The Sons of Catriona - Adventure April 2023 Plot in Tai'Sans Hearth | World Anvil

The Sons of Catriona - Adventure April 2023

Cheat Sheet - The most important aspects at a glance (plus they're linked)

The Story

Inciting incident:
The heroes of our story are tasked with rescuing Leonor and Caran, the daughter and son of the local miller. Our stories villains, the eponymous sons of Catriona, have taken them either as bait for the heroes or as punishment for the village.
Story beats:
The story roughly follows the following beats at your discretion:
  • Discovery: The heroes arrive at the millers home and discover the message left for them. For the repeated insults to the name of the great Catriona, her sons now enact this punishment. The heroes have brief time to gather supplies before they must give chase.
  • Chase: Following the trail of our villains the heroesmoss carpets must cross through the magical forest of Turelion, where they can gain an unlikely ally, and then cross into the ogre-infested bog of Sarl where they can confront their foes.
  • Confrontation: At last the heroes find the lair of their foes where they must confront them to save the children. As a build up to the battle they first need to explore the lair.

The Actors

The antagonists:
  • Catriona - the bog witch who rules over the ogres of Sarl. Catriona is not directly involved with this story, but her presence definitely shapes the conflict of it.
  • Jork - The elder son of Catriona and brother to Mork. Jork is a half ogre and has learned the art of necromancy from his mother. Despite his aptitude to magic, he never had the talent nor the ambition to challenge his mother for her place.
  • Mork - The younger son of Catriona and brother to Jork. Mork is also a half ogre but not as talented in the arcane. His mother however brokered a pact with a devil, which gives Mork limited access to magic and fuels his inhuman strength.
Other notable NPCs:
  • Caran and Leonor - the millers children and macguffin of our story. Recently kidnapped by Jork and Mork.
  • Athelmar - their father and the de facto leader of the village. Athelmar is the one petitioning our heroes to rise to the adventure and rescue his children.
  • Ser Wobblesworth - A giant bear and lord of the forest. If the heroes treat him well, he may come to their aid later.

The Places

The Village
Merwhyll is a small village in the countryside. Nominally they are beholden to a lord, but for the most part they are left to their own devices. Merwhyll has roughly 150 villagers, who are mainly human. Ideally the party should have some ties to the village (if you play this as a oneshot, they can just come from here.
The Forest
Northeast of Merwhyll begins the enchanted forest of Turelion. Few dare venture off the road that crosses it, for people say that fae creatures inhabit its depths, who may steal you away if you wander too far. Deep in the forest rumors say lies an ancient castle in ruins.
The Bog
This piece of land just north of Turelion would be very interesting for the vast amounts of peat that could be recovered from below the surface, if it were not for a problem. The region is home to a myriad of small ogre tribes, terrifying and territorial maneaters, who make entering the bog a death sentence. The ogres are often infighting, but have all sworn fealty to Catriona, a powerful witch. Recently Catriona has begun to expand her influence beyond the bog and tried extorting nearby villages for protection money.
The Lair The lair of Jork and Mork lies hidden in the bog.
Psst if you ever need to quickly get back to the links and references press the home key to jump back up ;)

The Sons of Catriona - A chase adventure leading through a mythical celtic land


0. Preamble

  Hi there! Welcome to my submission to Adventure April. This adventure is a new and improved version of one of my all time favourite self-designed adventures. It first saw implementation in the very first campaign I have ever DMed, back when I primarily played Midgard 5. If you are familiar, then let me tell you that the Forest of Turelion, the bog of Sarl and Catriona are no mere coincidences in name ;)   Before we begin with our story a quick explanation. Below I will use the following tools occasionally throughout the story:
Quotes are notes from me as a DM to you. In them I explain some of my choices in the design of this adventure and also leave advice on what to do if things go wrong.
Alouds contain small blurbs you can read to your players, when they reach certain parts of the story.
Spoilers contain statblocks for Midgard 5. On the description itself I will leave rough ideas on how to stat them in other rulesets
This is because I generally want to keep the adventure system agnostic, but also want to offer as much help as I can for you. Choose what you want to use :)
  All three of these are not required to run the adventure! You can ignore them if you want and you will not miss any important details.   Now lastly, a quick aside about the meta stuff. This adventure is designed as a oneshot of about 4 hours, but depending on your party and playstyle, you can also run it as a mini story arc over multiple sessions. If you are wanting to play it as part of your campaign, you could consider introducing story hooks in earlier parts of the adventure. Have the party make an enemy out of Catriona and/or have them make friends with villagers from Merwhyll before you start this story. It will improve the stakes of the story dramatically if your heroes are directly entwined in the conflict.  
Checklist of what you should do before running the adventure
  1. Read the adventure (chp 1 and 2 minimum, but ideally everything)
  2. Decide on/make fitting stats for the following in the ruleset you are running:
  3. Prepare a map for the hideout (if you are running your game with a map)

