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Chapter 1, Page# 2
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Page II – The Lost World

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Swamp Dwellers

Monty, the Fisherman: he is an old and frail man. He looks tired and will be grateful to an adventurer that would share a ration or even a piece of bread. You can find him near ponds and shores in the area, trying to fish something that isn’t a leech. If interrogated he will kindly tell the adventurers about this information:

  • Will inform them about the poisonous waters, infested by leeches and other parasites.
  • Will explain to them that they have been cut off from the kingdom because the only road that connected these houses to it became infeasible.
  • The road is blocked by a huge and aggressive monster, that took possession of the area. (He seems very worried about that)
  • This beast it is the culprit of the rising waters of the swamp.

Brutus, the Worker: he is a stocky orc that can be found principally at his shop. He always seems unnerved by something, should it be a mosquito or a missing tool.

  • If an adventurer mentions the infeasible road or asks about it, he will respond by saying, “That damn beast wrecked my bridge… I worked really hard to build it, and that thing came and struck it like a castle of cards!”
  • If the adventurers ask him if there is another road he will explain them that unless they don’t want to be eaten alive by leeches, there is no other way.
  • Should the adventurers ask him to rebuild it, he will accept, but under two conditions:
    1. The adventurers must deal with the beast first
    2. The adventurers will help him
  • If an adventurer mentions the infeasible road or asks about it, he will respond by saying, “That damn beast wrecked my bridge… I worked really hard to build it, and that thing came and struck it like a castle of cards!”
  • If the adventurers ask him if there is another road he will explain them that unless they don’t want to be eaten alive by leeches, there is no other way.
  • Should the adventurers ask him to rebuild it, he will accept, but under two conditions:
    1. The adventurers must deal with the beast first
    2. The adventurers will help him
  • Brutus’ quest:

Brutus is able to help the adventurers fight the beast, in his workshop, has just enough materials to build a huge ballista and a single dart. The party can carry it to the beast and shoot the dart to it. A ballista is a large object with 80 HP, and the dart, if shot at something that isn’t the beast, does 61 (2d10+40)

P.S. Brutus can use its materials only for a single quest (read below)

Sonya, the Merchant: she is a tall drow that moves around the place carrying a big backpack full of junk and fripperies.

When she sees the adventurers she will immediately approach them, they will spread a mat on the ground and will display clumsily all of her inventory. All of that greeting the adventurer with sentences like “Oh dear… you are my first customers from ages” or “I hope my goods are to your liking … and that you can afford them”. She will display:

  • A set of artisan’s tools of the GM’s choice (Cost: 100 GP)
  • Two (nonmagical) simple weapons of the GM’s choice (Cost: as stated in the weapon’s sheet)
  • A nice-looking ring with an oval Rubin as the only decoration (The Ring of blood). She will tell that she has found it on a nearby shore and that doesn’t know anything about it. (Cost: at the GM’s will. It’s very rare)

A successful Persuasion check (DC: 16) will make Sonya cut her prices in half. If the check is failed, she will only be a bit annoyed.

Dahlia, the Fortune Teller: she is another drow, but she is visibly older than Sonya, she lives in her house in complete solitude.

If one of the magic jewels is brought to her, she will identify them for the players, she will tell the story of the Necklace of the Knight for free but will explain the properties of the Ring of Blood only after getting paid 20 GP. She will tell the adventurers that a long time ago she was an explorer and an artifact collector. She also tried to retrieve the Orb of Knowledge but she fell into this land. She will also tell that only who is worthy can take the orb, and one becomes worthy only by escaping its curse. She tried to find a way out of the world contained in the orb, but unsuccessfully. Now she settled here and adopted a child (Leopold) that recently lost his mother, abandoning her old life. but she’s undecided whether she wants to stay here with her companions or ask the group to help her and Leopold escape.

  • Dahlia’s Quest:

Dahlia will tell that her stepson is missing and that she is heartbroken at the only thought that he might be dead, so she will ask the adventurers to bring him back to her.

Leopold, Dahlia’s stepchild: he is a slim boy, and he is trapped in the northern part of the village.
Brutus and Monty Know that following the path straight to the north, you will get into what once was the cemetery, but the entire area flooded. Unfortunately, the road to get to it flooded too, and Leopold may be trapped on the other side.

The Flooded Cemetery

Brutus can help the adventurers get to the cemetery by building a makeshift bridge, but he will use all of his materials.

The bridge, once built, can hold at most two medium-sized characters at the time, if someone runs on it or more than 2 people walk on it simultaneously, it will crumble to pieces. The bridge also cannot be harvested for parts once built, because they will fall into the swamp waters.

