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Into the Woods


OOC: Long post and Assumtions were made.

The mists continue to clear rapidly and, for the first time since entering the woods, you see a golden shaft of light pierce the gloom and touch down, maybe not so co-incidentally, near the pile of rags you saw earlier.
One-by-one, the shadows re-emerge from the gloomy woods and pass into the shaft of light. The golden ray burns away the darkness and you can see each for who they once were: A woman, about thirty years of age, with a tumble of red curls in a simple homespun smock; A young boy of about five, likely her son, runs to join her; An elderly man, probably nearly seventy, in rough but sturdy clothing.
On and on they come out of the forest, a handful, a dozen, more and more flowing out of the corners of the woods. You lose count somewhere around a hundred as each one emerges, is revealed, and looks at you all with a slight smile of thanks. As each is cleansed, it also seems that the beam of light slowly expands to encompass more and more of the area and, as it does, the sickly blight is also burned away.

Finally, one last shadow approaches. He, too, is revealed as a tall, thin young man, All elbows and knees, about sixteen with a mop of sandy-brown hair. He floats, just above the quickly returning grass in the field where the manor once stood.
'I don't know who you all are,' he says in a voice that hasn't quite shifted from a boy to a man. 'But I,' he says looking to the pile of rags and refuse, 'we all owe you a debt of gratitude. If it weren't for you, it's likely we'd have been trapped here forever. Please tell the master I'm sorry I didn't return. I'm sure he's cross but, as you can see, It wasn't my fault.' He smiles warmly at you all as he turns to go to the sunbeam. 'Thank you again.'

Finding your way out of the woods is significantly easier than finding your way in was and, as you go, more and more breaks in the mists occur. Finally, you step out into a a lovely sun-dappled afternoon. The sun is warm and inviting and feels wonderful, even to the stumpy Albrecht, after so long in the swirling grey mists.
The hike to the shack is shorter than you remember as well and when you arrive there, if anything, it looks worse. The fire is cold and you see no signs of Mertrand anywhere. But, on a stump outside you do see a rough wooden crate containing several jugs as well as packages neatly tied and stacked. Attached is a worn, hand-scrawled tag that simply reads 'heroes'.
As you stand there looking at your meager prize, a grizzled old farmer heads past and looks at the group. "All y'll look like ye been dragged through a field o' brambles and then trampled by a horse fer good measure. You wantin' a place ter sleep fer a night? I gots a hay barn that'll do you good for a night. If'n yer interested, I likely can talk the missus into a helpin' o' stew as well. Taint fancy, but it'll keep the belly full."

As promised, the stew is hearty, if simple, and the hayloft, with the help of some blankets, is quite comfortable and you are, finally, able to get some good, solid rest.

As our heroes wander on to find other adventures, the scene in our minds begins to fade out and our credits begin to roll. Intermixed are artwork of scenes as originally story-boarded. There is also concept art of our heroes and foes alike.
A brief vignette plays of our heroes selling their goods in some, un-named town and preparing for whatever their next adventure might be.

Another of the farmers reclaiming the woods and cleaning up the remains of the Manor.

Finally, just as the last of the credits roll, the theater of our minds goes black and we hear the voice of a small child "Mommy! Look at this neat doll I found!" And an image of a doll's face, sweet and also menacing flashes only so long as to register what it was and then, black.

Followed by a terrified scream.

--- The End? ---

OOC: Here we are, over two years after starting, at the end. Unless there is anything specific you want to resolve, this is the end of the module and our story. Huge thanks to all who played, even those who did not make it to the end.
If nothing else, I hope that you were able to explore a character you hadn't before and had at least a bit of fun.
Suspenseful horror, like I wanted this to be, I learned is hard to do well in this medium. Oh well.

If you have questions about the adventure, NPC's, characters, or anything, feel free to message. Play on and be well!

Leechers Emerald
Wondrous item, rare (requires attunement)
This green emerald is an ancient relic imbued with necrotic energies by an evil necromancer long ago.
Its master and wielder, once attuned, can attempt to magically implant the emerald into the chest of any living creature. The creature must successfully win a Grappling contest to be able to resist the attempt.
As a bonus action the emerald’s master can use it to transfer 3d6 Hit Points from the victim to them-self if it is within 60 ft. The emerald has two charges per day and regains all of its charges at dawn.
The gem exerts no control over the victim otherwise, but the master of the emerald knows it’s direction and distance at all times. If the emerald crosses into another plane, the owner knows which one.
The emerald radiates evil, and should its ‘master’ ever use it for it’s intended purpose, their alignment permanently shifts a step closer to evil.
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