The cursed animals have rampaged through the forest. Their violence has left traces that are easily spotted.
Claw and bite marks on trees. A DC 14 nature check
- Claw and bite marks on trees. A DC 14 nature check reveals the marks to be wild and erratic, and belonging to an owlbear.
- Small and medium-sized mauled corpses of animals can be found scattered. A DC 13 Survival check reveals that the creature(s) who mauled the corpses are clearly interested in the kill, not the sustenance.
- Deeper into the forest, no birds sing their song. Sometimes, there is still rustling in the trees.
- Hoofmarks can be found around the edge of the forest.
The Encounter Participants
Granny Martha, an elder green hag, has been terrorizing the forest with her sickly influence. She has ordered the Werebear Gorlon Breeks, whom she has cleverly bound to her service, to lay the groundworks to create a suitable, swampy environment for Granny’s new lair.
- Gorlon Breeks was promised by the hag that his affliction (Gorlon has one big and one small arm, and is hunched over) would be cured after he would do her a favor. The favor, however, was specified in the contract to have no end date. He now is bound to Granny Martha and must do her bidding or lose his soul to her as well. He is responsible for spreading Granny’s curse, although he does so reluctantly.
- Two owlbears (SRD p.339) have been cursed by Granny Martha, their will bound to her own. Under this curse, the owlbears are even more aggressive than they usually are but listen to whomever Granny wants them to listen to.
- Five apes (SRD p.366) have been cursed by Granny Martha, their will bound to her own. Under this curse, the owlbears are even more aggressive than they usually are.
- Andrare, Teodandras, and Pelagio The three centaurs are all that is left able to fight from their tribe. They feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of animals they must capture. Their shaman has yet to find a cure for the curse.
Effect of the Curse
All creatures under Granny Martha’s curse gain the following feature:
- Curse of Rage. As a bonus action, the creature may move up to its speed towards another creature it can see. After it uses this bonus action, its next attack deals 3 (1d6) extra necrotic damage, but all other creatures have advantage on attack rolls against it.
The hunt consists of three phases. In phase 1, the centaurs will show themselves to the players and ask for their help. In phase 2, the players and centaurs track the creatures and try and find a den or a source. they will be attacked by the 5 apes as described in “encounter participants”.
While the party is traversing the woods, they will spot an area where much violence was committed. some travelers were slaughtered by beasts. Three centaurs, two male and one female, stand next to the scene. They are inspecting the situation, and carry clean weapons.
The centaurs are:
- Andrade, a female centaur. She has long, brown hair and fur, and has a slender build. She has a small backpack, which she has stuffed with herbs and berries so some of it sticks out of the bag. Andrade is straight-forward and fierce, she does not like outsiders because they tend to harm the forest.
- Teodandras, the leader of the hunting party. He has black hair and fur and has a strong build. He is rational and has decided they needed outside help to find a cause for the rampaging animals that are on a killing path.
- Pelagio is a male centaur. He has blonde hair and white fur and has a normal build. He is a hunter and is primarily with the hunting party for the thrill. Although he acknowledges the current threat is too much to deal with the centaur’s current capacity, he is reserved towards outsiders.
The Leader, Teodandras, asks the party for help finding the source of all this slaughter. He offers a very ornate shortsword adorned with a bronzen leaf guard (Shortsword of Woodland Blessing.) for their help in the matter. The shortsword belonged to a fellow tribesman that fell prey to the savagery of the animals. They state they wish to harm as few animals as possible and are primarily looking for the cause.
For a centaur of this forest, an outsider is any creature without any connection to the forest. Wood elves or forest gnomes, for example, are not counted as “outsiders”.
The remains are from 2 creatures, which are deduced by the number of arms found around the camp.
- A successful DC 12 Survival check reveals that there were two large animals. The tracks also look like bear tracks.
- A successful DC 15 Survival check reveals the tracks not to be of two normal bears, but 2 owlbears.
- A DC 15 investigation check reveals a small pouch containing two rubies worth 20 gold. Furthermore, they also find that the bodies have died not 2 hours ago.