Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Reforged Iron: Secrets of the Green: The Full Adventure, Pt 1: Plot, Locations, and Prologue.

The Introduction of Reforged Iron Where I Take the Results of Iron DM and Flesh Out The Adventure Setup.

Sadly, I lost Iron DM in the first round due to the need to detail.  Hrmm... But that doesn't mean that I'm going to ditch the awesome possibilities of this Adventure.  So today, I am going to start the writeup for the full adventure Secrets of the Green, for Stalwart Adventurers.  We'll start with a list of plot-important characters, and the trip to Fiddler's Crown by Land.

A quick link to other parts of the module: 2

Plot Summary

The Tourney at Fiddler’s Crown calls adventurers from miles around.  A heavy purse for the winner and the favor of the Three Widows of Hawken are up for grabs for any adventurer willing to take the chance and seek out the Widow’s Green Cup.  A twenty year tradition, this year’s Tourney will turn out to be one for the record books, and bring the future of the Hawken household and its past secrets into the light.


Fiddler’s Crown: The enormous castle built into the Great Eastern Tree, the Crown is the world’s largest treehouse.  Towering above the lands below, the Crown may be accessed through paths cut into the canopy in the form of an elaborate hedge maze.
Protected from the wicked weather off the Cliffs by the embrace of the canopy, the mazes of the Crown serves the dockside villages of Rockston and Seasfinger via a large bridge made of an exposed root of the Great Tree.

The Great Eastern Tree: The treetop on which Fiddler’s Crown sits is just the tip of the iceberg, as the Great Tree descends for thousands of feet below the surface, its network of roots and branches leads deep into Widow’s Walk Cliff and is an entire series of unique ecologies.  Pools of water collect in shallow bowls in the enormous branches, and the webbing of branches, fallen leaves, and fungal/mossy growths provides animals below the treetop a whole new world to explore.

The Great Tree descends into the earth for thousands of feet, and a walk down to the base of the tree can take days due to overgrowth and the need to climb down.  At the base of the Undertree lies the thorp of Thistledown, ancestral home of the Green-Cup knights and their bannermen.  Abandoned for two decades, Thistledown was granted to the Green-Cup household as a snub to the House, but the well-built city that used the roots of the Great Tree for roofs was the western entrance to the Crown through the now overgrown Greenbriar Path.

Eberhardt: The Village of Opals, Eberhardt was built to serve as an opal miner’s camp hundreds of years ago.  After the claim ran dry a youngest son of the Malmsey line was sent to be the Lord of the manor and its various smallholds.  A skilled magician, Ejun Malmsey made the city into a safe location for the study of the Arts and the village lives through its production of potions, poultices, and wands for those with coin and need.  This is the seat of the Gold Star Malmseys, the symbol chosen by the young Ejun for its association with astronomy (a personal love) and magic lore.  Currently ruled by Lord Emon Malmsey,

Rockston/Seafinger: Two communities that host small docks for those looking to enter Fiddler’s Crown, the two cities are well-known around the kingdom for their goods.  The Silver Weavers of Rockston are a group of female smiths skilled in making the ornately decorated armor favored by knights of the East. In Seafinger the skindivers of the Order of the Blessed Pisces sell pearls, fine conch, and the hard yet strangely pliable shells of large Goldsteel crabs that are only found off the depths.

The rivalry of Rockston versus Seafinger for seaside trade is well-known in the Crown, and nothing shows the rivalry more than Sir Filo and the Captain of the Guards Sir Geritt.  The two men make a large bet each year on the Tourney, and the victor receives a set of gauntlets known as the Lady’s Favor to wear until the next year’s tourney.

Dramatis Personae:

House Hawken

Three Widows Hawken:  The widows of the Fiddler’s Crown, Prata, Loira, and Ruiva Hawken created the Tourney to celebrate the loss of their betrothed, the Lost Sons of Thistledown Manor, the Knights of the Green-Cup in a strange disappearance in the forests around the estate.  They once had a sister, the youthful Bianca, who committed suicide by leaping off Widow’s Walk Cliff upon hearing of her lost lover.


