly set up a diversion to get them to go to the Waterfall Chapel.
  7. Once in the Waterfall Chapel the party will trip the time trap and flash to alert the vampires.
  8. The vampires will then invade the gnomes again to do the ceremony.

Prologue

Bowing before Hylax is a bug-eyed gnome with alabaster white skin wearing strange leather armor that appears to be several hundred years old.

"I am Clixworth Crankweaver. He speaks in gnomish in a low tone that only Hylax can hear, The flowers of defense..."

Clixworth is dismayed when Hylax doesn't know the response to his secret saying.

The flowers of defense
Are watered from above.

"One of our elders Arcwood Blundersocket is missing. We have searched the cave, and he is not there."

The gnomes have lived behind the Flower Gate for several hundred years, tending the machine, growing mushrooms, brewing mushroom beer, and building games to amuse themselves. Their favorite game is one where players are allowed a few hours to "modify" an existing mechanical robot - to duel each other in a three-dimensional cage match.

There have always been elders with the lines from the Flower poem which will disable the gate on this side. Each elder knows 2 lines. This way, if one dies, then the others can teach a new elder. However, the elders have lived in their solitary rooms in the cave for hundreds of years without aging.

AB Arcwood Blundersocket
BC Bicco Crankweaver
CD Coggy Drivewiss
DE Dizzy Elwright
EA Elmore Autogear

The Elders couldn't be taken - the Flower Gate was made so that as long as the machine was running, the Elders wouldn't age and couldn't leave except through the gate itself.

Encounter 1: The Flower Gate

A large stone cliff face appears to shimmer slightly in the dark gloomy weather outside - glowing brighter than natural stone would. Otherwise it is unremarkable.

Waving his hand, the stone morphs and the front entrance to the Flower Gate becomes visible. It is a giant circular metal seal almost 20 feet in diameter. It is simple and unmarked. There are no keyholes or other markings on the door. It is set into the side of a large stone cliff face. It is clear that the stone surrounding the gate has been enchanted.

A number of gnomes are peering from around the edge of the Gate. As Clixworth approaches, the gnomes rush forward.

The rest of the elders are missing! They were taken yesterday night. The door was open, but we posted the Elwright twins as guards. This morning, we woke up and there was nothing but a small scrap of black cloth snagged in the door.

Hurry they must be saved before the evil ones can learn their secrets!!!

Oona heard from the fleeing figures the words "Waterfall Chapel" in a low, scraping voice. She thought it was a dream - a nightmare. She had been smoking a few "special" mushrooms.

NOTE: Of course, because of the time lag, the elders have already been killed. The bad guys are waiting to get back into the Flower Gate and start the ceremony - which they now know.

NOTE: When the party first arrives, Arcwood Blundersocket is stuffed in the air vent. The vampires couldn't get him out because of the magical protection. So, they had stuffed him in the air vent so that the gnomes would have to open up the rusted gate.

Flower Gate Description

The inside of the door is the as complex as the outside was simple. A massive series of gears, levers and pullies with a complex set of mechanical keys provide a locking mechanism for the door. The workings appear to built for highly magical protection. It appears to be recently cleaned.

The outer caves are clean and tidy with sleeping areas discretely tucked away behind curtains. Small fires burn thorughout the cave, and there is the pungent odor of burning mushrooms. The main cavern has a well. Oona - an impossibly old gnome with milky white eyes - is huddled in a small niche of the main cave room - so covered in blankets that she is barely visible.

A set of stairs lead up to a passage clearly carved from stone. This area serves as a kitchen and common room. Tables and chairs are mostly along the east wall while cooking implements, large tuns of beer and water are along the west wall.

Beyond the common room, a large room appears to be a game room. The dominant feature here is a large cage like arena - some 20 feet across. Several mechanical, clockwork creatures are here.

Finally, a very large room is dominated by "the Machine" - an impossibly complex collection of gears, levers and flywheels. The hum from the machinery is noticeable but not overwhelming. A number of gnomes are here oiling the works. Tables are strewn with oily, greasy rags; pots of liquids; and tools of all manner and size.

Two gnomes are huddled around a large gear with several broken teeth. They are working on an identical gear - clearly a replacement for the broken part.

Oona will not trust the party with her secret. She has been here since the beginning. She does know of an ancient chapel behind a waterfall about 20 miles to the east. The monks were wiped out by a plague even before Oona arrived at the cave, but she knows few details.

Encounter 2: The Waterfall Chapel

A lush meadow opens from the forest. In front of a small lake at the bottom of a waterfall, a number of cows graze contentedly. The remnants of a small village are now just piles of rubble covered over by kudzu and vines.

A shimmering wall of water cascades from the cliff face in front of a large cavern. Just visible behind the water is a large stone chapel - sixty feet across and thirty feet high. The chapel fills most of the cavern.

As the party approaches, two ancient vampiric dragons - hidden in the cavern outside the chapel move to attack. Breath weapon sucks life - and gives it back to the dragons. Can be used on things other than the party - like cows!

This is really a ruse - make it look like the chapel is guarded.

