🔐 The Swamp Witch¶
This entire page is meant as DM information. If you're not the DM, you should probably not be reading this!
An adaptation of The Swamp Witch by Nate Word.
This sidequest is triggered as the adventurers traverse Korban's Way westward towards Korban's Landing. They walk onto a hillside and find strange stone animals on the side of the road. As they crest the hill, they come across the town of Midway.
The group comes across a small town named Midway with only a few houses and an inn. Here they can spend the night and rest.
Midway isn't much of a town and is composed of the following:
- 1 large alligator farm
- 6 squalid huts and houses
- 1 inn
Jikan (jee-kahn), a sixteen-year-old Cuniko boy, has set up a museum of local oddities in an abandoned hut in town. Jikan named it the "Midway Mystery Museum" Inside the dilapidated shack are a wide variety of stone animals and curiosities.
Jikan will explain that he finds these stone animals all over town and in the countryside. More and more lately. He says that travelers gossip that there's a witch in the swamp who turns these animals to stone.
- A stone alligator, its mouth wide open and in an action pose
- Stone bugs
- Stone frogs
- A stone dog, looking afraid, surprised
- A hatchling dragon with a single eye crawled halfway out of its stone egg
- This is a child of Dagaz, petrified by a Corrupted Chicken (below)
The Radenia (Meta: an anagram for Ariadne) inn offers overpriced lodging in a few tiny shared rooms. The owner takes advantage of the fact that it's the only safe place to stay out here in the boonies. On a large and prominent plaque behind the bar is an engraving with the words:
Nothing is free but the sunrise.
The owner's name is Garacan, a male Minotaur who doesn't talk much and much less likes to listen. While lodgings at the Radenia inn are poor and shared between guests, Garacan still charges a premium for his services.
- Lodging: 5 sp per person per day
- Dining: 2 sp per person per meal
- Stables: 7 sp per animal per day
The kitchen is open from 7 AM to 7 PM, and the bar is open from 12:00 PM to 12:00 PM.
Garacan will warn them to stay away from the swamp when they check-in. He says that the animals have been more aggressive lately. Some alligator farmers are missing from town, though they were regulars at the bar. Garacan is afraid to go near.
While the adventurers stay at the inn, they can overhear a conversation between two scuffed-up travelers about hearing singing voices from the swamps. The second says that he ran away from some strange-looking chickens in the swamp.
While the adventurers sleep, they startle awake by a loud noise downstairs: yelling, furniture breaking.
If they go to investigate, they see Garacan fight off two chickens who have busted in through a window. They seem crazed and are screaming wildly. As the adventurers enter the room, one of the chickens bites Garacan, who slowly begins to turn into stone. The last thing he manages to say is, "in the swamp!"
The chickens immediately switch targets and go for the adventurers.
Take Cockatrice from MM pg. 42, reduce their HP to 20, make the petrify condition permanent, but reduce the CON DC to 7.
The Alligator Farm¶
When the adventurers come upon the alligator farm, a terrible stench overwhelms them. The captive alligators died from starvation and lay rotting in their pens.
Standing at the gate of the alligator farm, you can see a cloud of black flies swarming around the six pens lining the walkway leading up to a log cabin. Its front door swings slowly in the breeze.
The farmhouse is a log cabin three feet elevated on damp yet sturdy cypress poles pressed into hard clay. The structure is modest: three rooms and a loft above the main room, covering half its interior.
There's a chicken coop near the farmhouse, forced open from the inside. Inside, there are only rotten eggs and old blood on the straw floor.
They'll see a mess of broken furniture inside and blood covers everything. There's a used butcher's knife on the table, entirely covered in blood.
A DC 15 Investigation check reveals many scratches on the wooden ladder leading into the loft. A Carrion Crawler (MM pg. 37) made its home up there, and its many legs have scratched the wood bare.
Inside a small nightstand in the loft is a diary, the only valuable thing in this cabin.
Leatherbound, the title page says "Arya" in bubbly cursive.
The Diary: Distilled
Arya's diary portrays the thoughts of a bored teenage girl, stuck with her parents far from anything interesting.
One day, weeks ago, she packed her belongings and ran away to search for a better future. Though she knew the swamp well, on her way to Midway, she became lost. It was as though something had knocked her internal compass off balance.
She wandered for hours until she heard a wailing noise from a cave underneath a dead oak tree. She entered it and in the darkness, found herself peering into a single glowing eye. Yet, somehow, she was not afraid. There was a sensibility in its gaze, a tenderness, even. Though the two couldn't speak, and Arya couldn't see the creature in the darkness of the cave, she knew it was hurt and that she had to nurse it to health.
The sense of being lost disappeared, she recognized the area and knew it was about two hours south of her home. And home she ran, where she slaughtered a few of her parents' chickens and brought them back to the creature, who ate them greedily. Arya kept this up for weeks, bringing larger meals such as stray dogs and alligator meat, sensing that it needed more as time passed.
Now, when she peered into that single eye, she felt something growing inside of her. A power she never had before, something changing her. She picked up a toad in the swamp, which looked at her and turned to stone.
The more she fed the one-eyed creature, the more her abilities grew. A gift from the cave dweller. Now she was able to transfer some of her abilities to others. She started with her chickens.
The final entry, dated only two days ago, describes seeing multiple smaller eyes in the cave and a cacophony of screeches. It mentions her plans to go back to the cave, to stay there, but not before bringing better food in hope of more power granted by the glowing eye. This time, she's taking her parents along for dinner.
To The Cave¶
- They find the footsteps of Arya and her parents, days old
- Littered with stone creatures