1. Previously....


1.1 Antagonists and a Brewing Conflict

  The roots of this story are dug deeply into the earth of this land. Their origin lies in the Bog of Sarl, which lies north by northeast of the village of Merwhyll. This bog is home to a most vile breed of ogres and ruling over them sits the evil bog witch Catriona. While Catriona has her fingers in every little ogre tribe in the forms of the crones (elderly female ogres who have learnt one or two spells from Catriona), her true enforcers and keepers of her rule are her two sons, Jork and Mork. Both of them are half brothers and half ogres, born from different ogre fathers some years apart. These two are our primary antagonists.  


Jork is tall even for an ogre, but does not look like it. If he ever were to stand up he would reach about 2.3 meters, towering even over full blooded ogres, but given that he hunches his back terribly and often leans on his staff, he looks about 2m tall. Jork has a lithe build especially for his size, which gives him a spindly look and his skin is more pale then ogre hide, but more greyish than human.   Jork learned from a young age that his magical talent far exceeded that of normal ogres, a gift from his mother and he is utterly devoted to serving her. While his mother taught him much in different types of spells, he most keenly took to necromancy, raising dead ogres to strengthen the position of himself and his beloved mother. Apart from his talent for spells, Jork has a shrewd and cunning mind, more sophisticated than ogres are, but every bit as cruel.   Wherever he goes, Jork wears dark brown and grey robes which hang from his thin limbs and he carries a wizards staff which has an illusory green flame burning at its top resembling a will-o-wisp. Stat Jork as a spellcaster with a focus on Necromancy. He should be able to raise skeletons of
various kinds and have a roster of spells designed to support his brother in the frontline or
disrupt enemy Spellcasters


Catrionas second son, Mork, was born a few years after Jork and this time Catriona willfully withheld magical talent from her child during the pregnancy, fearing that two spellcasting sons could one day threaten her supremacy over the bog. Mork is burly and strong, taking much more after an ogre than his brother, but he is only 1.9 meters tall, which makes him slightly smaller than a fully grown male. Despite this, Mork is strong beyond belief even for his towering build.   As a child Mork was raised more by the ogres surrounding Catriona and only after some years, when she decided to focus on him was taught by her. Despite his mother favoriting Jork in most matters, Mork is a very loyal son and loves his position as an enforcer far more than any ruling position. To make up for his lack of magical talent, Catriona negotiated a pact with a local devil. In exchange for some level of servitude, Mork is empowered to cast limited spells, which give him an edge in battle.   Mork wears little armor and his most prized possession is his great club which he reinforces or replaces regularily because his immense strength causes significant wear on the weapon. Stat Mork as a frontline fighter with some supplementary spells. Ideally give him a spell that
functions as magical armor and another that increases his physical strength. His club should hit
like a truck but not be able to hit easily every round.