Made of white stone - slightly green from the algae that thrives in the wet spray of the waterfall - the Waterfall Chapel is graceful and elegant. The work is clearly human - although the masonry is exquisite. Statues and relief carvings of monks and holy men abound.

Two large stone doors lead into the chapel. The doors are closed. There do not appear to be any additional entrances or exits nor windows here.

The chapel radiates an aura of peace and quiet.

The chapel is empty.

The inside of the Waterfall Chapel is as beautiful as the outside. It is a single room, some 60 feet wide and 100 feet long. Heavy pillars support a vaulted ceiling - painted blue. Wooden stalls - now somewhat in need of repair - line the walls. Clearly a place of reverent prayer, the chapel probably held 60 monks at its height. An alter is near the front of the chapel. Towards the rear, a set of stairs lead down into the darkness.

Encounter 3: The Crypt of Eternal Stars

As you approach this room, you hear scrabbling - like claws scraping on stone.

The stairs lead down into a round room - 30 feet across - with six squat stone pillars supporting a simple domed roof - painted black with white stars. Along the walls are headstones of the dead abbots of the chapel. A single exit across from you leads further down below the chapel. An iron gate bars the exit.

From the dates, you know this chapel has been empty for almost five hundred years.

There is a slight aura of magic coming from the ceiling - the stars are actually "circling" the ceiling.

Several ghoul-like creatures will try to push the party into the pillars. Or, the party may touch the pillars in searching them.

In either case, this will cause a bright flash in the room. This is a signal to the vampires outside the Flower Gate that it is safe to enter.

Then, the pillars will grow stone arms and begin trying to grasp the party. On a successful grapple, the victim will be trapped by Time Stop (no save) - which essentially holds them in place without an action. In their minds, they are still acting - but so slowly that nothing is seen by those in "real time".

If all are captured, then they will be held forever.

The pillars can take massive damage, but they dish out none.

Encounter 4: The Elders

Beyond the iron gate, slick stone steps lead down into another crypt. This long narrow room is dark. A single exit at the far end leads further down into the catacombs. An iron gate bars the exit.

Six strange-looking chairs are arranged along the walls of this room - clearly new additions to an ancient room. In the chairs are five ancient gnomes, slumped as if dead. Two tombs in the center of the room are piled with torture tools. The sixth chair is empty.

The gnomes are dead. They are the Elders - recently captured. Each has given up their poem - compelled by a deathly white man with glowing red eyes. The man had a simple gold coin on a chain that made them tell their secrets - which another hunched man wrote down.

Among the tools, the party can find a vial of ink, a pen and several sheets of paper. They can do the rubby trick to get the poem from the top sheet.

We were taken from the ore-bed and the mine,
We were melted in the furnace and the pit—

We were cast and wrought and hammered to design,
We were cut and filed and tooled and gauged to fit.

Some water, coal, and oil is all we ask,
And a thousandth of an inch to give us play:

And now, if you will set us to our task,
We will serve you four and twenty hours a day!

But now we seek to give you rest
We release you from the bonds of toil, be silent!

The gate is ancient and has not been opened in recent years - rust is over the hinges. The area beyond the gate radiates an aura of good.

Two small plates are on the front of the gate. One has a key symbol. The other has a lock symbol.

When touched. the symbols appear on each of the plates.

Add the shapes on the left hand side of the equal sign to make the same shape as on the right hand side of the equal sign.

Heart08.jpg

Encounter 5: The First Abbot

The ancient stairs - blackened with age and disuse lead into a small chamber - only 15 feet square. In the center of the room is a tomb - the stone perfectly white and unblemished - in stark contrast to the decay of the around it.

This is the tomb of the First Abbot. He is buried here with magic items to help the party.

When disturbed, the ghost of the abbot will appear. He is an old man, not ancient. His back is straight and his gaze is clear. He is dressed in monk's robes. He holds an ancient gnarled staff in his hands.

Upon seeing the party, he will bless them. He will walk to the abbey - falling to his knees that the monks are dead. Then, he will pass among the barrows outside.

Somehow, he will communicate that the party may have his Abott's staff in exchange for seeking new acolytes for the order.

Encounter 6: The Dragon Entrance

Flying about the entrance to the Flower Gate are 12 ancient vampiric dragons. They are on high alerts for the party.

Inside the main room, the bodies of dozens of gnomes walk about in a dazed stupor - vaguely zombie-like in their countenance.

As the party enters the room, the creatures begin to shuffle towards them.

Oona will call the party's attention from her alcove. She has been hiding under her blankets.

Encounter 7: The Failsafe Switch

I have a secret which I entrusted only to my granddaughter - who is now amongst the corpses scuttling about. The Elders were the keepers of the secrets of the Machine. But, I also have a secret.

There is a failsafe switch - another machine - a duplicate of ours - that can be turned on in case this one fails. I'm afraid you are too late to stop the vampires. But, if you can reach the Failsafe, you can activate it and keep the Wolfshaunt Shield intact.

I must warn you, however. You will be passing through the shield of the Wolfshaunt not once, but twice. All your magic may be ruined if you do this. You must find a place to hide your items - take them off - your spells will drop too. This may seem dumb, but all others who enter will be at the same disadvantage - maybe more because only we know the true nature of the shield.

