Castles & Crusades U2: Verdant Rage
The hooves of the bay stallion crunched loudly upon the pine needles littering the floor of the Everwood, making the hooded figure leading the animal wince in consternation. As with all those who ply their profession with stealth, such rampant noisemaking was abhorrent to the nature of the man, a ranger by career - traveling deep into the wild woods of the valley. The melodic rustle of the leaves in the wind soothed the ranger somewhat as he made his way purposefully towards the Great Oak at the center of the Everwood, the forest's very heart as well as the nexus of its power. "What an appropriately peaceful setting for a meeting with a druid,' the ranger mused. Though at odds with the burden I bear."
The Everwood was always a place of serene beauty, a forest both ancient and mysterious. Known for its deep roots, it has served as a home for the fey for generations without count. But the world is a wide and dangerous place and the druids long ago set themselves the task of protecting the Everwood from the depredations of evil. Thus it has always been. For many long years the Druid Argus, the latest in his line of folk, has kept the Forest of Everwood safe. His struggles have pitted him against foes great and small. But no matter the challenge he has always found the wherewithal to overcome evil. But lately, something new has come to his possession. The Ranger Lords have given over to him an evil grimoire. They sought his experience and knowledge in unravelling the book and hoped thereby to know what to do with it. Argus took the charge, hoping to glean from it knowledge of their enemy. And so he bent himself to learning all that the book had to offer. But his researches have of late gone foul. His studies have opened up a nightmare and this book is not a simple wizard's text of spells but the book of the undead, the Liber Mortis.
That dread book of the undead has ever been a bane to men, for within it dusty pages lay the knowledge of the other side. Argus's lust has led him astray for the book has corrupted and made of him a monstrosity the likes of which the forest realm has not seen in many a long year. He has bent his power towards evil and turned the forest into a place of dread and worse he has bound those of the fey to him and made them creatures of nightmare.
So it is that the Dryad Eva has come to the Halls of Men seeking aid for her kin and her forest, seeing aid against the very man, the druid, who has for so long protected her people. Come to the Everwood . . . .
A Castles and Crusades Adventure module for characters of 3rd-5th level with a challenge rating of 4-5. Written by Mike Stewart, Cover art by Jason Walton, Interior art and cartography by Peter "20 Dollar" Bradley.
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