The Forest of Beasts

The Van­quished: Chapter 5

Table of con­tents

The people of Ay­meluma rarely travel into the forest of beasts. Packs wolves of­ten roam, there have been sight­ings of owl­bears, and there are tales of a great eight legged beast that roams at night. The elves don’t hunt in the forest as it’s dif­fi­cult to track creatures.

Deep in the Forest of Beasts, Briid, the Wolf Mother, sends her wolves to drive the elves from Ay­meluma. While she be­lieves she is serving Sil­vanus, she has been tricked into these ac­tions by a pro­jec­tion of Ely­dir.

Fol­low­ing the wolf trail 2

As you travel into the woods, it gets cold and snowy. The warm and safe feel­ing of Ay­meluma quickly leaves your body.

The wolf trail is 6 miles long through the forest. The forest is dif­fi­cult ter­rain. A char­ac­ter must suc­ceed on a Wis­dom (Sur­vival) DC 15 check to fol­low the trail. On a suc­cess, the char­ac­ters suc­cess­fully fol­low the trail - for every half an hour of travel, they go half a mile. On a fail­ure, it takes 1 hour to find the trail again.

Each day that passes, the add 3 to the Wis­dom (Sur­vival) DC to fol­low the trail.

En­coun­ters 2

Ran­dom en­coun­ters. Check for a ran­dom en­counter after each 30 minutes of travel. An en­counter oc­curs if a res­ult of 15 or higher is rolled. Don’t check if the char­ac­ters have already had three ran­dom en­coun­ters out­doors in the past 12 hours. After each en­counter, the char­ac­ters must make an­other sur­vival check to fol­low the trail.

Fixed en­coun­ters. The river en­counter will be found after the 4th mile.

River 2

The char­ac­ters can only en­counter this once.

You can hear wa­ter rush­ing ahead of you. A river flows quickly, it’s 4 feet deep and 15 feet across. The wolf tracks lead into the wa­ter. To your left, a wa­ter­fall crashes down a 20 foot cliff onto rocky out­crops. Tall trees and mossy boulders line the wa­ters edge. Slime covered stones peek out of the wa­ter.

Us­ing the stones, a char­ac­ter who makes a suc­cess­ful DC 13 Dex­ter­ity (Ac­ro­bat­ics) check will suc­cess­fully cross the river. On a fail­ure, the char­ac­ter must make a DC 13 Strength save to avoid be­ing dragged over the wa­ter­fall edge.

Wad­ing across the wa­ter, a suc­cess­ful DC 13 Strength (Ath­let­ics) check. On a fail­ure, the char­ac­ter is swept away with the cur­rent over the wa­ter­fall edge.

A char­ac­ter who is swept away with the cur­rent over the wa­ter­fall edge will take 2d6 bludgeon­ing dam­age from the fall.

To climb up or down the cliff, a char­ac­ter will need to suc­ceed on a DC 15 Dex­ter­ity (Ac­ro­bat­ics) check. On a fail­ure, they will fall and take 1d6 bludgeon­ing dam­age.

The char­ac­ters have a dis­ad­vant­age on the check to fol­low the wolf trail.

d6 + d4 En­counter
2 Deer corpse
3 [Bind­ing roots](#bind­ing roots)
4 Dis­tant howl­ing
5 False trail
6 Hid­den bundle
7 1d4 Wolves
8 1d4+1 Ban­dits
9 1 Gi­ant spider
10 1 Owl­bear

Deer corpse 2

An stench fills your lungs, rot­ten flesh and blood. The trail is un­clear. The forest is quiet all around you, the trees stand still.

If a char­ac­ter makes a suc­cess­ful DC 13 Wis­dom (Per­cep­tion) check, they will find the source of the smell.

You find the source of the stench. The par­tial re­mains of a deer.

This deer has been killed by wolves and there are lots of tracks all around. A char­ac­ter who suc­ceeds on a suc­cess­ful DC 10 In­tel­li­gence (In­vest­ig­a­tion) check will no­tice that this deer was killed by wolves and a trail of bloody wolf paw-prints giv­ing an ad­vant­age to the next check to fol­low the trail.

Bind­ing roots 2

The path des­cends into a gorge, you can’t see the end through the trees. You can see the bare roots of trees cov­er­ing the floor.

