Surprising no one who attends conventions, con crud is real and it sucks. My Expo-sized crud laid me low last week, so I apologize for the abrupt hiatus. But I am back, reasonably hale and hearty, and raring to jump back into gaming nerdery.
Travis Molina created an art challenge for the month of October, for any artists who wanted to stretch their sketching abilities. Each day, artists are invited to sketch the monster of the day and share it with the hashtag #DnDtober2016. I am by no stretch an artist, but I liked the idea enough to try and use it for myself. So every day this month I’m going to post something on the blog inspired by the monster of the day. Could be a new monster stat block, could be a setting for the monster, could be a recipe; whatever the monster inspires me to write. I am a few days behind, so I’ll post a catch-up post soon for “Goblin” and “Hellhound”.
But today is “Hydra”.
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Encounter: Widow’s Walk
The fishing village of Widow’s Walk has fallen on hard times in recent years. Fishing has become more tenuous, with more and more boats unable to bring home a viable catch. The village, already perched on the brink of starvation and ruin, suffered another blow as a freak storm assaulted the coast, leaving much of the village in ruin.
Next morning, while scouring the beach for useful debris for repairs and rebuilding, villagers were terrified to discover the body of a hydra washed ashore, obviously a victim of the storm. Even more terrifying was the discovery that, while badly injured and unconscious, it was still alive! An enterprising merchant and fisherman named Topley Dabhand quickly turned terror to opportunity. Exhorting his fellow villagers to move quickly, Topley convinced them to imprison the comatose hydra in a nearby sea cave. After a nervous hour spent moving and imprisoning the beast, Topley then outlined his plan…
Several weeks after the storm which wrecked the village of Widow’s Walk, the village is beginning to show signs of coming back to life. Rumours abound about new fish stocks discovered by the village’s fisher folk, and the prosperity they have brought. Widow’s Walk is not only rebuilding, there is even talk of expanding the village and the fisheries. Rumours hold that these new fishing grounds are more dangerous as well, as there have been recent casualties among the fisher folk. Nearby fishing villages can only wonder at the new-found prosperity their neighbour is enjoying, as attempts to glean the location of these new fishing grounds have so far met with failure.
The reason no one can discover these new fishing grounds is because they don’t exist. After imprisoning the hydra and rendering it mostly harmless, Topley explained his plan to collect a never-ending supply of meat from the regenerating hydra. It took some convincing, but given the state of their village and their larders, the folk of the village agreed to the bizarre plan. While some crews head out and fish as normal, a few stay behind each day to “harvest” a neck or two from the imprisoned hydra. They prepare the meat in such a way that it looks like flesh from a large fish, and sell it alongside the meager legitimate catches. As a result, money has come pouring in from the local markets, and Widow’s Walk is on its way to recovery and prosperity.
How to Get the Players Involved:
- The nearby fishing village of Dory’s Roost hires the party to investigate Widow’s Walk, and discover the location of the new fishery.
- Market officials are concerned about reports of illness after consuming fish from the nearby village of Widow’s Walk. An inspector sent to investigate conditions there has disappeared, and the party is tasked with discovering her fate, and carry out her investigation into this new source of fish.
- Rumours are beginning to spread about strange deformities (patches of scaly skin, snake-like arms, and so on) afflicting some villagers in Widow’s Walk. The local temple has asked the party to escort their healer to the village and help discover what is causing the strange malady.
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Feel free to use anything I post for your own games. If you do, please stop back and let me know how it went. I’d love to hear about it!