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Sidequest Saturday (Mischievous Meadows): Biddlywink Barrage!

biddlywink barrageTracking after the enchanted items stolen from them the night before, the PCs unknowingly walk into a grove of biddlytrees and are attacked by a swarm of the magic consuming creatures!

The biddlywinks don’t actually pose that great of a threat to the PCs; the real danger is the loss of magic items and what awaits parties that remain in the area for too long. The adventurers aren’t the first to be lured into this trap and the corpses of a few wayward explorers fall from the trees! Read the following as combat begins:

As several more of the creatures leap from the brush and attack you, the probiscii from their mouths frothing with agitation, the bones and tattered remains of bodies in various states of decay fall from the branches above and scatter among the grove!

(10) BIDDLYWINK CR 4

BiddlywinkXP
1,200
CN Diminutive fey
Init +9; Senses darkvision 120 ft., arcane sight, see invisibility; Perception+12
DEFENSE
AC 18, touch 18, flat-footed 14 (+4 Dex, +4 size)
hp 38 (7d6+14)
Fort +3, Ref +9, Will +8
Weakness silver, vermin qualities
OFFENSE
Speed fly 60 ft. (perfect) or 40 ft. (see text)
Melee force fronds +11 (1d8+3 force)
Ranged +11
Space 0 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks force fronds
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th; concentration +10)
Constant—
arcane sight, nondetection, see invisibility
     At will—glitterdust, mage hand
     5/day—dimension door
STATISTICS
Str 6, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 16
Base Atk +3; CMB -2; CMD 13
Feats Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Sleight of Hand), Toughness, Weapon Finesse
Skills Escape Artist +14, Fly +15, Perception +12, Sense Motive +11, Sleight of Hand +17, Stealth +26, Survival +12; Size Modifiers Fly +6, Stealth +12
Languages Druidic
SQ Freeze, hide in plain sight
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Interdimensional Sac (Su) While biddlywink can (and often do) consume enchanted items as quickly as possible, they also store them to digest later in an invisible extradimensional sac not unlike a handy haversack or bag of holding, but only capable of storing up to 30 pounds. When a biddlywink is killed, the sac appears on the material plane and bursts open dealing 3d8 force damage (DC 20 Reflex negates) to any creatures or items in a 10-ft. radius (though not to anything within it).
Force Fronds (Ex) The tendrils extending from a biddlywink’s mouth can be devastating when employed to attack a creature. On a successful melee touch attack, they deal 1d8+3 force damage.
Light Flier (Ex) When a biddlywink’s interdimensional sac is holding at least 2½ lbs. of items or a number of caster levels worth of items equal to twice the biddlywink’s hit die, it cannot maintain a sustained flight. Its speed is reduced and it moves in long bounds and hops that don’t exceed 5 feet in height or 10 feet in length—the biddlywink effectively now has a base speed of 40 feet until items in its Interdimensional Sac are digested.
Ranged Legerdemain (Su) A biddlywink can use Sleight of Hand at a range of 30 feet. Working at a distance increases the normal skill check DC by 5, and the biddlywink cannot take 10 on this check. Only object that weigh 5 pounds or less can be manipulated this way.
Wyrd Digestion (Su) These strange insectile-fey literally eat magic to survive. As a standard action, a biddlywink can ingest a magical item of Diminutive size or smaller. As a full round action, it can consume a magical item of Tiny size and over the course of a minute (ten rounds), a Small size magical item.
Once eaten by a biddlywink, an item is not instantly destroyed—instead it is secreted inside of its Interdimensional Sac. Potions are digested quickly within and are destroyed after a number of rounds equal to caster level. Wondrous items are more resilient and last for a number of minutes equal to caster level; any other enchanted items (rings, staves, weapons, armor) are destroyed after ten minutes per caster level.
Any item recovered from a biddlywink’s interdimensional sac before it is fully digested operates at two caster levels higher than normal for one week. The first time it is stored in an extradimensional space, it remains empowered this way until removed again (though afterward, the increased power diminishes and it returns to normal).
Biddlywink that consume enough magic items (1000 gp x hit die) transform into a biddlytree and sprout 2d12+4 biddlywinks with the young template after 1d10 days.
Weaknesses Biddlywink are vulnerable to silver and take x1.5 damage from all attacks made with the material (by spell or weapon). Moreover, whenever being treated as a vermin would prove negative for the biddlywink, such as when fighting an opponent with favored enemy (vermin), they are treated as the vermin type.

biddlywink barrage 2This battle shouldn’t be too dangerous; the biddlywinks put up a genuine assault but won’t be much of a problem for the PCs. Only 7 engage directly while 3 more attempt to pilfer more enchanted goods from the party.

