One of the things I was most pleased about the successful Kickstarter campaign for the Runewild Campaign Setting was hitting so many stretch goals to fund additional content. Thanks to over 400 amazing backers, 50 additional encounters will be added to the book!
I’m in the process of writing these encounters now. Here’s the first of them, a run-in with another of the Runewild’s witches, Gabbie Bleech.
101. She Sells Secrets (CR 3)
- Gabbie Bleech, a green hag, sells secrets
- Gabbie’s curse: DC 12
The corpse of young woman hangs in a noose strung from a beech tree beside the trail. The branch supporting the woman’s weight groans as her body sways in the breeze. Though her dress is weather-worn, her corpse seems only a few hours old.
Gabbie Bleech, a green hag with a weakness for gossip, once sold secrets to anyone willing to pay. To silence her, Gabbie’s coven sisters wove a curse that rendered her mute and strung her body here. Gabbie’s curse prevents her from escaping the noose, but through force of will she’s recovered the ability to answer 12 distinct questions (see the She Sells Secrets table for more information).
Dealing with Gabbie
Gabbie uses her Illusory Appearance ability to appear as the corpse of a beautiful human woman. Physically inspecting Gabbie’s body uncovers the deception, as does a successful DC 20 Intelligence (Investigation) check or any magical effect capable of piercing illusions. A detect magic spell cast on Gabbie reveals auras of illusion (her Illusory Appearance) and powerful necromancy (her curse).
The PCs can attempt a DC 12 Intelligence (History) check to recognize Gabbie. On a success, the PC recalls Gabby’s backstory, as well as the following children’s rhyme:
Swings from the beech
She sells twelve secrets
A silver each
PCs who check Gabbie’s pockets find them stuffed with silver coins (37 sp total). If any of the coins are stolen, Gabbie’s eyes snap open and she targets the thief with vicious mockery. Except for when she answers questions, this is the only time Gabbie speaks. Even attempts to communicate with Gabbie telepathically fail.
Freeing Gabbie from her curse is as simple as loosening the noose around her neck. Gabbie thanks PCs who free her but offers no reward for their kindness. Shortly after being released, Gabbie turns invisible (using her Invisible Passage ability) and retreats into the forest. At the GMs discretion, the PCs may encounter Gabbie Bleech later in the campaign.
Characters who free Gabbie become targets of the curse that silenced her. Each PC must make a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, the character can speak no more than twelve words chosen by their player. (Have the players of cursed characters create a list of the words they’re allowed to say.) While cursed in this way, spellcasters can’t cast spells with verbal components. The curse is permanent until ended by a remove curse spell or similar effect.
Table: She Sells Secrets
Gabbie Bleech’s curse prevents her from speaking normally. However, if a character places a silver piece in Gabbie’s pocket and asks one of the following questions, Gabbie answers. Gabbie accepts no other payments, not even coins of greater value. Questions don’t need to be precisely worded, but Gabbie can’t speak about topics other than those listed below. The GM has the final say as to whether Gabbie answers a question and what information she provides.