The passage is under the stairs that lead up to the kitchen. Use this key in the keyhole hidden in the third recess on the west side of the stairs. Then follow the passage. Your magic is safe until you get to a red shimmering wall. Walk through the wall to the first passage right. Take the stairs up. The passage will double back. Another shimmering red wall will open into the Failsafe room. Look for a lever that isn't on the original machine. It will be in the down position. Flip it up to activate the machine. Quickly. There is no time to lose.

Encounter 8: The Final Showdown

As you enter this room, light fills the area. In front of you is a duplicate of the machine in the Flower Gate - impossibly large and complex.

To your left is a shimmering red wall. You can see the original machine room beyond. In it, a man dressed in robes is reading from a piece of parchment. A hunch-backed man is looking furtively about. Two fighters dressed in glowing armor stands passively facing the red wall. Suddenly, he points to the wall - as if seeing you for the first time.

These are minions of Grandfather Bela.

Jael - The fighter will run through the wall - causing all his magic armor and weapons to be ruined. 2 TOKENS ESCAPED

Solomon - The other fighter will summon others to help. Maybe summon a vampiric dragon? LONG SWORD +5, GOOD SLAYER, 2 TOKENS

Xenos - The hunchbacked man will cast a Wall of Stone to slow the party. And then pull out his EPIC WAND OF DISINTEGRATION to start blasting away. 2 TOKENS

Cyran - They can hear the gears grinding down as the vampire continues to read the poetry. COIN OF CHARMING, 2 TOKENS

They are here to open the door for Grandfather Bela. He has found the Bee Gate on the other side of the Wolfshaunt.

Looking for the switch requires someone to identify the differences between the two machines.

Heart09.jpg

Throwing the switch causes the machine in the Failsafe Room to start to hum - an increasing whine as it builds up momentum.

Once defeated, the vampire and hunchback will teleport away (in the Realm - obviously).

Heart of the Wolfshaunt

The Council of Five

In the dim history of the Wolfshaunt, the Council of Five was formed by the leaders of the most powerful houses (Grandfather Josiah, Grandfather Bela, Lycurgus, Talbot, and Master Whitlock of the Storm Lords). The alliance basically divided up land and was used to keep food supplies ready.

Recently, Grandfather Josiah called a Conclave of 903. The Storm Lords did not attend. The party's attack forced Grandfather Bela and Lycurgus to flee. Benedict Blackwolf (emissary for House Talbot) was killed. This is a major setback for the Council.

The Midnight Conspiracy

Grandfather Josiah has formed an uneasy alliance with Lycurgus, leader of the Baneback. After failing to open the cyptex, he created the Book of Secrets and the taunt of King Ernie in order to get them to do the deed for him. He gave Lycurgus a substantial part of his cache of tokens in order to free the first of the pack. In exchange, they will help each other when the gate is opened. They want to make the Eastern Reaches into a new nation called Midnight.

The Heartwood

The Heartwood is a being of the druids - a neutral force that attempts to keep peace in the Wolfshaunt. As such, it is opposed to the vampires and humans entering the area. The Maze is its way of doing this. There are two entrances to the Maze. These are guarded by the vampires - for they cannot figure out how to pass under its branches. Beyond that are ways to keep good and evil creatures at bay. Neutral characters are unaffected - Hylax and Fuzzwort. Ernie, Vince and U-Gene will always be targeted.

Prologue

Hylax is annoyed. He can't find his reading glasses anywhere. What is wrong with the staff at Teufeldorf? He definitely needs to bring the matter up with Vince. Now there is a note sitting on his desk - written in an awful, hard-to-read spidery hand - and he can't seem to make out the words. And where did the note come from?

Hylax

Greetings from the Wolfshaunt. I am Grandfather Josiah. We have not met personally, but your actions in my lands are well known to me. Most recently, you came into possession of a ring which belongs to me. I propose a simple trade with you - the ring for an item which will have much greater value to you in your quest to keep the denizens of our valley from invading your lands - the Heart of the Wolfshaunt. The Heart is a magical item used at a ceremony called The Mustering - a bonding of the werewolves - a ceremony which has already begun. The ring bonds five slaves to me. The Heart bonds thousands of wolves together.

I do not propose anything beyond a simple exchange. I do not propose peace, an alliance nor a treaty. Just a simple exchange.

My emissary will be waiting at the Valley Gateway for your response. Yours immortally.

Josiah

A prank? As Hylax finishes reading the note, it turns to a fine ash - all traces of the message gone. Perhaps not a prank. Summoning Fuzzwort, Ernie, Vince and U-Gene, it seems that all have received the same message with the same result.

Things are missing from the castle - eye glasses, a whetstone, etc. Taken by the Grandfather - now at his castle.

Encounter 1: The Tunnel

IMPORTANT NOTE: Ask about Wolfshaunt tokens - several characters do not seem to have any. However, I have cards made up. Used up 4 last year.

Only the Waterfall Gateway is occupied.

As you come down a particularly long set of stairs, you hear the sounds of running water ahead. The hallway is the same dull brown polished stone as the previous 30 miles – your estimated progress as you have been walking for about six hours.