When the combat begins to near a close, the troublesome creatures take to the woods and the adventurers are likely to give chase. Following the trail of the insectile fey is a simple task—it seems as though their flight is a reckless retreat, but in truth, the biddlywinks are only drawing the PCs farther into their trap.

After chasing the mischievous monsters about 100 feet farther into the woods, give the PCs DC 25 Perception checks to realize that their magic items or active spells (if they lack obvious effects, such as fly or an activate +1 flaming scimitar) have suddenly stopped functioning. Immediately afterward, the trees literally comes alive and attack them!

Chasing after the troublesome creatures you dash deeper into the forest, hot on the trail of the magic-eating insects. Suddenly something in the air seems to take on a strange quality and before you know any better, a truly exotic tree appears from the treeline, moving towards you with a clear malevolence!

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Statblock Sunday: P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. Agent

Image_Portfolio_1.13_Fantasy Rudolf Montemayor 02P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. Agent         CR 12
XP 19,200
Male halfling wizard 3/rogue 3/shadow dancer 1/arcane trickster 6
CN Small humanoid (halfling)
Init+6; Perception +15

DEFENSE
AC 23, touch 19, flat-footed 16 (+4 armor, +1 deflection, +6 Dex, +1 dodge, + 1 size)
hp 91 (3d6+3d8+1d8+6d6+42)
Fort +6, Ref +14, Will +7; +2 vs. fear

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 rapier +8/+3 (1d4+1, Crit 18-20/x2), mwk dagger +8/+3 (1d3, Crit 19-20/x2)
Ranged +1 frost shortbow+14/+7 (1d4+1 plus 1d6 cold, Crit x3, Range 60 ft.)
Space 2.5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks sneak attack +5d6
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 9th; concentration +12)
6/day—blinding ray (ranged touch, 30 ft., blind one round; dazzle if HD exceeds 9)

Spells Prepared(CL 9th; concentration +12; 10% spell chance failure)

0th—acid splash, detect magic, light; ghost sound
1st—magic missile (3), charm person, shield; silent image
2nd—detect thoughts, invisibility, obscure object; minor image (3)
3rd—dispel magic, fly, nondetection, suggestion; major image
4th—charm monster, stoneskin; greater invisibility
5th—dominate person; mirage arcana
Prohibited Schools conjuration, necromancy

STATISTICS
Str 10, Dex 22, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +6; CMB +5; CMD 20
Feats Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Mobility, Skill Focus (Sleight of Hand), Stealthy, Toughness (2); Scribe Scroll
Skills Acrobatics +16 (+21 jump), Appraise +7, Bluff +11, Climb +6, Diplomacy +4, Disable Device +19, Disguise +4, Escape Artist +26, Knowledge (arcana) +10, Perception +15, Perform (dance) +5, Sense Motive +11, Sleight of Hand +28, Spellcraft +11, Stealth +30, Swim +4; Racial Bonuses +2 Acrobatics, +2 Climb, +2 Perception; Size Bonus Stealth +4
Languages Common, Gnome, Halfling, Klavekian, Pradj
SQ Arcane bond (ring of protection +2), arcane school (illusion), cantrips, evasion, hide in plain sight, ranged legerdemain, rogue talent (fast stealth), trapfinding, trap sense +1, weapon familiarity (halfling)
Gear +1 rapier, +2 leather, boots of striding and springing, dust of tracelesness, hat of disguise, handy haversack, potion of cure critical wounds, ring of protection +2

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Extended Illusions (Su) Any illusion spells the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. agent casts that have a duration of “concentration” last 4 rounds after they stop maintaining concentration.
Impromptu Sneak Attack (Ex) Once per day, the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. agent can declare one melee or ranged attack they make to be a sneak attack (the target can be no more than 30 feet distant if the impromptu sneak attack is a ranged attack). The target of an impromptu sneak attack loses any Dexterity bonus to AC, but only against that attack. The power can be used against any target, but creatures that are not subject to critical hits take no extra damage (though they still lose any Dexterity bonus to AC against the attack).
Tricky Spells (Su) Three times per day, the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R. agent can cast their spells without the somatic or verbal components, as if using the Still Spell and Silent Spell feats. Spells cast using this ability do not increase in spell level or casting time. The P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. agent decides to use this ability at the time of casting.