Without the bridge, the only way to surpass the flooded road is to swim for 20 ft., due to the level of the water. Given it’s also a difficult terrain, every ft. of water counts as 3 ft. of normal movement (unless a character has a swimming speed, so it will cost him only 1 ft. more). The bridge leads to the cemetery, where Leopold currently is. He’s hidden behind a big stone on the northern part of the area. He notices you and quietly tells you to stay back and hide. He is in panic and will refuse to leave his spot.

Encounter: Eventually, the party will approach Leopold. Doing that, the party will notice a figure that is searching the area. It’s the King’s Ensign. The characters can try to evacuate Leopold from the area, but they must surpass a stealth check against a perception one of the enemy. Leopold, though is terrorized and has a disadvantage on skill checks. If the King’s Ensign notices you or Leopold it will immediately become hostile and will attack the group, but not Leopold. However, a successful insight check (DC 12) will reveal that maybe the Ensign’s mission is not to kill but to kidnap Leopold. After you kill him, his body will fall in pieces, and after moments his body parts will teleport away.

If the party manages to save Leopold, he will thank them by giving them what he was searching in the cemetery, the Necklace of the Knight, as a reward for saving him. If you return to Dahlia, she will begin to cry with joy, hug Leopold, and thank the adventurers. Then she will tell about the King’s Ensign, explaining what it is. And if the adventurers ask her why she told about it only after they fought it, she will reply, “I am very sorry, but I feared that this might have scared you away, leaving my son in his clutches. I should have faith in you.”.

To GM: If the party manages to kill the ending beast and later tries to save Leopold, the King’s Ensign will have already kidnapped him.

If Dahlia tells the story of the necklace ot the party, remember to specify or to give the information that once the beast was a man and that Leopold is his son.

The Beast’s Pond

Should the adventurers follow the path that leads to the northeast, they will arrive in a vaguely circular area of dry land, surrounded by the deep swamp waters. There is a pond guarded by the huge beast in the middle of the area: The Floating Cursed. Behind it, the adventurers can see the remains of what once was the bridge that connected the swamp to the rest of the kingdom.

The beast is incredibly territorial, so any adventurer that enters the area will be attacked until his death or until he leaves the area. Tunnels connect the pond with the swamp around, so if the beast feels restrained, it can submerge itself and then travel to another water surface nearby. The epilogue and the battle with the beast depending on the adventurers’ choices:

If the adventurers didn’t complete any quest: They can try to fight the beast without help, but be aware that this fight (without completing one of the quests) will be rated “Deadly” for a party of this level.

If the adventurers complete Brutus’ quest: They can carry the ballista to the edge of the area, Brutus will refuse to join the battle, but if you let him, he will offer to operate the ballista. Should Brutus or one of the characters shoot, the beast with the ballista and the party will be able to challenge the beast.

To GM: If they manage to do it, the attack against the beast cannot miss and will reduce the target’s HP to a third of its original value. Also, its AC is lowered by 2 points. This will lower the difficulty of the fight from “Deadly” to “Hard.

If the adventurers completed Dahlia’s quest: The beast will initially attack the party, but after one turn or two, it will become more docile and will show interest to who possesses the Necklace of the Knight. The beast will try to grab it gently and will show great interest in the object itself. If the adventurer gives the Necklace to the beast, it will try to wrap it around one of its tentacles, and then the entire beast will begin to glow, illuminating the whole swamp with its light. Finally, its tentacles will retract, and it will reduce to the size of a man. Once the transformation is complete, the adventurers can see a man standing where the beast was, with the necklace around his neck.

He will thank the party because they have broken its curse, and will reveal himself to be the knight of the legend. After this brief moment, he will run to the village, reuniting with Leopold, his son.

To GM: If the party loses the necklace and fails to bring it to the beast, the beast will remain hostile and the battle would be like the first scenario. If the adventurers refuse to give the beast his necklace, the beast will try to get it anyway by attacking or grabbing the necklace holder. The beast can perceive the necklace even if it can’t see it, it will be aware of its presence, as soon the necklace enters his area.

Epilogue

After its defeat or its transformation, the beast ceases to influence the swamp. Slowly the level of the water lowers making the remains of the bridge resurface. The adventurers can now help Brutus to rebuild the bridge. This will take two days to do so (nothing much happens in this period, so it can be skipped forward) and the adventurers will live with the villagers for this brief period.

After the bridge is built, the party can cross it and can finally explore the kingdom to unveil the mystery of this land. They may be able to get out of this world one day, but their journey has just begun, they will have to travel many lands and face many more trials. For now, you and the party can rest, awaiting what follows.

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