Beldam of Stygian Glade is an adventure location and scenario for four to six characters of levels 4-7
In a deep, dark forest there lives an old witch named Nayowayown who, long ago, was a very healthy and levelheaded young woman. In the early days, when war came to the forest village, the woman’s husband and his forces tried to protect everyone, but the might of the enemy was too great; he was slain on the battlefield in what is now known as Stygian Glade. In this glade, the woman pined for her lover, perpetually cradling his corpse and building a hut made from the bones of his comrades.
As the years crept on, she found a way to commune with the spirits of those slain and bring them back as ghostly apparitions to guard her hut, Stygian Glade, and the surrounding forest. She buried the bones of her enemies in the caves beneath her hut, destined to rise again if disturbed.
Nayowayown’s undead guardians have strayed too far from the forest and attack a traveling merchant who the characters encounter not far from the wood. The merchant begs for the party's help, offering good coin. Once the battle has concluded she asks if they will investigate the forest and stop the undead attacks which have been plaguing this roadway for weeks. In return she will tell them the location where she camped one night and happened to see a group of Chonian bandits, moving treasure into a cave in the hills.
If the characters enter the forest, they must make a successful DC 14 Wisdom save.
If they fail, have the player roll 1d6. Any conditions listed below are automatically removed the instant the party leaves the forest.
1 = The character hears whispering voices. 2 = Once per day the character is randomly attacked by a strange apparition wielding a longsword which automatically hits and causes 1d8+2 slashing damage. As soon as the character is hit the apparition vanishes into the forest. 3 = In their peripheral vision the character keeps seeing something white and wispy moving. Once per day they are so distracted they follow the wispy object into the woods and could get lost if party members aren’t watching carefully. 4 = Voices are heard in this character’s head, trying to convince them to kill one of their comrades as they sleep. There is a 10% chance per day the character will actually attempt this. 5 = Someone keeps screaming in the night, the character cannot rest or sleep. 6 = The character periodically thinks they are one of the warriors who died many years ago in a great battle. In combat there is a 10% chance per round that the character is confused.
If the characters are loud or boisterous in combat whilst fighting the undead, Nayowayown emerges from her hut and joins the fray, otherwise she won't likely hear the combat as she hums an old song and stirs her pot of green goop.
Nayowayown is a delusional and extremely paranoid green hag or night hag (depending upon party level). She confronts the party, yelling “You killed my husband, invaded our forest, and destroyed our village; now you will pay!” she uses a wand of paralysis (as a bonus action once per round) and attacks.
1d2+1 rounds after any character enters the hut, the bones of Nayowayown’s enemies begin to shuffle through the caves below and enter the hut via a rickety old ladder.
A DC 18 Charisma (Persuasion) check convinces Naywayown to cease her assault but she cannot stop the undead.
Beneath the Hut
A rickety old ladder made from the gnarled fallen limbs of old trees descends into dark caverns below the hut and forest. This area is detailed in Mini-Dungeon Monthly #6.
Treasure in these Woods?
There is a rumor of great riches hidden somewhere in the forest, possibly the reason the two armies warred. This rumor is partially true in that a large hoard of coins, weapons, and armor are stored away in ancient Grekian vaults, now buried deep beneath the woods. These vaults are haunted by the spirits and undead of the slain. Only one has entered and returned, a thief named Swyl who frequents the Wayward Inn.
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