It’s the usual night at the tavern “the Brew” in Thistle Hold. A group of adventurers is chilling after a long day of traveling, telling stories and friendly mocking each others, while two man are playing a gripping dice game, drawing the attention of the near guests. Among the clinking of glasses and plates, the laughter and the buzz, a young man with black hair, the hint of a beard and a peculiar red hat, come up to the stage taking with him a wood lyre. The voices diminish and the attention shifts to the newcomer, while he set on a stool in the middle of the stage and with a deep and pleasant voice addresses his public.
«Welcome my friends! My name is Blackhawk, and tonight I want to tell you a story. This is not the same old story, there are no dragons nor ruined castles, just a small village, a group of adventurers and a troll singer. What’s a troll singer you may wonder? Fear you not my friends, cause’ Blackhawk will tell you everything…»
This adventure is designed for an experience party of adventures (100 exp each).
Changelings were created to be the eyes and ears of the elves through a ritual created by Symbaroum morphantics. This was a tough and contested decision, but according to the former autumn elf Huron, the ritual could have been improved and used to give life to powerful shapeshifting creatures, which could be later deployed to fight the uprising power of Wratha. However, when Huron expressed his ideas and his progress to the elf council, instead of receiving the support he hoped, he was banished from the Halls of a Thousand Tears and force to find shelter in a cave close to the border with the Ravens territory, where he fell in his third sleep. When he woke up as a winter elf, he found out the cave has been inhabited by a lonely and oddly peaceful troll singer named Arugan. Once he gained his trust, Huron convinced the troll to teach him the Melodic Summoning ritual, so he could lure humans to himself. He later betrayed and captured Arugan, only to spear his life in case he would have needed him again in the future. Then Huron performed the ritual to lure children from the nearby villages, with the intention of use them as test subjects. Usually to create a changeling, an infant is used during the ritual, but Huron needed “further formed” beings, so they could become fully mutated shapeshifting creatures. Huron is convinced he’s doing the right thing and he won’t stop until he has created an army powerful enough to hunting whoever tries to wake up Wratha or put their hands on Symbaroum’s inheritance.
The characters begin their journey in the Karo’s Fen, where they are contacted by a worried father named Dekham who asks the PCs to investigate upon the disappearance of several children from the village, among whom there’s his daughter Anya, who went missing three days before. The man tells the PCs that about a month ago children began disappearing during the night. His daughter and her friends tried to alert the village about a song they were all hearing, calling them into the depth of the forest, but adults didn’t believe them. Therefore, Anya and some of her friends decided to organize a rescue mission and follow the song to save their missing friends. With a succeed check of Cunning with Loremaster or the Troll Singing tradition PCs can recall the existence of a ritual which can “invite” specific kind of creatures in a specific place. Speaking with people in the village and exploring the children’s houses, it’s easy to assume that the last missing group of children was preparing supplies and gears for an expedition. With the Bushcraft trait or a Vigilant test, it’s possible to find out they move to the east, toward the Ravens territory.
Possible Davokar Encounters
Murderous Vines: The characters will find a half-sunken boat with several corpses nearby. A woman namely Gertra, who seems to be the last survivor, tells them they were part of a free settlement and they were coming home when suddenly the boat flipped over. As soon as she fell, she felt like she was being dragged under water by what seems to be branches. When she woke up the others were all dead. The corps show traces of strangulation. The woman is, unknowingly, an undead, but she’s harmless and she’s telling the truth. Her mates have been killed by a Ravenous Willow. All PCs have to make a Vigilant test and who fails get caught off guard.
Darklings Village: The character will stumble in a little village of Darkling, where they find one of the lost children named Fayde. If the PCs decide to attack the members of the village the girl will intervene telling them the Darkling did her no harm, on the contrary, they found her lost in the Davokar, brought her to their village and give her water and food. With a successful Persuasive test, the girl will reveal that, after the disappearance of one of their friends and since the adults thought they were lying, a group of children – including her – decided to go on a rescue mission, following the singing only they could hear. PCs with Loremaster (adept) can communicate with the Darkling, who will tell them that a few miles north east from here, there are some old ruins which became the den of a troll singer.
The den of the Troll Singer
The den is situated near the slopes of Ravens to the east of the Karo’s Fen, in a clearing where the swamps make way to a peculiar field full of flowers. The entrance of the den leads to a natural cave dimly lighted. All PCs who don’t succeed a [Vigilant -3] test will be caught off guard by a terrible Blight Born abomination, the result of one of the experiments of the corrupted elf Huron and put there to guard the den.