The sounds do not appear to be getting louder as you stand and listen.

Soon, you feel the fresh smell of rushing water and feel a cool breeze on your face. The hallway breaks into a large room – still hewn of the same rock – but sixty feet across and about the same height. Across the center of the room is a curtain of water created by a large crevice in the ceiling from which thousands of gallons of water fall in a cascade. A similar crevice in the floor about 5 feet wide allows the water to fall unbroken to the inky depths below.

Glancing around, you see a stone font behind you next to the elemental symbol that is on the wall. The passage where you entered is gone. Another identical font is on the far wall – an identical symbol on it.

An old woman with a large nose, dressed in gypsy garb sits nearby, her back against the wall. She is dressed in a brightly colored blouse and skirt - festooned with bangles and beads. She has several packs of possessions. She has a deck of tarot cards in front of her. "Tell your fortune for a token?"

I am Pesha Moody. I will tell your fortune for a token. But my vision only works once - so choose wisely.

"I see yellow and black. Birds. No. Bees. You are fighting. Pain - the poison gives you sight. You will be hurt - but only by facing the Bees will your home be safe. Flee the bees and your home will be as dark as Midnight."

A puzzle on the Waterfall Gate allows passage.

"Look up and down before you enter here."

Heart10.jpg

Encounter 2: The Emissary

The weather is overcast and dark, as usual, in the Wolfshaunt. Despite being spring, the wind is cold and fetid. An oppression hangs in the air.

A wiry, thin man with alabaster skin sits atop a large, black warhorse. The man is dressed in flowing black robes. He does not carry visible weapons - his hands conspicuously sitting atop the pommel in plain view. His only visible adornment is a twisted silver ring on his left hand, and a small white gold ring on his right. "I am Winston - emissary of Josiah - welcome to our country."

Ring Bound to Josiah. Ring of Memory Manipulation.

  • My master has lived for generations by being cautious. You hold a ring that can take his life. I do not expect you will meet him while the ring is still in your possession.
  • Does not have the Heart on him. Will direct the party to the Exchange - an ancient way for exchanging items between the Houses of the Wolfshaunt. It is located to the north - past the village of Tween. An ancient stone building.

If the party attacks, Winston will flee - if possible.

He has the party items.

Encounter 3: The Exchange

A small, squat, square building is buried under a tangle of vines and verge. A single entrance has been cleared. This building is clearly centuries old - and of precise construction.

Entering, you go down a short flight of stairs into a small 20x20 room. On a table in the center of the room is a large box - wooden framed with glass panels. The box is divided into two compartments. One part is closed - behind its glass hovers the flickering image of a blackened heart-shaped object about the size of a fist. The other compartment is empty.

A grid of squares is carved into the top of the box.

A perfect deal needs a trusting pair,
Each row and column a perfect square.

Heart11.jpg

If the party puts the ring in and enters the code, the Heart will materialize. The ring will disappear.

Shades do not know about the other side of the gate. They do know the location of the Hartwood, however.

The Heart is almost dead - its hold will be broken at the Mustering.

Encounter 4: Beware Wolves

As the party exits the Exchange, they are attacked by a dozen very large wolves led by Duncan Blackwolf. They were tipped off by Grandfather Josiah that the old Heart would be here.

  • The old Heart is dying - thus turning black.
  • A new Heart will be pulled from the Heartwood in two days time.
  • Breaking the Heart will break the bonds for a couple of days - allowing Duncan and the independents to sieze the new heart and break the House of Baneback and the House of Blackwolf.
  • They are freedom fighters!
  • They do not know the location of the Heartwood - they feel only the Mustering pulling them to the woods to the south. In time, the Mustering will become a guide to the Heartwood.

Encounter 5: The Village of Sundown

The village of Sundown is along the road to the north. The party rescued a number of Sundown villagers including their leader, Jude Jenkins, from the Tween holding pens and the werewolves there. They will be recognized and welcomed to the village.

Winding upward from the road, you see a small walled village - the peaks of the roofs poking just above the stoneworks. Smoke floats lazily up from a number of chimneys. The forest has been cut back from the village. A simple trench with spikes has been dug around the village - the road providing the only clear path to a large wooden gate standing closed at the terminus.

Behind the village, a single path leads further up into the hills. A number of white boxes are scattered along the path. The path ends at a waterfall.

From a distance, a guard calls out to the party.

Jude Jenkins is there.

This is where the Bee Keepers - gnomes who actually tend to the Bee Gate live. They are pretending to be bee keepers - providing honey for the village.

The big bees come and pick them up to "take them to work" in the secret passage of the machine. The bee leader is Bilbik Berrysteel.

In the gnome cottage, the party will find one of the Twin Journals. The other will be in the honeycomb. "Attack. Vampires. Secret safe. Run."

Encounter 6: The Bee Gate Clearing

The Bee Gate is the other side of the Flower Gate. If both fall, then the Wolfshaunt will be open. This will play into the Witenagemot deployment zone.