TACTICS
P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. agents always have a prime directive or goal to accomplish and are rarely found without at least one pepfralcon at their disposal. Typically they remain to the shadows, manipulating events with illusion spells until an opportunity for them to acquire their charge presents itself. They avoid combat whenever possible, attempting to instead turn allies against one another with dominate person and suggestion—a P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. agent only enters the fray when the chaos reaches a fevered pitch, laying low any opponents that have noticed or perceived them first.

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AaWBlog Adventures: Cultus Sanguineus and Mischievous Meadows

cultus sanguineus coverAs the AaWBlog started to ramp up in February, we took our first ambitious steps towards continuous adventures with Cultus Sanguineus, an exploration of the hidden orders of corrupted nobility in Mohkba, capital of the Klavek Kingdom! What began as a simple request for a magic item that changes the wearer into a vampire spread into a month long module!
You can read it here and here!

Of course we lacked the good sense to stop there, and went on to put together Mischievous Meadows! Manipulate the PCs, steal their resources, and unleash imaginative fey upon them with that great module, ending in a huge ambush and introducing the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. of Aventyr. Definitely a great time! 😀
Check it out here and here!

 

The AaWBlog wants you to Remember in December! Browse the (extensive) archives, see what favorites our contributors picked to re-post, and stay tuned on Fridays as we explain the evolution of the AaWBlog, along with what’s yet to come!

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The Ring of Shifting Stars

The Ring of Shifting Stars
Aura strong (all schools); CL 15th
Slot ring; Weight —

DESCRIPTION
This pale golden ring is crowned with a large oval cabochon of bluish-black opal. The large gemstone’s surface is wrought with dozens of tiny silvery inclusions that cause the surface to appear like the star-filled night sky.

These inclusions actually shift at a very slow rate, and accurately mimic the alignment of stars in the sky above, with the top of the stone representing the northernmost horizon and the pinnacle of the cabochon representing the apex of the night sky (stars only—no other celestial bodies are represented upon the cabochon.)
The magic of the ring is associated with the constellations that come into zenith in the night sky, of which there are twelve.
This item’s function as described assumes that the campaign setting has a 12-month cyclical calendar which allows for a repeating cycle of constellation apexes; at least one for each month. The ring may need to be modified to fit your particular campaign setting if this is not the case, or if your campaign setting already has established constellations in the night sky that differ from the list herein.

  • If the user fully understands the function of the ring, they gain a +3 to Knowledge (nature) checks related to astrology while wearing it (for using it as a reference). This is not a magical effect, but rather a result of utilizing the ring’s unique rendition of the night sky.
  • A DC 12 Knowledge (astrology) check allows the ring to be used like a calendar to determine the current date by associating the arrangement of the inclusions in the stone.
  • The ring has twelve charged magical effects, each of which cast a particular spell. These effects are associated with the constellations that traverse the night sky. The ring’s effects and their associated months and constellations are expanded upon below:
  1. The Gryphon—featherfall (CL 9th)
  2. The Hammer—shatter (CL 10th)
  3. The Great Eye—scry (CL 12th)
  4. The Tower—resilient sphere (CL 12th)
  5. The Whale—water breathing (CL 11th)
  6. The Merchant—secret chest* (CL 13th)
  7. The Knight—wall of iron (CL 14th)
  8. The Queen—lesser geas (CL 12th)
  9. The Harp—deep slumber (CL 11th)
  10. The Gate—arcane lock (CL 10th)
  11. The Serpent—rope trick (CL 10th)
  12. The Horseman—phantom steed (CL 11th)
    *For the purposes of secret chest, the ring functions as the “miniature replica” of the spell, therefore retrieval of items from the ring’s secret chest require using the ring itself. If a secret chest is in use by the ring’s effect, any user of the ring may retrieve the chest at will.
  • To use one charge of any of the ring’s effects is a free action (allowed only once per round) requiring a DC 20 Use Magic Device check. If an attempt to expend a charge fails, the ring does not waste a charge; it simply doesn’t work and cannot be used again until the next round.
  • The ring carries a maximum number of 4 charges for any of its twelve magical effects. If the ring is found as part of a larger treasure then it may be partially depleted, and this can be calculated by rolling 1d4 to determine current charges available for each of its twelve effects.
  • The ring’s effects can regain 1 charge for any given effect by exposing it to the night sky for three uninterrupted hours on a cloudless evening, but only when the recharging effect’s associated constellation is at the zenith for the present month. This means the ring can only recharge one of its effects during any given month, and which effect can be charged is entirely dependent on what month it is.
  • The ring can gain no more than one charge in a single night of recharging. It takes four cloudless nights of recharging per month for an entire year to fully charge the ring from a completely depleted state.
  • If the ring is fully charged (28 charges; 4 for each of its 12 effects), then an additional effect is unlocked. By expending all 28 charges at once, the user can activate greater teleport (CL 15th) as a free action with no additional checks required. This effect always results in “on target” teleportation 100% of the time, and the ring itself, devoid of charges, falls to the ground and remains in the user’s original location.

