Today we visit two more locations from the Runewild Campaign Setting. Both of these encounters lead the PCs other locations of the Runewild…whether or not they want to go!
29. The Path of Petals (Level 1)
- Magical flowers tempt PCs (DC 15) off the trail to 124
Vibrant purple wildflowers grow beside the trail in such profusion that the party can’t help but pause to admire them. Each PC must make a DC 15 Will saving throw or become fascinated by the flowers for 1 minute. While fascinated, PCs are compelled to abandon the trail and stroll among the flowers. As if to avoid being trampled, the flowers magically part as the PCs approach, revealing a path leading deeper into the forest.
Unless physically restrained, fascinated characters begin following this new path. Moments later, they emerge in a stand of trees far north from where they started, a half-mile east of the watchtower described in location 124. The path disappears once the PCs arrive and can’t be used to return to this location.
Characters who successfully save become immune to the flowers’ effects. A character doesn’t need to be fascinated to see the path revealed by the flowers. All characters can travel the path willingly, if they choose.
Every time the party returns to this location, there’s a 1 in 6 chance the path of petals has disappeared.
30. The Whispering Well (Level 3)
- A magic well is a portal to 57
- The Gunkpuddle Girls, a coven of sea hags, hear everything inside the well
- Foul water: DC 18
A mile north of the trail sits a crumbling well half-hidden in the underbrush. The well’s pulley system has rotted away, but its low stone brim remains intact. Those who peer into the well discover relief carvings of hundreds of faces decorating its interior. The faces are human, but each likeness is unique. The carvings continue all the way down to the waterline, 20 feet below the lip of the well.
Investigating the Well
If inspected with a detect magic spell or similar effect, the well radiates auras of conjuration and divination magic. Any words spoken into the well cause the faces to animate and repeat the words in a chorus of whispers. Characters who succeed at a DC 18 Society check to Recall Knowledge knows the well’s name (the Whispering Well) and have heard the following folk tales about it:
- If you throw a coin into the well, the faces grant you a wish. (This is false.)
- If you drown a cat in the well, you can’t be killed for the next nine days. (Also false.)
- If you whisper a witch’s name into the well, the witch must answer one question you ask. (Only partially true.)
The Gunkpuddle Girls
The Gunkpuddle Girls, a coven of sea hags, were drowned in this well before their transformation into hags (see the Gunkpuddles’ entry in the Runewild Bestiary). The Gunkpuddles hear any words the faces whisper. If the faces are made to say one of the Gunkpuddles’ names (Foul Anne, Dripping Jenny, or Fishbone Sue), that hag climbs from the water at the bottom of the well a few moments later.
Despite the folk lore surrounding the Whispering Well, the Gunkpuddle Girls aren’t bound to answer any questions if summoned in this way. They’re fond of the old well, however, and usually arrive in generous moods. If the PCs use the well to ambush one of the Gunkpuddles, the remaining sisters refuse to appear when called.
Entering the Well
Creatures who use the carved faces as handholds can Climb the well’s interior with a DC 15 Athletics check, provided the climb is made in silence. If the faces animate, the Athletics check increases to DC 20. On a critical failure, the creature loses its grip and falls into the water.
The Gunkpuddles’ association with the well has permanently fouled its water. Creatures who start their turn in the water must attempt a DC 18 Fortitude saving throw.
- Critical Success The creature is unaffected.
- Success The creature is sickened 1.
- Failure The creature takes 2d6 poison damage and is sickened 2.
- Critical Failure The creature takes 4d6 poison damage and is sickened 4.
Creatures who submerge themselves entirely beneath the water are teleported to Area 5 of The Palace of Water, Wind, and Stone (57).