The gorge is 100 foot long and covered in roots. Once a char­ac­ter reaches 50 feet into the gorge, the roots start grasp­ing at the char­ac­ters.

If a char­ac­ter suc­ceeds on a DC 15 Wis­dom (Per­cep­tion) they will no­tice the roots mov­ing. While in the area, and the roots are grasp­ing, a char­ac­ter must suc­ceed on a DC 11 Strength sav­ing throw or be re­strained. While re­strained, they take 1d4 bludgeon­ing dam­age.

Each 5 foot square of roots has an AC of 12 and 4 HP. They have vul­ner­ab­il­ity to fire.

Climb­ing up the walls of the gorge takes a DC 13 ac­ro­bat­ics check to es­cape.

Dis­tant howl­ing 2

The forest stirs with a gust of wind. You hear wolf howls in the dis­tance.

If the char­ac­ters are trav­el­ling, read the fol­low­ing de­scrip­tion:

The trail is dif­fi­cult to fol­low.

If one or more of the char­ac­ters make a suc­cess­ful DC 14 Wis­dom (Per­cep­tion) check, they will identify that the wolves are in the east. If they choose to fol­low the howl­ing, they get an ad­vant­age on the check to fol­low the wolf trail.

If the char­ac­ters try to con­tinue to find the path, they will get a dis­ad­vant­age on the check to fol­low the wolf trail.

False trail 2

This en­counter oc­curs only if the char­ac­ters are trav­el­ling, oth­er­wise, treat the res­ult as no en­counter.

A foot trail cuts across the wolf trail.

Briid left this trail. Fol­low­ing it in either dir­ec­tion leads to a spiked pit (see “Sample Traps” in chapter 5 of the Dun­geon Mas­ter’s Guide).

If the char­ac­ters fol­low this foot trail and at­tempt to re­turn to the wolf trail, they will get a dis­ad­vant­age on the check to fol­low the wolf trail.

Hid­den bundle 2

This en­counter oc­curs only if the char­ac­ters are trav­el­ling, oth­er­wise, treat the res­ult as no en­counter. If at least one of the char­ac­ters has a pass­ive Wis­dom (Per­cep­tion) score of 11 or higher, read:

A corner of leather pack peeks out of the snow.

In the pack is 1d4+1 elec­trum pieces and a tar­nished gold am­u­let in the shape of bug.

The trail is clear and the char­ac­ters don’t need to make an­other sur­vival check to keep on fol­low­ing it.

Wolves 2

If at least one of the char­ac­ters has a pass­ive Wis­dom (Per­cep­tion) score of 11 or higher, read:

Wolves howl nearby, too close for com­fort.

If more than one wolf is present, the oth­ers are close by. If none of the char­ac­ters has a pass­ive Wis­dom (Per­cep­tion) score of 11 or higher, the wolves catch the party by sur­prise.

If a single wolf is re­main­ing, it will at­tempt to flee to­wards the Hol­low Oak Tree.

Fol­low­ing its trail will grant an ad­vant­age on the next check to fol­low the wolf trail.

Gi­ant spider 2

If the char­ac­ters are trav­el­ling, read the fol­low­ing:

Large webs cover between trees. The wolf tracks cut through, un­der the webs.

The webs are con­nec­ted to the spider’s Web sense. If the play­ers try to cir­cum­vent the spider’s lair, they have a dis­ad­vant­age on their next check to fol­low the wolf trail.

In the lair, there is 1 gi­ant spider and 1d4 spiders. Hungry and wait­ing pa­tiently, they will am­bush any prey fool­ish enough to enter. There is a dead hu­man co­cooned and hanging wear­ing com­moner clothes. If searched, the hu­man has 9 sp in its be­long­ings.

If the char­ac­ters are rest­ing and at least one of the char­ac­ters has a pass­ive Wis­dom (Per­cep­tion) of 13 or more, read:

You hear clicks and a creak. A gi­ant spider scuttles down the nearby tree.

If none of the char­ac­ters has a pass­ive Wis­dom (Per­cep­tion) of 13 or more, the gi­ant spider catches the party by sur­prise.

Ban­dits 2

These ban­dits are hos­tile, look­ing to prey on people in the woods. There are 1d4+3 ban­dits.

If the char­ac­ters are trav­el­ling, read the fol­low­ing:

You hear bois­ter­ous laugh­ing and the light of a fire in a clear­ing up ahead.