HISTORY
A character that makes a Knowledge (arcana) check identifies important historic information about The Ring of Shifting Stars:
DC 20     Rings of this sort have been documented, though only rarely. They are said to have originated with a mysterious order of wizards known as the Sideribus Volunt.
DC 25     The teachings of the Sideribus Volunt focused on the position and motion of celestial bodies, especially the stars and how they affect arcane magic. The little-known history of the order tells that rings such as this one were bestowed upon students when they completed the core of their studies.
DC 30     A few esoteric tomes have noted that the rings are known as stellapetram or, “stones of stars”. They were used by the Sideribus Volunt as a means of identifying one another as well as tools to aid in astrological arcana research.
DC 35     The Sideribus Volunt were more than just a meddling order of wizards. Some arcane scholars suggest that they actually discovered the most pristine form of arcane magic—a power that surpassed the knowledge of all other arcane schools.
DC 40     Legend recounts that the Sideribus Volunt ascended into the heavens, taking all other traces of their knowledge with them, leaving the world behind to wander among the stars. The very few stellapetram, being among the few remnants of the ancient order, are highly prized by arcane researchers and learned artifact collectors.

DESTRUCTION
The ring’s power, directly linked to the stars in the heavens, cannot exist anywhere except on the Prime Material Plane. If at any time The Ring of Shifting Stars travels to another plane, its powers become forever nullified, its inclusions stop shifting, and it becomes nothing more than a fine art item: a gold-banded blue-black opal ring with a value of 350 gp. This stipulation does not include non-dimensional or extradimensional spaces as created by magic items such as a bag of holding or portable hole.

Additional Information
Below are detailed descriptions of the twelve constellations that are represented by The Ring of Shifting Stars:
The Gryphon—Seven stars represent the Gryphon constellation. One for each leg, the tail, the beak, and one bluish in hue (and much brighter than the others) serves as a glimmering eye.
The Hammer—This constellation is represented by five stars that form the T-shape of a hammer. The two stars that make the opposing heads of the constellation gleam many times brighter than the three that compose its shaft.
The Great Eye—Six faint stars form this constellation, arranged in a loosely almond-shaped oval with a seventh exceedingly bright, red-hued star positioned in its center.
The Tower—Five glimmering stars make the narrow triangular shape that composes the Tower constellation. The top star, forming the point of the acute angle, gleams bright white and is the brightest star visible in the night sky.
The Whale—Four bright stars make up the body of the Whale constellation, with a fifth, dimmer and offset star attributing its tailfin.
The Merchant—The most complex of the constellations, the Merchant consists of twelve stars of varying magnitudes. Together they form the shape of a merchant’s sailing ship with the brightest of the dozen positioned in the center of the vessel’s mast.
The Knight—The Knight constellation consists of ten stars, the brightest of which serves as the “head” with the other nine falling loosely into the shape of a sword-wielding man.
The Queen—The constellation of the Queen is visually composed of seven bright, tightly clustered stars that loosely form the tines of a crown. Depending on location and/or current ruler, this constellation is also sometimes referred to as “The King”.
The Harp—The Harp is a simple constellation of three stars that form a V-shape. In the night sky, a faint silvery nebula ripples between the highest and lowest points forming the strings of the instrument.
The Gate—Nine yellow-hued stars form the shape of an arch in the constellation of the Gate. The star forming the top of the arch gleams slightly brighter than the others.
The Serpent—A single star forms the Serpent constellation. It is greenish in hue, and very faint, often overlooked in the sea of stars in the heavens.
The Horseman—The constellation of the Horseman is composed of five bright stars. Four create a vaguely trapezoid shape that represents the body of a horse; the fifth star, above the others, serves as the head of the beasts’ rider.

 

[All of today’s content (artwork and writing!) was submitted by Justin Andrew Mason!]