The path winds down towards an open meadow. In the meadow, the sounds of battle can be heard. In the distance, you can see several dozen centaurs armed with swords fighting a dozen armed knights riding large warhorses. Flitting between the centaurs - a figure half running/half flying - is a vampire. She is currently riding on the back of a centaur - fangs sunk deep into its neck.

In the air above, a hundred very large bees - the size of a large dogs - dive into the fray. Two of the knight's horses are already fallen - swollen with venom.

At the edge of the clearing, near the path, a villager sits propped against a tree - his abdomen greatly extended. He is staring towards the mountains beyond the clearing.

Vanessa - Grandfather Bela - a fighter who is there to keep the centaurs distracted while two of her compatriots open the Bee Gate. In fact, they are already inside!

You recognize this as a children's puzzle popular throughout the Realm. You start on rock and visit each hex exactly once by jumping to a hex in the same row or sloping diagonal as the current hex. Each jump must follow the pattern rock → scissors → paper → rock, until you end on a rock. The jumps must never reverse direction, though you may jump over a hex multiple times.

Heart12.jpg

If approached, the villager Quimby, will be incoherent saying, "It's so beautiful" over and over again. He is seeing the bee gate in all its glory.

The centaurs, led by Alo Darksong, are the Guardians of the Bee Gate. They will be suspicious of the party. In no case will they reveal the gate's location.

Alo may tell of the Guardians of the Puzzle Box in the Heartwood. A safe haven along the path to the Mustering. They are kindred forest guardians, although they have had no contact with each other in several generations.

Encounter 7: Bee Gate Entrance

A large flatiron cliff face rises several hundred feet above the meadow. At first glance, the face of the cliff is exactly what it appears to be. However, as the bee venom takes hold, the stone begins to morph into a vaguely hexagonal shapes - a honeycomb! How could you not have seen it before? Most of the combs are sealed, but there are clusters of unsealed ones - with bees moving in and out of their 5-foot wide entrances.

There is one section of unsealed ones that correspond to the puzzle. The entrances to this cluster of combs are plain stone - not covered in bee pollen and honey. Going into the wrong hex will teleport the party several miles deep into the mountains.

The passage moves straight back into the cliff face for about 60 feet. It is clean and without markings of any sort.

The tunnel enters an oddly-shaped room from the south. Straight ahead to the north, is a flat wall - dominated by a very strange looking machine - a complex collection of gears and levers. The machine is not running. The walls and ceiling connecting the north and south walls are very oddly shaped - conforming to the honeycomb hexes in the cliff face. Along the walls are tools, pots of grease and other equipment.

Standing in front of the machine is a frail looking man dressed in red robes. His grey hair has mostly fallen out. He leans heavily of a black staff made of a shiny wood. His hands are festooned with rings. He seems to be reading a book.

A number of dead gnomes are piled neatly in the middle of the tunnel. The book reads, "Attack. Vampires. Secret safe. Run."

This is Grandfather Bela. He is confused that the machine is stopped. He didn't do it. He just killed the gnomes. If confronted, he will wave his staff and the gnome bodies will disappear to his castle for questioning.

This is the failsafe machine. The real machine is accessed through a secret ceiling access about 30 feet along the passage.

Encounter 8: Bee Gate Machine

Searching along the passageway, you find a secret lever - magically disguised - easily seen by those with bee venom in them.

Pressing the lever produces a click and a small panel of brightly colored symbols appears.

Palindromes bright and clear,
Open to the working gear.

Heart13.jpg

Solving the puzzle opens up a passage moving up. As soon as the party enters, the panel clicks shut.

The passage moves up and to the right widening into a small 10 foot square antechamber. A red glowing wall blocks entrance to an oddly-shaped room beyond.

Straight ahead to the north, is a flat wall - dominated by a very strange looking machine - a complex collection of gears and levers. The machine hums slightly as the gears and levers click softly. The walls and ceiling connecting the north and south walls are very oddly shaped - conforming to the honeycomb hexes in the cliff face. Along the walls are tools, pots of grease and other equipment. This room is otherwise empty.

Encounter 9: Leggerman Rain

Ahead of you on the road, six knights wait, their horses stomping their hooves nervously on the stone. The knights are dressed in full plate mail and their horses are similarly clad. They have no heraldry or markings of any kind. They have the look of experienced warriors who have seen many battles.

A large, blonde-haired, bushy bearded knight removes his helm. His smile is crooked, a long scar running down the side of his face.

I am Leggerman Rain, you may call me Rain. I am knight in service to the Storm Lord, my Master Whitlock.

I seek a favor from you. In return my master will consider an alliance beginning....

If the party attacks, the knights will defend themselves. If the party helps, they will gain a tentative ally of the men of the Wolfshaunt.

Tibbot the Undefeated
Gerrot the Heroic

As you know, most of the vampires of the Wolfshaunt are bound to a Grandfather - either directly or through bindings of the Fathers and Uncles. You have already experienced Grandfather Josiah, so you know of what I speak.

There are ancient vampires, rogues as we call them, who eschew the Bindings - relying only on the Hunger to govern their actions. These are the most dangerous creatures in the Wolfshaunt - wildly unpredictable and devastating when cornered.

