It’s time for another episode of the ongoing D&D Campaign on our little show This is How we Role, set in my original campaign setting of Telia. This time it’s a rescue mission inside the forest of gargantuan trees in the Almun region, Titanroot Woods, dealing with the threat posed by a Coven of Hags, not just on the city of Woodwork but on the denizens of this forest.
Starting with this episode, I’ll use this post to give some behind the scenes look at the adventure design and planning.
At the end of Episode 5, our party saw a trio of werewolves escape the battle for Woodwork with prisoners in tow, leaping over the city walls and making for Titanroot Woods. We open this episode with the party giving chase and storming the woods.
During their adventure inside the forest they go through four key areas in Titanroot’s “ecology,” though they learn the name of only one:
- Webholm – Nest of all Spider-kind in Titanroot Woods, and where their Titanic Queen resides. By Titanic I mean colossal. The Spider-Queen of Titanroot woods is the size of a city.
- Rootmoor – A noxious swamp spreading out from kilometers. A sickening mist spreads out into the distance, and anyone inhaling it hears strange whispers.
- Snarlgaze – A large clearing on which the moon shines brightly. No matter where it is on the firmament, it’s visible from this clearing. It’s a favoured home for Lycanthropes and other moon-touched creatures.
- Rothold – The foothold in the material realm of the Unseelie Lords ruling over Titanroot Woods and their dark subjects. It’s a large metropolis housed in the very trees of the forest. Lord Vilefern rules from here. Or at least he did before the Coven moved in.
I was shocked, surprised and excited to see the party’s bard, Alexander Thorncrest, take point and talk his way out of problems, gaining allies and sowing distrust where it would deal most damage. Something my players didn’t know was that the encounter with the hags would have used Rothold as a lair, with some greatly difficult Lair Actions. But by forcing Areenox to consume the Coven, she lost the ability to control the Lair for this purpose. She still had the full benefits of a Hag Coven even on her own, for reasons, but without the combined will of three hags, the Lair became inert.
There is also a great development that happened with a Crown of Madness spell. It depended on a dice roll and I love those moments when the dice collaborate with my narrative intentions. If the rolls had gone in another way, I would have had to stow those storytelling elements for another time.
That’s all for the behind the scenes look. Enjoy the episode. It’s a long one, at 5 hours! We always try to keep it shorter but this was a big big quest!