One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.” -Hunter S. Thompson

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Madness from the Woods

In the Temple of Elemental Evil Gygax wrote “If [the heroes] need more seasoning before continuing to the greater challenges, you may – and should – design and develop other adventures in the area”. Thus, this entry in my series on Ultimate Greyhawk. Much like how comics and movies will reboot a franchise with a new take on an old concept, this is my personal re-imagining of the Greyhawk Campaign Setting beginning with the venerable town of Hommlet. 

The following location is numbered based on how it appears on the map of the village of Hommlet found in T1-4: The Temple of Elemental Evil. You can see the rest of the entries in the Ultimate Greyhawk sidebar of the blog.

16. Cabinet Maker
Barthan Bakkman is the local cabinet maker. He lives here with his wife Kora and two children Thomas and Angelika and Alfrik his apprentice. Barthan, Kora and Alfrik are in the and the whole group is of the Old Faith. Barthan is hard working but gruff and hard on everyone around him, who he thinks should meet his high standards. He is particularly tough on his apprentice.

Adventure Seed: The Cursed Cabinet

The madness of a dryad manifested
Barthan’s apprentice, Alfrik is tired of working under a man who cannot to see his skill and is overly critical of everything he does. In the hopes of doing more than just the rough and menial work around the shop, Alfrik set out to prove that he was just as good, if not better than his Master. One afternoon along with a group of his friends he hiked into the Gnarley Woods to obtain the perfect base material for his masterpiece, a beautiful Oak tree. This was no ordinary Oak. In fact it was the Home Tree of a dryad (MM 121) named Kayra. Some of Alfirk’s comrades managed to lure the dryad away on a merry chase far away while Alfrik and some others cut the tree down. Later, working in secret and never revealing the truth behind the trees origins, Alfrik finally completed a beautiful cabinet. He presented his work to his master as a gift, but while Barthan accepted the gift, he was not impressed despite the excellent craftsmanship. Enraged and seeking revenge, Alfrik returned to the dryad’s grove. There he found the Dryad driven to madness and explained that he knew the man who had cut down her home and that he could lead her there. The dryad now lives in the cabinet and his using her powers to torment and drive this family, like herself, into madness. She can animate the cabinet to move and throw around anything place inside it. She also uses her ability to communicate with plants and animals to lure creatures into the home to wreak havoc. The family cat goes crazy, plants wilt and die, shrubs attack the children. Alfrik, feels guilty about what he's done and may commit suicide in the near future when things get really out of hand. If no one intervenes the Kayra will eventually murder the entire family.

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