Our PF2 conversion of The Runewild Campaign Setting continues! Today we meet Sir Rolf, the time-lost knight featured on the cover of the book.
- Sir Rolf, a time-lost knight (as a watch officer), carries a sprite lamp (Magic of the Runewild)
- Three sprites—Dandydew, Oaksong, and Lemontwig—accompany Sir Rolf
A rutted cartpath winds through the hills before ending at the gate of this modest peasant farmstead. A pen crammed with bleating sheep abuts a simple stone and turf cottage. Behind the cottage, the forest hugs a graveyard decorated with a dazzling assortment of flowers.
The farmstead is home to Tom and Maggie Mulrand and their twin children, George and Winifred. The Mulrands are peasants who, like hundreds of Runish families, make their living along the edges of the Runewild. As ordinary as the Mulrands seem, the graveyard behind their cottage suggests there’s more to the Mulrands’ story than meets the eye. Enclosing the dozen or so graves is a garden of breath-taking beauty. Islands of violets and goldenrod, neat borders of lavender, well-trimmed hedges, flawless white pebble paths, and soaring, rose-draped bowers come together in a tableau fitting for a royal palace.
With Widderspire (1), the nearest village, two days travel to the west, the Mulrands welcome any traveler in need of a hot meal or a place to rest their feet. Only when asked about their fabulous garden do Tom and Maggie grow quiet. Tom counters questions about the garden by claiming his wife has a green thumb, but George and Winifred reveal the true story. “The knight tends the garden!” the children innocently proclaim. “The knight and his fairy friends!”
Once exposed, Maggie relates their tale. For as long as she can remember, a man bearing the sword of an Aruandan knight has emerged from the forest each night to tend the garden. The knight also carries a glowing lantern, inside of which live fairies who help him in his work. The knight has visited the farm since her grandmother’s time, Maggie explains, and it’s become a family tradition to leave food and other gifts for the man to thank him for the garden.
At this point in Maggie’s story, Tom breaks in to remind his children never to bother the knight. Tom explains he once waited up for the knight and was met with a barrage of arrows from the knight’s “fairy friends.” The attack, he grumbles, left him blind for nearly a week. Neither Tom nor Maggie believe the knight means any harm, but to be safe they keep his existence quiet. They request the PCs do the same.
If the PCs ask to tour the garden, Tom and Maggie cautiously agree. The garden’s beauty is even more remarkable up close, and PCs who succeed at a DC 16 Arcana or Nature check realize some sort of magic must be involved. PCs who study the graves automatically notice one of them seems particularly well-tended. According to the marker, the grave belongs to “Briallen Parks,” Maggie’s great-aunt. Maggie explains she never met Briallen, who died many years before she was born. She doesn’t know why the knight shows Briallen’s grave more attention than the others.
A half-elf raised by the Aosidhe, Sir Rolf left his elven family to fight alongside his human kin during the Witch Wars. After a particularly brutal campaign left him lost in the Runewild, Sir Rolf returned to his adopted home to discover a lifetime had passed. Worse, the human woman with whom he’d fallen in love, Briallen Parks, had died in his absence. Since then, Rolf has tended Briallen’s grave, returning each night to prove—to her memory, at least—that he never forgot about their love.
With a successful DC 16 Diplomacy check to Request, the Mulrands allow the party meet to wait in the garden for the mysterious knight. Unless the PCs conceal their presence, Rolf spots the party in advance and declines to visit the garden that night. The PCs can hide by making Stealth checks against Rolf’s Perception DC 18. On a success, the party remains hidden as Rolf emerges from the forest to tend the Mulrands’ garden.
A middle-aged half-elf whose features favor his human side, Sir Rolf has close-cropped hair and a reddish beard tinged with gray. A chain shirt of elven make hides beneath his flowing, green cloak. A longsword hangs at his side, and he carries a lantern that shines with ethereal light.
After decades spent wandering the Runewild, Rolf understands he’s more a creature of the forest than the mortal world. He doesn’t want to cause trouble for the Mulrands, only to visit Briallen’s grave in peace. If he spots the PCs, Rolf hurriedly departs. Only a successful DC 17 Diplomacy check convinces him to speak with the party.
If befriended, Sir Rolf tells the PCs his sad tale. Though his heart remains noble, Rolf tired of bloodshed long ago. Only exceptional circumstances (such a direct threat from Griselda or her minions) convinces the knight to take up his sword again. However, if he determines the PCs have noble aims, Sir Rolf proves a useful source of information about the Runewild:
- Rolf has heard tales of other knights who became lost in the Runewild. He once fought alongside Sir Reinhold, a human knight cursed with immortality, who is said to still wander the Cronemarsh (see location 74).
- Sir Rolf’s elven mother gave him his armor (an elven chain shirt) and sword (a +1 longsword). Rolf cherishes the gifts but admits they pale in comparison to true Aosidhe relics, such as the Highvale Blades (Magic of the Runewild).
- Rolf’s mother retreated from the Runewild at the end of the Witch Wars, along with the rest of the Aosidhe. If any of Rolf’s elven kin remain in the forest, they live with the Ruasidhe in their territory to the east (34).
The Sprite Lamp
Three sprites named Dandydew, Oaksong, and Lemontwig accompany Sir Rolf. Drawn to Rolf by his courage and his connection to the forest, the sprites help the knight tend the Mulrands’ garden by night and protect him when he retreats to the forest during the day. Sir Rolf transports the sprites inside his enchanted lantern, a magic item called a sprite lamp (Magic of the Runewild).
The sprites are fiercely protective of Sir Rolf, serving him as (literal) fairy godparents. If the PCs threaten Sir Rolf, the sprites attack the party in response. Regaining the sprites’ trust once they become hostile requires a successful DC 16 Diplomacy check to Make an Impression.
Refer to the following details as you roleplay the sprites:
- Lemontwig is Rolf’s longest companion, born from his lantern-light when he first became lost in the Runewild (see the Runewild Bestiary for more information about how sprites are born). Playful and kind-hearted, Lemontwig concocted the plan to tend the Mulrand’s garden in order to raise Sir Rolf’s spirits.
- A wise, old sprite, Oaksong joined Sir Rolf after the knight saved a sprite nursery (16) from a rampaging troll. Oaksong wears an acorn cap, carries a pussywillow staff, and can cast the tanglefoot cantrip as a primal innate spell.
- Dandydew insists he’s as much a knight as Sir Rolf, despite his diminutive size. If the PCs recruit Sir Rolf for an adventure, Dandydew encourages the knight to accept the offer and is dejected when he refuses.
The sprites’ arrows, like those of all sprites in the Runewild, are invisible and curse targets until removed. Dandydew proudly proclaims his shot was the one that blinded Tom Mulrand (until Rolf convinced him to remove the arrow). Replace the sprites’ luminous spark Strike with the following:
Ranged [one-action] invisible arrow +8 (range increment 20 feet, reload 0), Damage 1d4 piercing. The target must make a successful DC 12 Will save or become cursed. While cursed, the target is also blinded. The curse lasts until the target or another creature uses a Seek action and makes a successful DC 12 Perception check to find the invisible arrow and another action to remove it. A successful remove curse spell also ends the curse.
Like Sir Rolf, the sprites are well-versed in the history of the Runewild and can serve to introduce the party to further adventures. Oaksong, for example, might mention a druid named Rufus Ambercomb lives north of the Mulrands’ farm (27), while Dandydew moans he’ll never have a chance to fight a real dragon, like the one that lives on Feather Lake (58).