The overgrown grazing fields in 13 | World Anvil

The overgrown grazing fields

This farmer asks the PCs to deal with the overgrown fields and whatever has been living there during Plague years

Good day! Welcome, welcome. My name is Tralki'za.
  A short catfolk greets you at the door. He has a pale brown coat and an incipient mane. He is seemingly eager to get to know you.  
Nice to meet you. Come, come inside. We have warm food and are eager to hear the news that an adventuring group must have from the cities.
  After a meagre, but very tasty meal, Tralki'za decides to try his luck with the adventuring group that stumbled upon his farm.  
Say... Would you be interested in earning a bit of coin, as well as free accommodation and meals for a couple of days? As you may have noticed, there a few grazing fields available for my livestock. Most of the land was not in use during the plague, and now that we are trying to get back to business, we have been trying to get back to the state my father had the farm before the plague hit our family.
  Tralki'za's voice breaks, but he quickly recovers.  
The problem is that when we sent our cows out there, to see if they would graze down the shrubbery and long grasses, some started disappearing. And now the cows seem afraid to venture into the overgrown areas. We had a look around the areas the cows did initially graze down and we saw some... animal. It was like a blue lion; we have never seen anything like it. My uncle, Reklar'za went to investigate the day before yesterday, but he hasn't come back. He was the ablest of all of us. After the plague, it is only me, my sister, my uncle and one of his sons that are left to take care of the farm. And now he's gone. If he couldn't make it, how will we? If you could deal with these creatures, whatever they are, we will pay you, and give you food and accommodation for as long as it takes you to deal with these beasts. What do you say?

The overgrown fields

After half an hour of walking, the PCs arrive in an area that has been mildly grazed but still has shrubs and other woody plants. A 15 survival check reveals some tracks that lead into an area of dense shrubs. In the middle, there is a cow carcass. All of the meat has been stripped out of the bones and there are strange marks in the bones. A 12 nature check reveals the bite marks are not from a lion or any other common predator in this area.  

Searching for the uncle

If the PCs decide to follow the uncle's tracks, they lead further into the shrubbery until they reach a river bank. In the river bank, there are signs of a campfire. A 14 perception check reveals a cow bone within the remains of the fire, with the strange bite, marks the PCs saw before. An 11 survival check allows the PCs to follow the tracks of Tralki'za up the river. A 19 survival check reveals they are following the tracks of a strange creature to these lands.   The PCs sight a humanoid-shaped creature after 15 minutes of following the tracks. As soon as the creature sees the PCs, it charges forward. The PCs see a creature alike the description of the uncle, but it has a fanged tail bursting through his jaw, and moving at a really fast speed. A 20 knowledge religion or planes reveals to the PCs that this creature is a Void Zombie, and that it will soon spawn one Akata if they do not kill it.

Searching for the creature

If the PCs try to track the creatures that killed the cow, but fail a 19 survival check, they can follow a few animal paths that there are in the long grass. In there, they find some sort of cocoon-like structure. Whatever lived there has been long gone. The cocoon is really strange, with really dense fibre-like metal. A 20 knowledge dungeoneering or planar reveals to the PCs that the creature in question is known as Akata.   A 19 knowledge local allows the PC to recall a rather obscure legend about blue lions, unholy creatures who feed on wild and domestic animals alike. What's worst, they like hunting humanoids, and can only deposit their eggs on them. The legend says drowning them in the ocean is the only easy way of getting rid of them.

Tracking the creature

If the PCs decide to search for the creatures that killed the cow, a 19 survival check will allow them to follow the tracks. After an hour of slowly following the tracks, the PCs find fresher tracks that overlay the old tracks they were following. The fresher tracks seem quite recent and lead into an overgrown bush area.   If the PCs stealth, they will be able to ambush the deaf Akatas. If the PCs don't stealth, they will find the akatas and combat will ensue without a surprise round. A 20 knowledge dungeoneering or planar reveals to the PCs that the creature in question is known as Akata.

Returning to the farm

You are back! Only Bastet knows how glad I am to see you back and alive! Come, come, tell us what you found.
The family managing the land will reward and react to the PCs differently depending on the outcome of their adventure:
  • If they found & fought the uncle:
    • If they brought the body for the proper funerary rites: Grateful, they offer the family sash as payment, that the uncle was wearing.
    • If they didn't bring the body back: An offer to patch them up
  • If they didn't search for the uncle: -15% gold
  • If they brought back some Akata remains as proof: +5% gold

Extra goodies

If the PCs succeed at a knowledge check about the cocoons or the akata and wish to harvest their remains, they can harvest:
  • Skin: 16 DC craft
  • Fibre-producing gland: 25 DC craft
  • Cocoon remains
Products crafteable with the obtained materials
  • Skin: Fire resistant cloak (10)
  • Fibre: Any clothing material or light armour, which has fire and bludgeoning resistance (13)
  • Cocoon: Metal shield, absorbs damage from flaming weapons

Cover image: by MGatta


Author's Notes

The original version of this article was created as an entry for World Anvil's Inktober 2019. Specifically, for Day 14 of the challenge, using the word "overgrown".   You can view my entries for other challenges I have participated in here, or check out all past World Anvil competitions here.   This article and the world I am writing about have been created using Pathfinder as a base. This is a homebrew setting, inspired by Paizo's wonderful lore and creations.

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