 

 

Do you have an idea for an enchanted sword, arcane-empowered armor or unique magic item? Take a look at the submission rules and send a brief summary of your proposed enchanted item titled ‘Armory of Adventures submission’ to submit(at)adventureaweek.com with the following:

  • the nature of the item (weapon, armor or wondrous)

  • one or two sentences about its appearance

  • what the item in question does

  • the components and spell(s) used in its construction

 

 

 

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P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. Agent

Image_Portfolio_1.13_Fantasy Rudolf Montemayor 02P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. Agent         CR 12
XP 19,200
Male halfling wizard 3/rogue 3/shadow dancer 1/arcane trickster 6
CN Small humanoid (halfling)
Init+6; Perception +15

DEFENSE
AC 23, touch 19, flat-footed 16 (+4 armor, +1 deflection, +6 Dex, +1 dodge, + 1 size)
hp 91 (3d6+3d8+1d8+6d6+42)
Fort +6, Ref +14, Will +7; +2 vs. fear

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 rapier +8/+3 (1d4+1, Crit 18-20/x2), mwk dagger +8/+3 (1d3, Crit 19-20/x2)
Ranged +1 frost shortbow+14/+7 (1d4+1 plus 1d6 cold, Crit x3, Range 60 ft.)
Space 2.5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks sneak attack +5d6
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 9th; concentration +12)
6/day—blinding ray (ranged touch, 30 ft., blind one round; dazzle if HD exceeds 9)

Spells Prepared(CL 9th; concentration +12; 10% spell chance failure)

0th—acid splash, detect magic, light; ghost sound
1st—magic missile (3), charm person, shield; silent image
2nd—detect thoughts, invisibility, obscure object; minor image (3)
3rd—dispel magic, fly, nondetection, suggestion; major image
4th—charm monster, stoneskin; greater invisibility
5th—dominate person; mirage arcana
Prohibited Schools conjuration, necromancy

STATISTICS
Str 10, Dex 22, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +6; CMB +5; CMD 20
Feats Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Mobility, Skill Focus (Sleight of Hand), Stealthy, Toughness (2); Scribe Scroll
Skills Acrobatics +16 (+21 jump), Appraise +7, Bluff +11, Climb +6, Diplomacy +4, Disable Device +19, Disguise +4, Escape Artist +26, Knowledge (arcana) +10, Perception +15, Perform (dance) +5, Sense Motive +11, Sleight of Hand +28, Spellcraft +11, Stealth +30, Swim +4; Racial Bonuses +2 Acrobatics, +2 Climb, +2 Perception; Size Bonus Stealth +4
Languages Common, Gnome, Halfling, Klavekian, Pradj
SQ Arcane bond (ring of protection +2), arcane school (illusion), cantrips, evasion, hide in plain sight, ranged legerdemain, rogue talent (fast stealth), trapfinding, trap sense +1, weapon familiarity (halfling)
Gear +1 rapier, +2 leather, boots of striding and springing, dust of tracelesness, hat of disguise, handy haversack, potion of cure critical wounds, ring of protection +2

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Extended Illusions (Su) Any illusion spells the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. agent casts that have a duration of “concentration” last 4 rounds after they stop maintaining concentration.
Impromptu Sneak Attack (Ex) Once per day, the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. agent can declare one melee or ranged attack they make to be a sneak attack (the target can be no more than 30 feet distant if the impromptu sneak attack is a ranged attack). The target of an impromptu sneak attack loses any Dexterity bonus to AC, but only against that attack. The power can be used against any target, but creatures that are not subject to critical hits take no extra damage (though they still lose any Dexterity bonus to AC against the attack).
Tricky Spells (Su) Three times per day, the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R. agent can cast their spells without the somatic or verbal components, as if using the Still Spell and Silent Spell feats. Spells cast using this ability do not increase in spell level or casting time. The P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. agent decides to use this ability at the time of casting.

TACTICS
P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. agents always have a prime directive or goal to accomplish and are rarely found without at least one pepfralcon at their disposal. Typically they remain to the shadows, manipulating events with illusion spells until an opportunity for them to acquire their charge presents itself. They avoid combat whenever possible, attempting to instead turn allies against one another with dominate person and suggestion—a P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. agent only enters the fray when the chaos reaches a fevered pitch, laying low any opponents that have noticed or perceived them first.

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Vexing Valley Ambush

A Secret ValleyThe tumultuous and meddling doings of Mischievous Meadows comes to a cataclysmic end in this week’s Sidequest Saturday: Vexing Valley Ambush!

The trails of Agent Elwin, Alby Amhlaoibh and whomever let loose the pepfralcons all lead to the same place: a secluded valley to the northeast of the grove where all this mess began. The troublesome antagonists are the adventurers’ only lead for what could have happened to their magic items, and were that not enough, an enchanted ring found while trying to lock down the location of the party’s adversaries provides the final clue—a lesser shining star.

