One Waiting, One Prisoner, One Sacrificed

By Tim Shorts
GM Games

It begins with three children missing after a Summer Solstice celebration. The party explores Denizon’s Folly, a tower that was abandon and unfinished. The second leg of the adventure leads the party into the fey realms of Osmolt Village where magic and space are unhinged and the inhabitants are terrified, but keep a horrible secret. The finale finds the party seiging the Tower of Blaspheemus that sits on the cliffside on the Sea of Mist. This is a real fairy tale where never once are the words ‘and they live happily ever after’ spoken.

You are on notice: I luv folklore and fey.

This adventure is three patreon rewards published together. The first two parts are more conceptual than adventure while the third is a mostly linear tower adventure. It has some decent fey imagery in places but is SIGNIFICANTLY more bare bones than I expected. Expectations kill.

The first section covers the disappearance of the children. It’s two pages long with three sentences of background that says the kids have disappeared, there are ruins nearby, and there are rumors of fey in the area. What follows is the description of four ruined buildings, each described with a couple of paragraphs, that make up the “ruins nearby” complex. A house, gutted with flame, leaving a blackened frame and fireplace, with a bowl of perfectly preserved ripened apples on an untouched table … that’s pretty good imagery and is exactly what I’m going after when I say I’m looking for something terse by evocative. There’s another point, later in the third adventure, that has mist rolling out from under a towers front door, down a cliff, and in to a misty sea. Both of those paint an excellent picture and the adventure would be better if provided more of that type of imagery. As it is it’s a little sparse for my tastes.

The second section deals with what happens when you eat the apples and step in to a faerie circle. It’s a small faerie village, unrecognizable as such because their houses are all hidden behind “find secret door” checks/integrated in to nature. This section basically has a table for you to generate a fey type, what they know, and their reaction. There’s a nice dead treant section, acting as a prison for one of the three missing kids. The idea appears to be that you wander about, talking to fey, and their leader, and find the kid in the treant, and get enough information to find the evil fey tower. It’s more than a little … generic? The abstraction of the fey, their personalities, motivations, and so on is, I think, my major problem here. By abstracting that in to a three column table It has become, well, abstract. Instead I would have preferred some details for the fey, and personalities, and maybe some interaction between them. This is a pretty big missed opportunity.

Finally comes the tower where the evil fey, and children, are kept. While it’s presented as an abstract concept, with gravity on whatever wall you choose to walk on, and rooms full of junk, and other bizarro stuff (which does, in fact, invoke fey imagery) it turns out it’s just pretty much a linear series of rooms, connected by a single hallway.

The creatures and treasure all all completely OD&D, when they are listed. Unique items, unique monsters, all with a decidedly interesting aspect to them and certainly on-generic in any way. A bow made from the bones of a displacer beast. You can imagine it phasing around as the party hold it … or a monster that eats memories and experiences. You could probably go through the entire adventure and only have two encounters, and not even that many if you’re super duper smart, so, while the tower IS linear, it’s not exactly forced combat after forced combat.

The ending is decent and does a good job conveying the fear of the fey. The two surviving children, one 20 years, physically but not mentally, older than she should be, are ostracized within a week, the thinking being they are cursed by the fey. Beaten and in worse shape than they were in the fey realm. (Well, except for the “eventually to be eaten” part.) The party, in rescuing the children, have not actually improved their lot much. Very nice touch and keeps in the theming of the fey.

The first two sections of the adventure are a little too sparse. A couple of sentences about the villagers, in the first section, would have done wonders, as would a few fey actually detailed in the section section. And I still don’t know what level the thing is for. Five, maybe? Anyway, by providing a little more details on the villagers and fey (the social parts of an adventure set the scene!) and working a little more on the imagery then this could be a pretty decent adventure.

This is available at DriveThru.

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