Amid the luminescent tide pools of the shore, adventurers might have their attention snagged by something a bit unexpected as they walk by at night. You can roll randomly for a result below, or use the handy number provided with each entry to figure out your result on a d12. You can also pick the one that works for the area in which your characters currently linger.
Inevitably adventurers will be on a boat. Your party cannot be bound to land forever, and whether traveling by sturdy merchant ship or hastily constructed raft, you’ll need to fill some gaps. Prepared! has two water-logged scenarios ready to emerge from the rising waves and strong currents of your watery settings.
The Big One That Came Back
Setting the Scene: Gibbs Makla is the most successful fisherman in the region. His vessel, the Long Tooth, is famous not for the quantity of fish it hauls in, but for the size of its catch. Gibbs has a knack for landing the big ones, and he can do this due to a secret he uncovered a decade ago: hestumbled across some magical oil and discovered that a few drops applied to the gills of a still breathing animal would triple its size! Unfortunately, as often happens when magic is tampered with, Gibbs’s enchanted fish venture is in danger. The old mariner accidentally sprinkled a few drops onto a common crab, and the party encounters Gibbs aboard his ship wrestling the now calamitously large crab. The fisherman is surly and abrupt but calls out for the adventurers to “help send this clattering mess overboard.” With some successful social skill checks, he might reveal the truth about the giant crab and offer the party what remains of the oil. Using the oil could produce some unpredictable results. Regardless, helping Gibbs fight off the chitinous adversary gains them a free basket of fish (normal size) and a potential ally in the region.
Among the worst evils in the multiverse are demons…and those depraved souls that worship them. Darkest among them are the Doomspeakers, antipaladin champions of demon princes that are inducted into the profane secrets of The Book of Nine Dooms. This unholy tome teaches them a corrupt magic that devours its caster as fuel for the misery and destruction it wreaks upon the cult’s foes.
Demon Cults: Doomspeakers is compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and includes:
- 5 cultist NPCs with stats, including cult leader Narn the Crucifier (CR 15)
- Plots and adventure hooks for party levels 1 to 12
- New magic items: bone whip and primal doom
- New spell: doom of ancient decrepitude
- Using the Doomspeakers in the Midgard Campaign Setting
Hirschberg’s tradition of uniformed service runs deep. It is so ingrained that the locals boast that the bedclothes of its first soldier, Praeter Yohanis, are as stiff as his starch-pressed dress reds.
But even the elfmarked castellan of Castle Reln recognizes that a life of strict military discipline is not for everyone. The defense of the realm also depends on those who serve the city’s lawful authorities in civilian garb. Yohanis has been instrumental in establishing three units, his “irregulars” as he likes to call them, eager to apply their martial training outside the regular command structure.
Many adventurers see joining the irregulars as a gateway into Hirschberg society. This is especially true of non-elves and foreigners whose aim is ultimately to gain stewardship of a barony of their own. But natives also volunteer out of a sense of patriotism.
Fate and Chaos are fighting again. These two mysterious powers have decided to go on a killing spree, and their chosen victims are the little gods that permeate the land of Kaen. The people of the Wardlands, just across the Narrow Sea, fear that this wave of deicide could be the precursor to a Kaenian invasion of their country. With this in mind and a little internal treachery, Vocates Aloe Oaij and Morlock Ambrosius are dispatched to Kaen to find out just what Fate and Chaos are up to and to defend the lands they have sworn to protect as Graith of Guardians. After yet another at-sea disaster, the two guardians must confront and often kill many frightened gods. They must even face a murderous dragon who has been promised much power if he delivers the head of Morlock to the two powers (Fate and Chaos). If this wasn’t enough, they must fight a demon summoned by none other than Morlock’s absentee father, the necromancer Merlin. Oh yeah, and love is in the air…
I was glad that this book was broken down the way it was, but it almost could have been listed as more of a collection of interrelated quests rather than a single book. Enge is a student of history and is well versed in the legends surrounding Merlin and his ilk. I think he tried to capture this and, in 90 percent of what he did, he was spot on, but rather than breaking the book into five parts I would have preferred to see it broken into several novellas. This storyline reads like the old epics, and the title of the book ends up being misleading because of it. This book is called The Wraith-Bearing Tree, but said tree is really mostly in the beginning of the book and mentioned later on, but it isn’t important enough to be the title, so I almost felt misled. One other complaint I have about the book is the cover. The cover illustration is well done—an eye catcher—and it made me want to read the book. The problem I had is that Morlock looks nothing like his description; the guy on this cover looks like he could double on a bodice ripper, not the crooked-shouldered almost anti-hero that Morlock actually is. He is an amazing character and part of his amazing comes from the fact that he isn’t dashing. The guy on the cover actually lessens who Morlock actually is.