Of these, Radu - called the Priest-Eater, is legendary. One of the most ancient inhabitant of the Wolfshaunt - it is rumored that he has lived here since before the sealing of the valley. His diet is always the same - a priest or holy person. From this, it is said that he is resistant to all powers of the clergy - their symbols and spells.

Master Whitlock's grand-daughter - Ariella - a child of sixteen - but formidable in her holy powers - was taken last night in a raid whose audaciousness betrays the insanity of Radu.

Radu's Cave is somewhere in the mountains to the north. We tracked him using this scrying stone - focused on a silver cross Ariella wears about her neck. But, we cannot fly - and the mountains are impassible. Take the stone and rescue Ariella - or at least bring back her body - and Master Whitlock will be in your debt.

If you agree, the Master will summon a storm that should give you cover until you get to Radu's Cave.

Encounter 10: Radu's Cave

Master Whitlock's storm rages about you, buffeting you with winds and rain that swirl from the dark clouds. Ahead of you is a small ledge. The scrying stone grows brighter - the girl is in the cave behind the ledge.

As you land on the ledge of the cave, a white light comes from the man-sized opening. The light is warm and inviting - an odd disconnect to the dark and damp surroundings. Lightning flashes yellow behind you.

"Friends. Come in out of the rain."

The interior of the cave is small, sumptuous and bright. The ceiling and walls of the cave are covered in silver, gold and steel. Shields, swords, crosses - all hang from the walls - their surfaces polished to a high gloss. The ceiling appears to be made of thousands of gold coins nailed in an overlapping fishscale pattern. Every possible surface is covered with bright shiny metal.

In the center of the room, sits a glowing chessboard - odd in that it has four sets of pieces on the checkerboard silver and gold squares. What is most remarkable are the pieces - glowing clear ruby-like, blue sapphires, green emeralds, and yellow diamonds. The pieces are slightly different than the game played in the Reaches.

Finally, behind a table, chair and basin, is a sumptuous bed of red and yellow silks and velvet. Lying on the bed is the form of a young girl - pale white. She is dressed in a simple white cotton shift and appears to be sleeping.

Radu is a pale, thin young man with a small black pointed beard and long willowy fingers. His smile is disarming. He wears a single ruby ring. His dress is a night shirt over which he has thrown a red velvet smoking jacket.

"It is not often that I get visitors to my abode. Welcome. Sit and have a glass of wine."

Radu will only attack if provoke. He is immortal and does not feel threatened by the party.

He will:

  • You can have the girl when I am done with her. I do not apologize for the Hunger. I will leave her body on the ledge in two days.
  • The chess board keeps track of the four houses of the Wolfshaunt. However, the board will be reset soon with the Mustering.
  • More interesting is new forces that might enter via the Valley Gateway.
  • Radu wants 4 tokens - to travel to the Reaches to check it out - and then back. He has no desire to leave his home. He is happy here.
  • Will not get involved in politics.

There are several magic items here. The chessboard glows but is otherwise non-magical.

RING OF RADU
STAFF OF SPIRIT
RELIQUARY OF ST. SIMON

32 pieces
12x12

Encounter 11: Glade of Willowthorn

This will appear down the road from either entrance to the Heartwood.

Just past a large bush of mistletoe, a small path winds down into a hallow - remarkable only because the light from the sun seems brighter here, the clouds less oppressive. At the bottom of the path, a sunny glade seems completely foreign in the Wolfshaunt - an sylvan sanctuary in the perpetual gloom of the lands which surround it.

At the center of the glade, a small cottage - long abandoned - is overgrown with vines. Several fruit trees are laden with spring flowers. A small pond is off to one side, and a garden - overgrown with weeds is off to the other.

The interior of the cottage is long overrun with vines. Shapes that were once tables, chairs and other furniture can be seen here. The party will find the BRIAN BLADE here.

Hylax and Fuzzwort feel at ease here - while Vince, Ernie and U-Gene feel a menacing presence - a lurking evil at the edges of the glade.

As you approach, six centaurs come loping from the trees - their bows trained on Vince, Ernie and U-Gene. "Be cleansed or Be gone, tainted ones." Hylax and Fuzzwort are invited to stay and rest in the House of Willowthorn (a long-dead druid).

If attacked, the centaurs will attack - as will 20 large ents that are standing around the edges of the clearing.

From the pool, three beautiful women - nude and alluring - beckon you to join them. They will periodically frolic in the pool. Attacking them will summon the shade of Willowthorn - who will curse the party. The party's skin will slowly start to become bark-like until they pay a penance to Willowthorn.

If entered freely, the pool will "cleanse" the party - making their alignment to Neutral until they undertake a good or evil act (or 24 hours).

NOTE: This can also be used as a wandering encounter in the Heartwood.

Encounter 12: Grandfather Josiah's Castle

As you descend towards the woods, the darkness of the night seems absolute. The air is cold and fetid.

At the forest's edge stands a large imposing four story castle - square in shape - without adornment. You recognize it immediately as Grandfather Josiah's keep - now moved from the crossroads where it stood previously. A long needle-like pole extends from the top of the keep. Even from this distance it appears weathered and ancient.