Accurate 5 (+5) Cunning 9 (+1) Discreet 10 (0) Persuasive 7 (+3) Quick 13 (-3) Resolute 11 (-1) Strong 17 (-7) Vigilant 10 (0)
Traits Corrupting Attack (I), Corruption Hoarder (II), Regeneration (II), Sturdy (I), Robust (II), Natural Weapon (III), Armored (I), Wrecker (I)
Abilities Iron Fist (II), Natural Warrior (II), Steadfast (II), Exceptional Vigor (II)
Weapons Claws 11/8 plus 1D4 Temporary Corruption
Armour 5 (Armored 2 + 3 Robust)
Toughness 25 Pain Threshold 9
Shadow Thoroughly Corrupted
Further deep the PCs will notice that the cave has been worked in order to resemble what looks like a habitation. Here they will see the troll singer Arugan, who lies chained up to the wall of the main room. As soon as he sees the PCs he will beg them to free him and reveal he was deceived and imprisoned by the winter elf Huron, who forced him to teach him the ritual to lure children into the cave. Arugan doesn’t know the elf’s intention, but he believe he must be stop as soon as possible. If freed the troll will volunteer to help the PCs defeat the elf.
Deep down into the cave, there’s a room whose walls are covered with bioluminescent mushrooms. This is the place Huron chose to fall into his third sleep and later build his “laboratory”, where he keeps prisoner the children he kidnaped – including Anya – and performs the morphomantic ritual which turns them into shapeshifters whom he calls the “Children”.
When the PCs enter the laboratory, the elf will ask them to step aside, because his only intention is to protect the Davokar. He will explain the reasons beside his actions and tell the PCs they can walk away if they let him alone. If the PCs have freed Arugan and show hostility, the elf will coldly say “You’re just a bunch of sentimental fools and by acting this way you will just let the tragedies of Symbaroum to repeat themselves”. He will then call [PC number/2] of “Children” he created in order to attack the PCs. He doesn’t have any intention to surrender and he will fight to the death.
Accurate 5 (+5) Cunning 16 (-6) Discreet 10 (0) Persuasive 9 (+1) Quick 7 (+3) Resolute 18 (-8) Strong 10 (0) Vigilant 11 (-1)
Traits Long-lived, Manifestation (III), Spirit Form (III)
Abilities Exceptionally Resolute (master), Exceptionally Cunning (master), Ritualist (master), Tactician (master), Sorcery (master), Unholy Aura (master), Maltrasformation (master), Black Breath (master).
Armour Mystical robes 3 (Flexible, Reinforced), get half damage from non mystical weapons.
Toughness 10 Pain Threshold 5
Shadow Purple with deep black stripes (Corruption: 14)
Accurate 5 (+5) Cunning 7 (+3) Discreet 10 (0) Persuasive 9 (+1) Quick 13 (-3) Resolute 10 (0) Strong 15 (-5) Vigilant 11 (-1)
Traits Long-lived, Armored (II) (from Metamorphosis), Metamorphosis (III), Robust (II) (from Metamorphosis), Sturdy (I), Natural Weapon (I)
Abilities Iron Fist (adept)
Weapons Claws (-5) (Short) 8
Armour Tough skin 6 (Armored 3 + Robust 3)
Toughness 22 Pain Threshold 8
Shadow Thoroughly Corrupted
Accurate 14 (-4) Cunning 7 (+3) Discreet 10 (0) Persuasive 9 (+1) Quick 15 (-5) Resolute 10 (0) Strong 10 (0) Vigilant 11 (-1)
Traits Armored (II, from Metamorphosis), Metamorphosis (III), Wings (II, from Metamorphosis), Long-lived, Deadly Breath (II)
Abilities Exceptional Accurate (novice)
Weapons Deadly Breath (-4) 6
Armour Tough skin 3 (Armored 3)
Toughness 10 Pain Threshold 5
Shadow Thoroughly Corrupted
Traits Long-lived, Armored (I), Natural Weapon (I), Regeneration (III), Robust (II)
Cunning 10 (0), Vigilant 9 (+1), Discreet 5 (+5), Persuasive 15 (–5), Quick 10 (0), Resolute 13 (-3), Strong 11 (–1), Accurate 7 (+3)
Abilità Combat Hymn (master), Troll Singing (master), Ritualist (master: Melodic Summoning), Leader (master)
Weapons Claws (+3) (Short) 6
Armour Skin-troll 5
Toughness 11 Pain Threshold 6; Recover 5 Toughness/turn, except fire and acid damage
Shadow Deep emerald green (Corruption: 0)
Tactics: Arugan will help the PCs with his Leader ability to deal more damage to Huron and use his Persuasive instead of their Resolute against mystical powers. He will use Combat Hymn to further strenghten them.
If the PCs success on defeating Huron, they will be able to free the children and bring them back to their parents. Dekham and the villagers will thank the PCs with 100 thaler each and the promise they will always be welcomed to the clan Vajvod’s lands.