Read the following as the PCs follow the magic item or trails of the various small folk proving to be such an impediment, bringing them into the Vexing Valley:

Pollen wafting on the breezes that fall down the hills on either side of the valley bring a pleasant fragrance to the idyllic scene before you, complementing the rolling green grasses and shimmering verdant fields that sway from blasts of wind that whip across the meadow. The sloped sides of this valley eventually round to a narrow pitch above its deepest part, a single cave four hundred feet from the natural entrance between its hills.

The slopes of the hills on either side of the valley are at 45 degree angles (counting as difficult terrain to move up and granting higher ground to combatants farther above) and about 600 feet from base to top. Eventually it narrows and rounds into a sort of hilly-gorge with a cave at the valley’s lowest, deepest point.

Once the party approaches within 100 feet of the cavern’s entrance, magical sensors hidden deep under the earth by Alby pick up their movement (although incorporeal and invisible PCs remain undetected). This begins a chain reaction that unleashes dozens of biddlywinks into the valley; read the following:

As you peer about the valley, looking intently at the cave entrance at the bottom of the pitch, some movement catches your eyes; something small and insectile begins to curiously crawl out onto the green grass and you make out the shape of what must be another biddlywink. Then a falling rock from further up the valley wall, above the cavern’s entrance, alerts you to the presence of another magic-consuming insect. You quickly realize to your horror that the entire wall is filled with biddlywinks, and the mischievous creatures begin pouring out from the hillside, buzzing in your direction!

 

Biddlywink CR 4

XP 
1,200
CN Diminutive fey
Init +9; Senses darkvision 120 ft., arcane sight, see invisibility; Perception +12
DEFENSE
AC 18, touch 18, flat-footed 14 (+4 Dex, +4 size)
hp 38 (7d6+14)
Fort +3, Ref +9, Will +8
Weakness silver
OFFENSE
Speed fly 60 ft. (perfect) or 40 ft. (see text)
Melee force fronds +11 (1d8+3 force)
Ranged +11
Space 0 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks force fronds
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th; concentration +10)
Constant—arcane sight, nondetection, see invisibility
At will—glitterdust, mage hand
5/day—dimension door
STATISTICS
Str 6, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 16
Base Atk +3; CMB -2; CMD 13
Feats Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Sleight of Hand), Toughness, Weapon Finesse
Skills Escape Artist +14, Fly +15, Perception +12, Sense Motive +11, Sleight of Hand +17, Stealth +26, Survival +12; Size Modifiers Fly +6, Stealth +12
Languages Druidic
SQ freeze, hide in plain sight
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Interdimensional Sac (Su) While biddlywink can (and often do) consume enchanted items as quickly as possible, they also store them to digest later in an invisible extradimensional sac not unlike a handy haversack or bag of holding, but only capable of storing up to 30 pounds. When a biddlywink is killed, the sac appears on the material plane and bursts open dealing 3d8 force damage (DC 20 Reflex negates) to any creatures or items in a 10-ft. radius (though not to anything within it).
Force Fronds (Ex) The tendrils extending from a biddlywink’s mouth can be devastating when employed to attack a creature. On a successful melee touch attack, they deal 1d8+3 force damage.
Light Flier (Ex) When a biddlywink’s interdimensional sac is holding at least 2½ lbs. of items or a number of caster levels worth of items equal to twice the biddlywink’s hit die, it cannot maintain a sustained flight. Its speed is reduced and it moves in long bounds and hops that don’t exceed 5 feet in height or 10 feet in length—the biddlywink effectively now has a base speed of 40 feet until items in its Interdimensional Sac are digested.
Ranged Legerdemain (Su) A biddlywink can use Sleight of Hand at a range of 30 feet. Working at a distance increases the normal skill check DC by 5, and the biddlywink cannot take 10 on this check. Only object that weigh 5 pounds or less can be manipulated this way.
Wyrd Digestion (Su) These strange insectile-fey literally eat magic to survive. As a standard action, a biddlywink can ingest a magical item of Diminutive size or smaller. As a full round action, it can consume a magical item of Tiny size and over the course of a minute (ten rounds), a Small size magical item.
Once eaten by a biddlywink, an item is not instantly destroyed—instead it is secreted inside of its Interdimensional Sac. Potions are digested quickly within and are destroyed after a number of rounds equal to caster level. Wondrous items are more resilient and last for a number of minutes equal to caster level; any other enchanted items (rings, staves, weapons, armor) are destroyed after ten minutes per caster level.
Any item recovered from a biddlywink’s interdimensional sac before it is fully digested operates at two caster levels higher than normal for one week. The first time it is stored in an extradimensional space, it remains empowered this way until removed again (though afterward, the increased power diminishes and it returns to normal).
Biddlywink that consume enough magic items (1000 gp x hit die) transform into a biddlytree and sprout 2d12+4 biddlywinks with the young template after 1d10 days.

