Today we descended once again upon our FLGS for our latest D&D Expedition, DDEX1-8 Tales Trees Tell. If you haven’t played this yet and intend too you might want to wait to read this until you’ve played it as this will contain spoilers.
We had two tables, Liam was DMing one for Emily, Rachel, Isabelle and Jon, while I was DMing the other for Daniel, Sarah, Jack and Lee. While Sarah, Jack and Lee has existing 3rd level pc’s, Daniel brought a new 1st level one, giving me an average party to work with.
As all but Sarah were members of the Emerald Enclave (Sarah was a Harper) I used the faction hook for the adventure and the heroes headed in to the hamlet of Kabels Hill. They quickly got the information from the assembled villagers and were soon interrupted by the scream from outside.
Examining Rerk, Sarah pulled the pin free dropping the poor man into unconsciousness until Jack used a healing word on him, but this meant he awoke screaming from the pain and terror. Sarah kept the pin and accompanied Jack and Lee to go talk to the ranger while Daniel placated the local farmer and went to look at his cows.
This was where Daniel met Pipyap and immediately wanted to adopt him, picking the imp up and carrying him on his shoulder. “Did you see what killed the cows?” “I can honestly say I did not see what killed them cows”. They later got his confession that he had indeed killed the cows but they (probably) deserved it anyway.
The others found the ranger and at the mention of Rerk’s condition he ushered into his cabin to converse in private. He revealed that he had refused to lead the villagers into the forest but had given them weapons just in case. Daniel caught up with them and shortly afterwards the cabin was attacked by a scarecrow and a pair of needle blights. The twig men were quickly dropped but the scarecrow took a bit more hacking (and burning thanks to Jack’s magic).
The heroes then decided to go and check out Grangle’s house, finding a hidden box with a diary and some baubles. The diary revealed a fair bit of information that explained why Grangle had headed into the forest. Satisfied that they had learnt enough they headed off to find the elves of Greenhall, following directions the ranger had given them.
Travelling through the forest was a little off-putting and upon waking the first morning they found that Jack had flowers woven into his hair and Lee’s pack had been filled with berries. Travelling on they find one of the missing villagers lying dead on the path, arrows sticking in his back. As they examine the body they are ambushed by a pair of displacer beasts. These fey creatures prove decidedly dangerous dropping Sarah unconscious twice (Jack having used his healers kit to aid her once), eventually thanks to focussing their attacks on only one of the beasts they do enough to drive them off, and as the monsters turn to flee even bring the injured one down with their opportunity attacks.
By this time the heroes are in poor shape so they travel another few hours and find a defendable campsite. Lee takes first watch and when he goes to wake Daniel for his shift he finds he has begun floating! Daniel continues to float till about halfway through his watch but they us no ill effect, he then wakes Sarah. As she gets up she falls forward as someone has tied her boot laces together. She realises they are being subjected to some form of tricks, probably by mischievous fey, and calls out to them in elvish. A pixie appears in the camp and explains they were just having some fun (and apologises for the honey smeared on Jacks legs which has attracted a small colony of ants). Conversing with the pixie they discover that Grangle met with elves and killed them with his magic before heading north to see Jeny Greenteeth. The missing villagers also met the elves but were driven off. The pixie then disappears back into the forest.
Next day the heroes reach Greenhall and the elves grudgingly receive them, until Sarah shows them the pin. Then the elves grab weapons and usher the heroes out telling them begone.
With no other recourse the heroes head towards Jeny’s domain. They find a clearing with a cabin and an outdoor cook fire warming a big stewpot. Circling around they see a cage hanging behind the house with a pair of the missing villagers in, as they call out the prisoners make shushing motions but too late, the cabin door opens……and a sweet little old lady waddled out to the cooking pot calling the heroes over as dinners ready.
The heroes warily join the old lady and accept bowls of stew, Pipyap tucks in heartily, even asking for more. Daniel spoons through his until he finds a tooth! However the old lady calmly just says “Oh dear that’s unfortunate”, before admitting that she is Jeny Greenteeth. Conversing as if nothing was the matter, she reveals that Grangle came to her to ask her to break the pact and join with the Cult of the Dragon, when she refused he became agitated so she killed him. When the villagers turned up they too were disrespectful, the final two remain in the cage. The heroes asked where the others were, suspecting the answer, Jeny merely offered “more stew dears?”
The heroes tried to convince her to keep with the pact and they would ensure the people of Kabel Hill kept out of the forest. They even offered her to keep the prisoners and Sarah gave her the pin back. (The all passed the Persuasion checks, 2 of them with critical rolls) and she agreed to keep to the pact, even giving the heroes a chest of loot to take back with them. Lee eagerly said he would open the chest, before anyone could say to check it for traps, so I had him roll a Dex saving throw, there was no trap but when he rolled low the look on his face was a treat. As he flipped the lid open, he jumped, as Pipyap yelled “Bang!” right behind him.
The heroes also offered to let the imp remain with Jeny, which suited both of them, then said their goodbyes and headed back to Kabel Hill. The return journey was uneventful and the villagers were saddened by the news of the deaths of their fellows but grateful that the pact had been kept intact.
A great session full of fun times and some quite tense moments, as the displacer beast battle had almost everyone down to only a few hit points.
My thanks to all that attended, especially the players on my table. I look forward to the coming expeditions as we approach the next tier.