Snaking out from the castle are large reddish-purple tendrils - like the snaking roots of an ancient tree. The tendrils snake out for about 200 yards before being buried in the earth. Their sickly glow casts a pallor into the absolute darkness of the night.

This is the same castle as last year - see previous adventures if the party wishes to explore.

Encounter 13: Wolves vs. Vampires

The wall of trees that make up the Heartwood is thick and impenetrable. Vines hang from the limbs and bushes push up into the boughs. Travel off the path would be almost impossible. The path that winds down and into the woods passes through the only gap that is visible in the foliage.

As you consider the vista, a howling from behind you can be heard - the rapid approach of dozens of werewolves.

They pass by you without a notice - pulled by the Mustering. Suddenly, as they come within a hundred feet of the castle, three fireballs shoot out - knocking a few wolves off the path. Several are dead. The others, only temporarily scattered, turn their focus back on the woods - making a pell mell scatter while a volley of arrows and several more fireballs rain down from the castle.

Two vampires chase the wolves. Taking two down. As the wolves gain the protection of the forest, the vampires retreat - keeping a healthy distance between themselves and the tangled boughs of the Heartwood.

As you look back, the bodies of the wolves are gone - and the vegetation is pulling the remaining trapped wolves down into their green boughs. A last few howls of anguish, and the forest is quiet once again.

This is a something of a tradition - killing wolves as they enter the forest - fewer to fight later.

It is also a diversion to get the party's mind off of their journey into woods. Attacked by vampire castle. Once they get into the forest, they are safe.

Encounter 14: The Heartwood Maze

As you enter the Heartwood, the darkness seems unnatural. The path ahead a dim trail lost in time. A drowsiness starts to pull at your eyelids - nothing overwhelming - just a need to slow down and keep focused on the path.

You seem to have lost your companions. The path has diverged. You must find your way back.

When you enter into the Heartwood, they must make it through the Maze.

  • Each player must work independently.
  • Once you solve the puzzle, you can "find" and coach one other player. Verbal only - no sharing answers.
  • Hylax and Fuzzwort take no damage.
  • If Ernie, U-Gene and Vince are still non-neutral, then they take an escalating amount of damage each round.

Find a path that moves horizontally and vertically from S to F. The path must pass through exactly one unit square of each L shape.

Heart14.jpg

Encounter 15: Shadow Sneaks

Unseen to party, they will be tailed by a number of shadow sneaks. These creatures appear as insubstantial wisps of smoke.

They have been sent by Grandfather Josiah to make sure the party stays on the intended path - gaining the hands before entering the tree. They will move the magic items forward as needed.

Encounter 16: Guardians of Morgan's Tomb

Just inside the Maze, a path diverges. The more-traveled path (to the right) is trampled by the paws of hundreds of wolves - dirt is kicked up and plants broken.

The less-traveled path (to the left) runs into the forest. This path also shows signs of recent travel. A set of six horse's hooves move at a slow walk, single file along the narrow track.

The track moves on for almost a mile.

Suddenly, you hear the sounds of battle. Six armored knights are slaughtering a small group of centaurs. Behind the battle, a small stone ziggurat pokes out of the woods.

One of the men breaks off and charges towards the ziggurat - only to be thrown from his horse and crushed by two treants guarding the entrance to the ziggurat.

The centaurs are the Guardians of Morgan's Tomb. They are brothers of the Guardians of the Bee Gate - although they have not communicated with each other for several generations.

These centaurs are just about killed off - only 20 remain - 14 of them women and children. The treasure of the tomb must be moved or new guardians found.

The centaurs do not know the contents of the tomb - only that it is the final resting place of Azura Morgan - a wizardess of great renown. This is another path into Wolfshaunt: the puzzle box. This structure holds a relic - Morgan's Staff - that allows free travel between the Wolfshaunt and the Reaches. The staff was created by the same wizardess, Azura Morgan, that created the great gate - sort of a back door into the Wolfshaunt.

Greymane

Encounter 17: The Puzzle Box Entrance

On either side of the entrance to the ziggurat, two large treants stand motionless - their branches swaying slightly in the wind. The ancient stone building is set back into the trees. It is clear that it hasn't been opened in centuries.

Hylax recognizes the structure as a wizard's puzzle box. A series of tests and traps await any who enter. If they are successful, then they will be rewarded with the treasure. If they fail, they die.

With the centaur's blessing, the treants stand aside. They bellow a command in the low deep rumble of old entish, and the stone sealing the ziggurat entrance slide apart.

After entering, the stones slide back together. Hylax does not feel connected to the planes - nor is teleport possible. This is life or death.

Encounter 18: The Outer Corridors

The stones of this building are ancient, but polished and bright as new. The floors, walls and ceiling appear to be cut from a single block of stone. The outer corridor of the ziggurat follows in a square around a sealed central chamber.

As you enter a single stone door appears in front of you. On it, carved into the stone in Common, is the phrase. "The password is dragon."

Test 1

The walls begin to scrape in towards the party. 10 feet until they are squashed.

A set of lips appear to the above the door, and a woman's voice can be heard. "I am Azura Morgan, and you are either clever or dead. This should be fun."