Biddlywink Army

CN Medium (100) army of fey (biddlywink)
hp 21; ACR 6
DV 16; OM 6
Special arcane sight, darkvision, flight,  ranged legerdemain (once per round of combat, a biddlywink army engaging an army with enchanted weapons or armor can choose to reduce the opposing army’s bonus to either DV or OM by -1), see invisibility, weakness (silver; a biddlywink army takes x1.5 damage from an army attacking with silver weapons)
Speed 3; Consumption 5
Note Biddlywink armies predominantly only attack armies with enchanted goods, but will engage pepfralcons (their natural predators) if the fiery birds are outnumbered.

Most adventurers are smart enough not to engage dozens of biddlywinks all at once and make a run for it or somehow protect themselves in the hillsides, but if a PC decides to take the insectile fey head-on, don’t discourage them—just strip them of their magic items as they pit themselves against the biddlywinks (either an army using the mass combat statblock below facing off against 12 of the creatures at a time)!

Put the pressure on for a few rounds of chase as the biddlywinks near the party or breach their ad hoc defenses and ask the PCs for a DC 13 Perception check to notice that the lesser shining star is gleaming an impossible-to-hide ray of starlight towards the cavern. Then read the following:

A defiant, familiar cry accompanied by the waft of an open flame seems to grow from one lone call into a chorus of voices as you realize the battle is soon to be joined by more adversaries. Swooping into the far entrance of the valley from behind both hillsides are dozes of pepfralcons! The flaming birds dart forward, scorching the air behind them and turning the entire area into a raging inferno!

Deerfire_high_res_edit

Fiery Terrain

While the pepfralcons absolutely pose a serious danger to the PCs as enemies, the greater problem is the enormous fire that is certainly going to consume this valley before the battle comes to an end! Every square the pepfralcon “army” travels through is ignited and burns for 1d10+1 minutes, dealing 1d6 fire damage to anyone that passes across a fiery 5-foot square!

If the party isn’t running for the cavern yet, the lesser shining star begins to gently tug them in the direction of its parent artifact—currently being used quite feverish by Alby as he gathers the choicest items from his treasure hoards before absconding. Any PC wearing the lesser shining star suffers a -1 to attack rolls and AC every round they fail a DC 10 Strength check to resist the ring’s pull if they aren’t gradually moving toward the cave entrance. Moreover, one particularly fearsome advanced pepfralcon keeps attacking the adventurer carrying the lesser shining star, continuing its assault until the bearer escapes into the cavern.

Advanced Pepfralcon CR 10

PepfralconXP 9,600
N Medium magical beast
Init+9; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +10
DEFENSE
AC 25, touch 17, flat-footed 18 (+6 Dex, +1 dodge, +8 natural armor)
hp 136 (13d10+65), fast healing 1
Fort +11, Ref +15, Will +8
Immune fire
Weakness cold
OFFENSE
Speed 10 ft., fly 70 ft. (perfect); hovering inferno
Melee beak +21/+16/+11 (1d8+6 plus 1d6 fire, Crit 19-20/x2+1d10 fire)
Ranged flaming feathers +21/+16/+11 (1d8+2 fire, Range 20 ft.)
Special Attacks flaming feathers (ranged touch, 1d8 fire; Reflex DC 20 or catch on fire), hovering firestorm (30-ft. radius, 6d6+12 fire, Reflex DC 20 halves)
STATISTICS
Str 19, Dex 27, Con 19, Int 9, Wis 18, Cha 15
Base Atk +12; CMB +16; CMD 35 (cannot be tripped)
Feats Dodge, Flyby Attack, Hover, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Natural Weapon (bite), Toughness, Weapon Finesse
Skills Fly +21, Perception +10 (+16 visual), Stealth +15, Survival +10; Racial Modifiers +6 Perception (visual only)
Languages —
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Fiery Flurry (Ex) Any natural attacks made by an advanced pepfralcon deal +1d6 fire damage as its plumage scatters with each violent movement. Any creature that strikes an advanced pepfralcon with a natural weapon or without a melee weapon that grants reach takes 1d6 fire damage as the shed feathers whip at their limbs in response. These feathers never ignite flammable materials.
Flaming Feathers (Ex) The advanced pepfralcon can fling it’s fiery plumage at enemies within 20 feet (any farther and the quills are consumed in the flames. On a successful ranged touch attack, targets take 1d8+2 fire damage and make a DC 20 Reflex save or catch on fire.
Hovering Firestorm (Ex) As a full-round action, an advanced pepfralcon can create a miniature tempest centered around the square they occupy. This maneuver provokes attacks of opportunity. The advanced pepfralcon spins wildly and swiftly whips out feathers that turn a 30-foot radius into a tempest of flames that deal 6d6+12 fire damage (Reflex DC 20 halves). Any flammable objects in the area catch fire (attended objects receive a DC 17 Reflex save).
Hovering Inferno (Ex) Any round in which an advanced pepfralcon does not take a full movement, any squares adjacent to their path of movement (including squares they briefly occupy) are filled with its scorching plumage as the bird sheds fiery feathers everywhere it goes. Creatures in any of these squares make a DC 20 Reflex save or take 1d6+2 fire damage (success negates). Normally these feathers burn out before igniting materials, but as a swift action the advanced pepfralcon can intensify its feathers’ heat to ignite flammable materials.
TACTICS
The advanced pepfralcon is extremely dangerous; its intellect rivals many humans and it makes the best use of its abilities, burning all of a target’s allies to distract them before moving in for the kill.

