The Witching Wood: Starting Adventure for Shadow of the Demon Lord RPG
The vale was meant to be their safe retreat, but they didn’t count on the woods. Five years ago, pilgrims established the tiny village of Respite in the idyllic Orborous Vale on the western edge of the Dark Forest, a stretch of evil wood found in the Northern Reach. At first, the land was good to them and fruitful, yielding rich harvests and allowing their livestock to flourish. The sun rose every morn with great beauty and life-giving warmth, and all was good and peaceful for the fifty or so souls that called Respite home—so long as they did not venture into the shadowed wood just beyond their border.
As the years passed, however, all that began to change, though the village elders could no longer point to a single event to mark the shift. The soil thinned and ceased to yield the abundance it once had. Now, the village’s crops molder on the vine, their root vegetables emerge from the ground spindly and bleeding, and their blighted herb plants taste like ash and vomit. Flowers wither to brown and black within moments of being cut. Goats give bloody milk floating with pus, and their weak cows sometimes bear calves with too many limbs or a second head. Now, the village treads perilously close to starvation, and tempers are rising. Some believe the New God has abandoned them, while others blame the misfortunes on a nearer threat.
Mayor Rickard Bailey and the elders of the Dawn Seekers have long forbidden anyone to venture into the wood. Only the strongest members of the village venture beneath the looming branches among the scintillating shadows, armed with what weapons they can muster to trap and hunt game in the uncertain darkness. Rumors and village tales abound about strange creatures that dwell in the wood, and the children of Respite are warned to mind themselves, or else a terrible witch will come for them.
The villagers are more right than they know.
The Witching Wood is an adventure for starting characters. In it, the characters must come together to find the source of the troubles besetting Respite and drive it away. If they succeed, the crucible of shared experience combines them into a group and sets the stage for even greater adventures.