She will converse with the party. The trick is that the players aren't the ones that have to say the password, the door is. They have to get the door to say it.

Once this is passed, the door will disappear, and a smaller room will appear in front of the party. This gives them 10 more feet.

Test 2

A single pane of stained glass - is illuminated from within.

Again, the female voice speaks, "Welcome adventurers. The chosen one must break the glass."

Once this is passed, the walls will disappear, and a smaller room will appear. 10 more feet.

Heart15.jpg

One handout is different. That character must break the glass, revealing the next puzzle.

"Very clever. Have you ever thought of being a wizard?"

Test 3

A very small room again with a solid stone door. There is a stone button on the right hand side of the door. On the left hand, in Common, is the number 10. It starts to count down: 9, 8, 7, 6, 5...

The trick is to let it go to 0 and the door opens.

Encounter 19: The Inner Chamber

The inner chamber holds a stone coffin - well crafted, but plain. On top, the skeleton of a woman - desiccated in blue robes lies with a short staff made of black iron. It's head is made of a large amber crystal.

"Congratulation, adventurers, you have passed my tests - take my staff and use it well."

When the staff is taken, the party feels they have the ability to teleport, look in different planes, etc.

Test 4

This is, of course, ridiculous, the actual staff in the coffin with the body of Azura Morgan. Which looks identical, but the amber has a strange insect trapped within. The insect has seven legs remaining, although at some point it had eight.

Encounter 20: Sprites of the Hand

The path begins a slow, twisting descent. Light fades and the trees are bent by the weight of heavy vines. Periodic game trails lead off into the thickets. As you pass by one trail, a squeaking voice is calling for help.

Looking down, you see a sprite - a small flying fey with a bloodied sword. Dressed in simple green, the sprite has a small silver chain with a hand grasping a tree about its neck.

Help us! My comrades are being attacked by the vampire vines. Hurry. With that, the sprite flits down the path.

Five sprites - each wearing a silver chain with a hand grasping a tree are being attacked by a vine creature. Five more lie dead. The vampire vine should be easy to kill.

The sprite will thank the party and leave. If asked, they will say that the chains protect them from the confusion of the Heartwood Maze.

This is true. But, the chains have other powers. They were ensorcelled by the "personal items" stolen from Teufeldorf. This makes it impossible for the party to find additional information out about these items.

Grandfather Josiah created them to give to the party. If they are in possession of the party, then the Grandfather can "grab" the heart.

Encounter 21: The Heart of the Wolfshaunt

If disassembled, there will be two blackened teeth at its center. These are the teeth of Talbot and Lycurgus - who control the wolves of the Wolfshaunt. They were the "winners" at the last Mustering. Breaking the Heart will break the hold they have. If reassembled, any teeth in the heart will provide control. If the party puts in their own teeth, then they will be immune to wolf attacks for the next few days.

Encounter 22: The Mustering

The forest here is impossibly thick - dark, dense trees cut out what little light the sky provides. The path leads down steeply, gnarled roots making progress treacherous and slow-going. Finally, the ground levels out and becomes swampy. The tree trunks disappear - and you realize that the canopy overhead comes from one single tree - whose impossibly thick trunk sits in the center of the swamp. The lowest branches of the tree are only 10-12 feet from the ground - creating a low ceiling that extends out across the swamp.

From the branches of the tree, strangely-shaped heart fruit hang - each piece identical and tempting.

This is the Heartwood.

Around the tree, hundreds of wolves circle - small fights breaking out here and there. Many of the wolves, however, are facing the tree in rapt attention. The larger wolves appear to be near the trunk - with the stragglers ranging near the outer branches.

Suddenly, the air becomes still - no sound except the buzzing of flies. One wolf begins to howl, then another and another. Soon, the baying is deafening - a cacophonous wail of dismay.

Lycurgus and Talbot will be closest to the trunk.

The Mustering is coming to its climax.

Suddenly, the fruit falls to the ground. In a single scream, the wolves are all now men. Each frantically trying to pick up a heart and open it, sink their teeth into it.

The timer is ON.

Lycurgus will set off a MAGNETIC BOMB (-) to keep the party from the trunk.

The fruit begins to whither quickly with time. Those that have successfully solved the fruit puzzle, can enter the trunk.

Each party member must solve the puzzle in 5 minutes to get into the trunk - make this a fun contest. If they fail, they stay outside with the loser wolves. Note: the characters need to break off a tooth to be successful.

Encounter 23: The Heartwood

As you step into the trunk, a sense of claustrophobia assails your mind. The wood is non-corporeal, but it provides a thick, sticky resistance. The scents of earth and wood are cloying. Moving towards the center, you are aware of another presence nearby - ancient and intelligent - a being of nature and balance.

"Are you worthy to control the wolves of the Wolfshaunt?"

This is a player vs. GM challenge using the book of puzzles. Roll a dice to see who goes first. If the GM misses the puzzle, then the player has his tooth in the Heart moves to the Alcove . If the player misses the puzzle, then they are trapped within the tree.

Encounter 24: The Alcove

See Sealing of the Wolfshaunt for the exciting conclusion.