If the char­ac­ters are rest­ing and at least one of the char­ac­ters has a pass­ive Wis­dom (Per­cep­tion) of 11 or more, read:

You hear a branch snap and see the out­line of a crouched fig­ure in the un­der­brush.

The other ban­dits will be close by.

Owl­bear 2

If at least one of the char­ac­ters has a pass­ive Wis­dom (Per­cep­tion) of 11 or more, read:

There are deep scratches in the bark of the trees. Bushes have been trampled.

If the char­ac­ters are mov­ing quietly and not car­ry­ing light sources, they can try to hide.

The owl­bear is hungry. If it loses more than half of its hit points, it flees into the forest.

The char­ac­ters have a dis­ad­vant­age on the next check for fol­low­ing the wolf trail.

Hol­low Oak Tree 2

Map of the dungeon

Out­side 2

The path slopes down into a crater. In the the centre is a gi­ant oak tree. Its branches are bare and leaves cover the ground. Small pools steam around the crater. An or­ganic pas­sage­way flows into the tree.

A pack of five wolves lies out­side the pas­sage­way, shel­ter­ing un­der the tree’s branches, one stands watch­ing around.

The tree is over 100ft wide and 250ft tall

The wolves are guard­ing the en­trance and will at­tack to ward off in­truders. Any char­ac­ter that tries to sneak past must make a DC 18 check on a if ap­proached and will pro­tect the en­trance.

1. En­trance 2

If the char­ac­ters have at­tacked the wolves out­side, char­ac­ters hear the a wo­man plead­ing to help from a pro­jec­ted im­age of Ely­dir pos­ing as a ser­vant of Sil­vanus, who aban­dons her. Read the fol­low­ing de­scrip­tion:

A thick pil­lar of smooth wood grows in the middle of the room. An­imal furs cover the walls and rick­ety wooden fur­niture leans against the nat­ural wooden walls. Carved bowls over­flow with fresh nuts and ber­ries. Scattered candles cast a dim light. In­cense smoke fills your lungs.

To your left, hanging furs hang as a door­way. From here, you can hear two wo­men ar­guing.

“They’re here, they’re here,” one cries. “They’re go­ing to kill us. Please pro­tect me.”

“You served your pur­pose. Go now and die in what way seems best to you,” a cold voice says.

It grows quiet, apart from sob­bing.

2. Druid liv­ing area 2

Read the fol­low­ing de­scrip­tion when the char­ac­ters enter:

A small bed covered in an­imal furs leans against the wall. In the centre of the room is 15 foot dia­meter chalk circle; at the centre of the circle, more furs.

A wo­man wrapped in an­imal furs sobs. She stands in the way of two wolves.

Briid is a hu­man Druid. She car­ries a gold am­u­let in the shape of an oak leaf (5gp) as her spellcast­ing fo­cus and a gem worth 10gp on her per­son.

When she casts en­tangle oak roots and branches sprout from the tree in­stead of grasp­ing weeds and vines.

Ro­le­play­ing Briid the Wolf Mother 2

Briid, a thin young wo­man with blonde hair, has ab­so­lute faith in her pur­pose to serve Sil­vanus to re­claim the hot springs and Ay­meluma back for him. However, it has not been a ser­vant of Sil­vanus ap­pear­ing to her but Ely­dir. Briid cares about her wolf pack over everything else. Her at­tacks on Ay­meluma have come at little cost.

She will not at­tack the char­ac­ters first, if she is cornered with her wolves. She will plead with party to let her wolves free as she does­n’t want them harmed and will of­fer to have the play­ers take her life in ex­change for the wolves. She will ex­plain that, without her lead­ing them, they will avoid the vil­lage.

However, if she learns of the party’s ap­proach and they have been trav­el­ling for a few days, Briid will bring the fight to them.

Whether or not the party let the wolves go, Briid will want re­venge them through their deaths. While she may have agreed to al­low the char­ac­ters to take her life, she won’t give it will­ingly.

3. Store 2

Small pots and bar­rels cover tot­ter­ing shelves. These are filled with vari­ous po­tion in­gredi­ents, nuts, dried ber­ries, and dried fruit. A small chest sits in the middle of the room.

The chest con­tains 4 gp, 3 sp, and 35 cp, a po­tion of heal­ing, and a 10gp gem. There’s enough dried food for 10 ra­tions.