Prata Silverhair – Silver-haired and boastful, the Lady Prata lives in the Eastern Tower of Fiddler’s Crown.  An avid aquaculturalist, Prata created a glass enclosure holding hundreds of fish when she came to widowhood, and  swims within the tank to enjoy the salty waters of the Sea without hazarding the breakers off Widow’s Walk Cliff.  Lady Prata loves the hunt, and can sometimes be found in the Silent Woods riding with retainers hunting hare and doves.  Sadly, Prata has been struck by an unforeseen illness, and is under the care of a skilled healer in Jenny, woods woman of Eberhardt.

She is accompanied (when physically able) out of tower by Jenny and her handmaid, a young bastard girl and daughter of Sir Filo.

Loira Brighteye – Cropped Golden-haired with silver streaks, Lady Loira lives in the Hightower North of the Crown.  Loira embraced her widowhood, refusing suitors and spending her timing at the family pastime of falconry.  Loira loves the sea, and spends time on her father’s pleasure yacht Grey Drake and has had a hand in the breeding of the great Stud of the Crown, a pure black warhorse known as Sable.

Ruiva Thrice-Widow: Wearing a broad braid of coppery red hair turning grey, the Lady Ruiva’s voracious love of the Sir Filo of Rockston is the open secret of the Manor.  Widowed by the elder Knight Green-Cup, Ruiva was married by her father to a Lord-Captain of the Queen’s Navy, lost at sea in battle after giving her a son.  Her third marriage, to Sir Alric, younger brother of Lord Emon Malmsey, was cut short after their daughter’s tenth birthday, when Alric, in his cups, plummeted off the skywalks of the Crown to his death.

Escondo, Master of Mirth: A forty-year old court magician who came to Fiddler’s Crown, the Master is hired for the maintenance of the mazes leading to Fiddler’s Crown, and the keeper of the magics of the Household.  His title comes from his institution of the Tourney at Fiddler’s Crown, wherein he calls forth a group of the most talented tricksters of Eberhardt, Rockston, Seafinger, and surrounding communities to make the tournament’s grand landscapes.

House Malmsey:

Lord Emon Malmsey of Eberhardt, the Jugged Mage: A man of fifty, Lord Malmsey’s appearance is obscured by the large barrel he lives in for his health.  A skilled transmuter and scholar of instable magic, Malmsey took to Fiddler’s Crown a year ago to study the weather patterns off Widow’s Walk Cliff, and to send apprentices off to procure samples of flora and fauna found within the unique ecology of the Great Tree.

Malmsey’s condition is due to a cursed illness received during his scouting for unique flora and fauna.  A polymorphic instability, Malmsey found his body constantly unwittingly reshaping itself.  Though he treats the condition through tincture of mercury and a magic fixative, he must remain within his pressurized barrel or else die due to transmutative metastasis.

The Knights Green-Cup:  Four young men born to Bountiful Barrow Green-Cup, Lord of Thistledown, the Knights disappeared on the eve of the wedding while hunting in the Quiet Woods.  Lord Barrow was unwed, but had four natural sons, who received his name and title to share upon his death.


Baixista: A sturdy and stout warrior, Baixista was the eldest son of Lord Barrow and an unknown tinkerer’s daughter.  Brown hair, brown-eyed and jovial.

Bassaro: Blond-haired and blue-eyed, Passaro was the son of Barrow and a lady dishonored during a tourney in the Westerlands.  Handsome and beloved as a scout of the Undertree and beyond.

Lebre: Known to be just as free with his love as his father, Lebre was a quick-to-anger cad but excellent archer.

Beixe: Silver hair and grey eyes, this youngest son was rumored to be the progeny of spirits, though his mother was probably one of the Silver Weavers of Rockston.

Noted Guards of Fiddler’s Crown:

Example of Sir Farland's Work: False Arm of Lightning Bolt
Brasslegged Eric: A guard and former drinking companion of Lord Malmsey, Eric Toren was paralyzed from the waist down by a poisonous bite while on Undertree Safari with Emon.

