A.K.A. Face thy Woe, and Know that thy Woe Has a Name, and that Name Is Kobold . . .
“I hate today.”
“The celebration, the winter, the festivals. This one I hate more than the others.”
“But think how happy everyone else is today, lord, think of their happy faces, their full bellies, their family gatherings bursting with joy and pie.”
“Exactly. While I sit here with you and this inflatable pig.”
“But I thought it was what you wanted! Please, Master, put your party fez back on, or perchance the glittery wizard’s hat I also bought for you for this special day—the one with ‘wizard’ written upon it in big sparkly letters.”
“Hmm, today I prefer to think of those less fortunate than myself. On this day, of all days, we should think of those poor unfortunates that cringe in the shadows awaiting slaughter without dialogue™, and offer them succor…”
“But how does the tale end, master? Do the good ravens win or lose?”
“Maybe a little of both, ratkin. Maybe a little of both.”
The characters have been charged by their elder to seek out and stop something that is coming from the north—something that threatens the Eldest Tree. Here the PCs were raised, and it is a tree their parents, and their parent’s parents, spoke of as home. Will they be the last generation of ravens to do so?
In Part Two of the adventure, the PCs had a chance to learn a safer way toward their goal. If they choose to ignore this or are ignorant of the facts, they pass through the Satyr Grove. If they choose the safer way run the Weeping Wood section.
When you’re done with this adventure, you can explore the other Shadow Fey in the new Pathfinder version of Courts of the Shadow Fey or check out the Raven’s Call, both from Open Design.
“Cease your interruptions, slug-thing, or I’ll have you toasted over an open fire.”
The Gathering Storm
The PCs are flying north into the Great Wood, a densely choked forest of incredible age. The wood is alive with strange noises, blinking eyes, and strong smells of musk, rot, and sugar.
The Great Wood has been affected by the coming influence of the Winter King, whose plots and madness are detailed in the new Pathfinder version of Courts of the Shadow Fey. As winter begins to hold sway, unseasonal storms lash the forest. With the storms comes the influence of the Moonlit King’s madness. The causes of these events are detailed further in the Courts of the Shadow Fey, but, for the purposes of this adventure, it is enough for the PCs to know that a cruel winter is upon the wood and that in the grip of its madness a giant has been driven insane. The giant—ordinarily a docile creature that cares for the wood and who has earned the name Verderer—has been driven mad by the Moonlit King’s song and raves about the wood with his axe, felling trees.
The PCs must travel to the giant and deal with the menace, one way or another…
“For the final time, come down off your perch and sit.” “But, master, the cat’s boils . . .” “. . . Can wait. I want to tell you a story.”
This entry and the next entries for Your Whispering Homunculus are unusual, for this time you’ll see no quirky lists, no strange nonplayer characters, no gazetteer of unusual hats, and no small talk. The next entries contain an adventure called Nevermore.
Nevermore is an unusual, short, 2nd-level Pathfinder adventure in which the players take on the roles of an awakened ravens who nest in a single great tree and who call themselves the Great Unkindness. It can be modified easily for 1st-5th level as required. The eldest raven is beginning to sense that something is going wrong with the world, and the very future of the Great Unkindness is threatened.
“Ah, my old adventurer’s tent. How much I miss the days of my youth when I’d gad about the countryside, chasing this purple temple or that magenta stronghold. How my young limbs used to love a stop in the dangerous wilderness and break my fast with spring water and berries.”
“Whereas now your regal buttocks become inflamed unless they are warm and cozy on your mighty mattress.”
“True, slug-mother, true. Now get my warming pan ready and boil me some frothy milk for my supper or I’ll have you lashed.”