Pepfralcon Army

N Small (50) army of magical beasts (pepfralcons)
hp 38; ACR 7
DV 17; OM 7
Special burn, fast healing 1, flight, immunity (fire), scent, weakness (cold; a pepfralcon army takes x1.5 damage from area cold attacks)
Speed 3; Consumption 3
Note Any squares the pepfralcon army crosses during a battle remain on fire (dealing 1d6 fire damage to any army that occupies that square) for a number of rounds equal to 1/8th the pepfralcon army’s remaining hit points)

Fortunately for the PCs, Alby didn’t even have time to set up traps or properly close his escape route! On the tops of the hillsides of the valley the party notices lurking masked figures of mysterious individuals (P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. Agents) as the PCs dive into the cave, and they’ll only have a minute or two to gather what they can from what Alby left behind—troves of medium and minor wondrous items, and their equivalent magic arms and armor. Read the following as the adventurers escape the vexing valley:

Escaping the impending inferno by diving into the cave, you barely notice black-swathed figures atop the hillsides of the valley, obscured by the smoke but definitely there—and in numbers.
The shrieking pepfralcons don’t follow you into the rocky passage and after a few dozen feet you lay your eyes on a treasure hoard that would make a dragon blush in shame. Glowing swords, glittering shields, embroidered boots, inscribed rings, and countless arcane or divine goods are littered in piles around the cavern.
No exits are clearly visible save what appears to be a malfunctioning secret door built into the wall, heading north farther into the earth.

Celurian-Prayer Bead of SaintWhat exactly the PCs pull out of the item hoard and how much time they have to do it is ultimately up to the GM, but should never exceed twenty rounds; what more, the presence of the pepfralcon army directly outside of the entrance should warn them the time to leave is imminent. The AaWBlog recommends rewarding the party magic items equivalent in worth to the ones they lost (perhaps even improved versions) as well as a few other choice pieces—this is the time for their reward. Read the following when the adventurers finally make good their escape down the tunnel Alby clearly left through:

On the other side of the malfunctioning stone-slab door, you can clearly see the broken handle of a half-activated lever—which explains why the door wasn’t entirely closed. The tunnel contines down another forty feet before turning around a bend.

A DC 20 Disable Device check or DC 12 Strength check activates the full mechanism of the seamless secret door in the escape tunnel and buys the party a bit of a head start from the sure-to-follow P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. agents about to storm the cave. After a hundred feet, the PCs come across a conspicuously large red button that says, very clearly in large letters of Common, Dwarven, Elven, Gnomish, Halfling, Klavekian, Orc, Vikmordere, and others, “DO NOT TOUCH.” Pressing it doesn’t do anything, but a DC 30 Disable Device or DC 30 Use Magic Device check gets the button to work, caving in all of the tunnel behind and the cavern that holds Alby’s last treasure hoard.

Of course, the adventure isn’t over—the PCs have brought themselves to the attention of a powerful and influential organization. If they haven’t made permanent enemies or aren’t guaranteed to do so (in the case of the vast majority of paladins), the party may find employ or a means to power by joining the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S.—but that’s a story for another day. Most adventurers probably want to settle scores with Alby, and if they still have the lesser shining star, the PCs have the means to do it (although they won’t be the only ones looking for the troublesome gnome)!

Check out the AaWBlog tomorrow to get a look at a P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. Agent if the PCs are being actively chased by the organization, but otherwise, have a great time bringing Mischievous Meadowsto your tabletop in time for April Fool’s Day!