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 eighth write up, in which Koh-Bar the self-styled God-King met his tragic end.
After the battle with Tatzel, the characters head to a safe distance down the Straight Road and then camp. While Koh-Bar is on watch, hundreds of moths gather around the campfire, forming into alluring female shapes. Koh-Bar is suspicious, blasting the moths with burning spray, but they soon return and reform. He wakes the others and in the end gives in and dances with one of the “moth women”. After a while, they disperse and the adventurers go back to sleep.
The next morning the Straight Road fizzles out as the woods around the party grow darker and more foreboding. Sharden harvests some sickly green mushrooms before the party follow Koh-Bar into the trees. The forest starts to look familiar – reminiscent of the lands of the Black Fey the adventurers were in before going to the fair. Bits of chainmail fall from the trees above – looking up the characters see severed limbs and mummified heads hanging from the branches. Then, having lost track of the others in the dingy woods, Sharden, Koh-Bar and Margarita enter a clearing draped in spider webs – they can hear raspy voices speaking in Elvish.
As the adventurers move forward, Sharden summons Rover, his onyx dog. The trees are inhabited by a pair of ettercaps led by Ariabelina the Lady Clatterspin; the ground is crawling with spiders. Margarita advances to the tree which the ettercap guards are standing in – Lady Clatterspin throws a web at the genasi trapping her. To make things worse, she’s poisoned by one of the guards which stuns her and then bitten by a spider and knocked prone. Sharden blasts the webs with trumpet the star’s fall but this does 9 hp to Margarita and also fills the area with smoke (again!)
As the dwarf goes to help Margarita, Koh-Bar is killing spiders with thunder leap and burning spray and Rover manages to kill one of the ettercap guards. However, the tiefling is surrounded by more arachnids; he falls unconscious and fails two death saves. Margarita and Sharden get out of the smoke and webs and fight the last guard, the spiders and Lady Clatterspin. Sharden tries to parlay as poor Koh-Bar breathes his last, failing his final death save. The ettercap web mistress agrees to let the others withdraw if they leave Koh-Bar’s body behind.
The two characters back away, heading along a gorge. As they leave the area, they spot bright blue, green and orange “death butterflies” feeding on a dead owlbear.
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Main image by Florian Stitz