After the disasterous attack on the Oracle’s spire, Xanthipon, the wizard who shared the spire with the Oracle, decided it best that to look for the missing Oracle, chase down Vyx, and see if any clues could be gathered of further Shadow Elf activity, they split up. Sending the servants of the Oracle — those with the maturity and presence of mind to be of use, east to Corisa, he went north towards the mountains, sending more servants south, and the adventurer party West. They were simply to report back to the spire within a couple days with their findings.
They journeyed west the entire day, covering much ground but learning very little. Finding a nice grove to camp in as the land became more forested, the party settled down for the evening. Around midnight, J. Hawkyns, Strawberry and Allyn all awoke, startled. No one had gotten them up for their turn at watch! They sought out Elygyn to ask him what he was playing at, but there was no sign of him, or his Dog Oaklyn! Disturbed, they woke Rabbye, Morgan and Gaelwynn.
Gaelwynn wasted no time finding tracks, though she didn’t understand what she was seeing. It was as if Elygyn and his dog hopped away through the grass towards the distant village. With the trail already going cold, the party gathered their things and set off in pursuit of their friend.
Reaching the outskirts of what appeared to be a farming village, they sent Rabbye scouting ahead. He came across what appeared to be a low, stone gatehouse, where a warden might watch the road into town. The door was ajar. Creeping inside the hovel, Rabbye saw the bed had been slept in and that its occupant had clearly leapt from it. Looking further into town, he thought it wiser to bring the rest of the party forward. They found the rest of town in much the same state… suddenly, something at the edge of Rabbye’s hearing attratcted his attention to the large, stone manor at the end of the lane.
The party slinked their way cautiously through the ghost town, acutely aware of the silence, but now hearing the same growling noise Rabbye identified. He and Gaelwynn snuck into the grand house, following the noise up the stairs with Morgan at their heels. Strawberry, Allyn and Hawkyns remained downstairs, Hawkyns agonizing over whether or not to light his lantern.
Upstairs, Gaelwynn, Rabbye and Morgan discovered an elderly man with a blindfold on and his ears stuffed with cotton wool, snoring like rumbling thunder. Above his cot, the top bunk was abandoned. Downstairs, there was a sudden commotion from behind a door under the balcony. Allyn followed the noise into a ktchen area, seeing pans in the wash basin settleing, and the shutters on the window above swinging as if recently sturck. At this same tiume, Hawkyns and Strawberry’s investigation of the great entry hall revealed small, reddish dots on the ceiling leading to the kitchen with the help of Strawberry’s infravision. They faded quickly.
The elderly gentleman upstairs was thoroughly terrified to find an elf in his master’s house, (thinking it was an escaped slave)holding a sword to his throat and was very unhelpful. The more she and Rabbye questioned him, the more belligerant he got until he rushed at them violently. Whacking him with the flat of her sword, Gaelwynn put him in place to receive Rabbye’s fist. They knocked him out cold. Gaelwynn tore his bed covers and bound him, taking him downstairs with Rabbye and Morgan to see what the commotion weas about and try and get answers from the man.
Listening to Allyn and Strawberry’s account of what happened in the kitchen, Gaelwynn wrapped the old man to a chair and started building a fire in the hearth. As they tried to revive him, Strawberry, Hawkyns and Allyn went to investigate the rest of the house. Suddenly, the sheets and cloths Gaelwynn used to tie the man up began unwinding from him as if they were moving on their own. They spiraled outward in a flash, causing Gaelwynn and Rabbye to jump aside, Gaelwynn striking the wall hard and hurting herself. Morgan was not so fast and became thoroughly entangled in the sheets and strips which began constricting her like a giant cloth net. The rest of the party ran into the kitchen, immediately spying a small man in green standing in the window, pointing at Morgan and laughing hysterically. Strawberry charged, getting a boost from Allyn who overdid it and threw the dwarf right out the window.
The rest of the party followed suit after Rabbye cut Morgan free. After some thought, Allyn realized this creature was a leprachaun and advised caution, just as Strawberry found himself confronting three of the creatures after it cast mirror image on itself. Efforts to catch it proved fruitless, but it admonished them for picking on his old friend. They apologized and he introduced himself a Malin. Malin explained that he too was hunting the elf and dog who came and danced away with the enitre town hours ago. He said a Faun had walked off his with his magic pipes and now that he’d started playing, he couldn’t stop; he and all who danced with him would dance themselves to death!
The party asked where to start looking for this fawn and the leprachaun gestured past the estate’s garden. The grasses were matted from hundreds of dancing feet, leading deep into the woods. The party wasted no time in pursuing.
It dawned on Gaelwynn that the old man at the estate was spared because his ears were blocked up so she started cutting up bits of her rope and handing it out to be stuffed in their ears. Around this time, walking under the moonlight, Rabbye began sweating profusely, feeling very ill. He took up position behind evryone as the trekked to avoid notice.Soon, they came upon a grove where a faun stood in the center of whirling, dancing people and creatures. There were a few centaurs, and other fawns and at least 30 human villagers…and there was Elygyn and Oaklyn in the middle of it all dancing. Allyn and Hawkyns moved in to intervene but were jostled so hard from the other dancers, their makeshift earplugs dropped out and they too were caught up in the dance! Morgan and Allyn made it through the frenzied dancers, also losing their ear plugs but holding on to their sanity, tackling Elygyn and Oaklyn. The spent elf gratefully passed out.
Gaelwynn dove in to tackle the Faun and finally succeeding, she made an opening for Rabbye to grab at the pipes. The dance had finally ended. The people collapsed where they stood and the woodland creatures, seeing themselves in the company of humans fled into the forest. Among the towns people, they discovered a woman of indeterminate age in very fine toga and jewelry! The Oracle!
The group returned to town with Elygyn and his dog on a stretcher, carrying Malin the Leprachaun’s pipes in Gaelwynn’s bag of holding. She refused to release the pipes to Malin, so he promised to show them where his treasure was hidden. Laughing he gestured at Rabbye whom he apparently polymorphed into a giant fox… which Malin rode back to town. The rest of the party watched over the recovering citizens when a large warrior riding a griffin landed in their midst and after a brief, tense encounter, revealed he was from Xanthipon and took the oracle with him.
Meanwhile, Gaelwynn thought she’d tricked Malin into leaping into her bag and he promised to lead the group to his treasure. Turns out she caught on of his mirror images as the real Malin warned them of impending danger should they seperate. It was then they noticed Shadow Elves creeping around the town…
DM’s Bibliography: This adventure was adapted mainly from the Dungeons & dragons Creature Crucible: Tales of the Wee Folk by John Nephew; Part II, The Adventure Booklet, page 6 “A Night Out On The Forest”.