Lord Emon, employing the combined skills of Eberhardt, created a halo to fit around the guard’s limbs, allowing the limbs to move through electrical current provided through a unique mystic device.  The original tinker who built the device, Sir Proud Jon Farland, was knighted for his service to the Malmseys and granted a stipend to continue his work on artificial limbs at the Vineyard, the great Malmsey estate and castle.

On The Road to Fiddler’s Crown

By Land, and the Huntsmen:  The Road to Fiddler’s Crown goes through the forests, going to the south of the Crown.  The Red Oak Path is the most common road, but there are many creatures who live in the great forest.  To reach the Crown takes around two days on horseback or three days on foot.  The slight slowness of horseback in comparison is due to the path’s rough nature and occasional worn trails that require a horse to move through difficult terrain.  

Credit: Her Ghost in the Fog by Lady Darkraven

The Girl in the Woods: During travel adventurers have a 50% chance every 12 hours to see a beautiful girl with a trailing scarf around her neck wandering in the woods.  If the adventurers move off of the path to try to find the girl they will find themselves twisted and lost.  Following the backtrail will fail to allow the party out of the woods, and the path seems to be lost completely after only a few hundred feet of travel back along it.  The party may attempt to use knowledge of survival to make their way out of the woods (DC: 20).  If successful, roll D6 on the following table to find out where they end up:

Forest Maze Effects:
  • 1: The Party ends up on the outskirts of the Forest where they had started on the path.
  • 2-3: The party ends up exactly where they started on the path.
  • 4: The party ends up in a clearing in the middle of the Forest.  This clearing has seven patches of white wood roses on the roots of seven small darkly-barked oaks.
  • 5: The same scene as above, but the party’s highest Charisma member sees seven maids laying on the ground, and the scarves hanging in the trees cut and the pieces around their neck.
  • 6: The girl appears ahead of the party, and leads them to the huntsmen’s camp.  The huntsmen, if startled, make a Reflex Save (roll 6d20).  Every roll below 10 triggers a +10 Ranged attack (2d8 damage) as the surprised hunters release arrows from surprise.

Bardic Knowledge (DC: 20) reveals the rumors of the Seven Maids of the Fair Wood.  Some legends say the founders of the place that was to become Fiddler’s Crown sacrificed seven maids to a vengeful spirit of the woods to ensure the building of their castle would go unhindered.

If rolled 4,5,6 follow the Option: Protector of Secrets after the Huntsmen’s Camp.

Huntsmen: Around ten miles outside of the Crown’s entrance on the Path is a small hunter’s camp.  This camp, used by the Widows when they decide to go hawking or enjoy the woods, is currently populated by a group of men with strands of rabbits and coneys butchered and being packed for transport.  The huntsmen are willing to offer food to the travelers and a night’s stay, but if the adventurers want rabbit they are denied.  The leader of the hunt is Sir Filo, sent out for the Lady Prata’s craving for rabbit and coney.  The huntsmen and a couple of other travelers are willing to chat with the adventurers, discussing the stories of the Tourney and great winners past.  The leader of the hunt, Sir Filo, was the victor of the past five tournaments, but fakes humility as he discusses the last few.  The last Tourney ended with Sir Filo receiving a great scar across his chest from the last beast, said to have been a giant bear commissioned by the Lady Prata herself to protect the Green-Cup.

Option: Protector of Secrets.

The spirit of the wood wishes to keep its secrets secret, and sends its minions after the party in the form of two spirits of the wood.  These creature, hiding in the branches and loam of the forest floor, attacks the party, causing the trees and bushes to attack while the spirit itself tries to drive the characters mad through its spellcraft and affecting the targets with amnesia.

Encounter (Protector of Secrets):

Pixie (CR 5, 3HD, replace Irresistible Dance with Confusion.
Animated Objects (2 Huge Animated Objects, Constrict/Trample (CR: 5).

If defeated the Protector turns into a wooden figurine dressed in leather-and-bark ‘armor’. A Knowledge (Arcana) or (Religion) (DC: 24) shows that this item is a sympathetic magic item, and is a common type of enchantment used to bind spirits by those who practice druidic or natural magics.