Wrath of the River King was the first 4th Edition Open Design project from Kobold Press and is set mostly in the Summer Lands, Midgard’s version of the Feywild. I ran this adventure in 2009, starting it in the Feyshore Forest near Parsantium.
Here’s the seventh write up, in which Brave Ella competes in the contest to become the Birch Queen’s consort.
In the second round of the contest, Ella is up against Oiglas the centaur’s nature stories, Sir Arnovar’s poetry, Harrowdin the Black Fey’s grim anecdotes and Sir Yngress the Red’s hunting stories. She makes it through to the third and final round with a virtuoso display of acrobatics.
Round three is an audience with the Birch Queen at her table on the Lords and Ladies Mount. The other adventurers are invited too and do their best to support Ella in her conversation with the Queen. In the end the ranger balks at the one year term as consort and the Queen, perhaps fortunately, chooses the charming Eagle Knight, Sir Arnovar instead. Ella is offered and accepts the Queen’s badge.
As the characters make their way off to sleep under the stars, they run into Ellessandra. More time has passed than they imagined, as the eladrin talks as if she and the group met a long time ago, rather than yesterday. She warns the characters that the River King is likely to raid Riverbend for not making the agreed offerings.
The next morning, Ella trades her woodcraft skills to the lone wolf, Rhorlief for the Fey Roads ritual. The characters then decide to leave the fair. As they head towards the exit, they witness the arrival of Lord Flax – recognised by Margarita as the grown-up version of the young lad they met inside the mill in Riverbend. Lord Flax is recruiting fey for a raid on Riverbend and won’t be persuaded otherwise by Krivinn. Ambertan the Warlock and the Black Fey are the first to join up. As Lord Flax makes ready to petition the River King for permission to attack the village, the characters head past Garag-Nagan the ettin and out of the fair.
Heading east along the Straight Road, the characters turn off to visit the clearing of Tatzel the wyrm. The area is full of mist, making it hard to see. Krivinn, Sharden and Ella are attacked by Tatzel’s dragonborn protectors as Koh-Bar and Margarita face off alone against the dragon who attacks with bite, claws and dragon breath. Koh-bar is stunned by the dragon’s frightful presence and then drawn towards a large pit by the dragon’s luring gaze. Margarita uses lead the attack and steel monsoon to wound Tatzel but both genasi and tiefling god-king are poisoned by its bite. Koh-bar who gave up a “future moment of success” at the Fair fails his saving throw to shake off the dragon’s poison.
As the battle goes on, the characters realise that fire can clear the mist, making things easier. Once Brave Ella has killed the dragonborn attacking her, she shoots Tatzel which bloodies the dragon – a dozen kobolds spring up from his blood but luckily Sharden is able to take most of them out with his signature spell trumpet the star’s fall. Unfortunately, this fills the area up with smoke, making it hard to see again!
Eventually, the characters force Tatzel to yield and he gives up the secret of returning to the natural world – the party must travel to the False Mill, following the river towards the Cedar Mountains. By swimming down to touch the millstone at the bottom of the pond, they can return to Riverbend. Koh-bar also asks how he can learn more about his godly origins – Tatzel says the Oak King might be able to answer this question.
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Main image by Florian Stitz