This adventure occurs during some wilderness travel, when the party pass from open plains into a forest. Set on a nice summer's day, it presents a nice walk in the shade... until an arrow hits the ground at their feet!
The DM's Background explains how the Forest of Athan was placed under a dark spell that corrupted it to become the Darkwoods. The resident elves tried to clean the place up for many years but were thwarted. A pact was made which held good for centuries but now it seems to be unravelling... and the Prince of the elves wishes to send an emissary to the Dark Fairies with whom the pact was made. As part of the terms were that elves should stay out of the Darkwood, he wants to persuade someone to go on his behalf. Perhaps he reached out to the party, or perhaps they just happen to be in the area, that's up to you to decide.
The adventure starts when the party meets the elves (remember that arrow?) and are taken to one of their villages where they meet the Prince who explains what he needs them to do. Assuming they accept, they are guided (or given directions) to the Darkwood, and from there on, they are on their own. This is where the descriptions and encounters begin. There's a fair bit of aggressive vegetation to get past but eventually they meet the leader of the Dark Fairies and can deliver their message. From then on in, there are some caverns to explore and a threat to deal with before the mission is fully discharged. The caverns are mapped clearly and well-described, although the rest of the Darkwood (and indeed the surrounding forest) is left to your imagination.
There are some interesting options to conclude the adventure which could, if you are minded, lead to further plots as matters are resolved. There's also a couple of new monsters which could be used on other suitable occasions as well as featuring here. It's a nice mostly outdoors adventure with enough twists to make it more than a "kill 'em all and restore the forest" exercise (unless that's the way the party decides to deal with the problem, of course!).
Return to Darkwood's Secret page.
Reviewed: 21 January 2018