Roleplaying the villains

  Neither of the sons of Catriona are intended to have much direct interaction with your heroes outside of combat, but nonetheless I want to give you something to start off for building a personality that makes them feel more real.   Both Jork and Mork are deeply loyal to their mother. They may not love her in the way humans usually do, but she provides them with positions that give them what they want, freedom to desecrate the dead in Jorks case and dissenters to silence in Morks. As a result they have no real reason to betray her mother. Both brothers are as cruel as they are malicious, which is why they hatched the plan they did.   Jork, who grew up surrounded by beings of lower intellect and arcane talent, has developed a bit of a god complex. In his mind, no one (other than his divine mother) comes even close to his mind and as a result he may underestimate his opponents intellectually. He is the one who hatched the plan of the kidnapping.   Mork on the other hand completely latched on to the belief that might makes right and those weaker than him would do well to fear and respect him. This conflict of views between the brothers is perhaps the only way someone could drive a wedge between them. It is highly unlikely, given that the players wont meet Mork until the confrontation, but as one knows, no plan survives contact with an adventuring party.  

1.2 The Plan

  The village of Merwhyll has long been a thorn in the side of Catriona. It is the closest settlement to the bog, only about one and a half days on foot in fact, and yet the village has always refused to even consider paying Catriona for her "protection". If you can, you can also create more direct ties for your players by either making them native to the village or by sowing conflict between them and Catriona specifically in previous adventures. The latter obviously only works if you are playing this as part of a campaign and have some lead up.   Now onto the plan of Catrionas spawn: They have kidnapped the daughter and son of Athelmar, who is the informal leader of the village. Leaving behind a note identifying themselves as the kidnappers, Jork predicts that this will lure out the most adventurous villagers onto their trail. He hopes that by forcing them to follow him and his brother to their lair deep in the bog, he can defeat those that are most likely to defy him and his mother while he has his home field advantage. By doing so he can weaken the village and break or damage their morale.

1.3 The Execution

  In the early morning hours of Catrudag (4th day) of the 1st Tridead (first of the two fortnights, meaning waxing moon) of Bearmoon (meaning early spring), Jork and Mork emerge from the forest of Turellion and approach the mill which lies in the north of the village next to the river. Mork swiftly breaks down the door and Jork guards the exit after Mork enters. Athelmar is caught by surprise and despite resisting his hardest is beaten and knocked unconscious by Mork. The two half-ogres subdue Athelmars children, his 13 year old daughter Leonor and his 7 year old son Caran, and swiftly cross the river back into the forest.   They leave behind a note, which Athelmar finds when he wakes hours later. The villains are long gone along with his children. In the forest, Jork and Mork realise they need to set up camp eventually because they will not reach the bog today and are tired from their first trip. They set up camp, unknowingly too close to fae territory. Late in the night, Ser Wobblesworth alerted by his underlings finds the camp and after smelling Jorks necromancy on him attacks them with the help of several regular brown bears. Jork and Mork are able to kill one, but are ultimately no match for the fae lord and his ursine friends. They are forced to flee quickly, leaving some belongings behind.   Finally they reach the bog and quickly make their way to the lair. On the middle of Cuindag (5th day), they reach it and where they rest to recover from the ordeal. Refer to chp. 2.3 "The Bog" for details. Afterwards both villains set up their trap (see chp 2.4 "Confrontation) and await the heroes in Jorks "Throne Room".  

2. The Adventure

2.1 In the village

  Our story begins in media res, but if you want you can give your players a chance to stretch their RP muscles beforehand. They could be spending some time at the village tavern called "The Broken Oar" or helping out a friend on their field (which needs to be prepared for sowing the next harvest). Use the following list of fitting names for any villager they may interact with.  

Names in Alba

Used asNames
FeminineAbrie, Ailidh, Bodica, Cara, Erna, Gilda, Gwendolyne, Kandra, Nia, Rhiannon, Torrin
NeutralAidan, Braedyn, Kace, Leonor, Neely, Tristan
MasculineAthric, Aodhan, Bedwyr, Caran, Cleland, Connal, Keanan, Kelwyn, Maedoc, Pwyll, Teague, Zaedhan


The sleepy village of Merwhyll lies along a minor trade route and kings way somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Geographically it is nestled to the river Mer, which separates it from the wild forest of Turelion to the northeast. Northwest of the village lies a lake fed by the river, which the people of Merwhyll fish on. The village is about 200 heads strong and does not have an official ruler. Decisions are made by a majority vote of all villagers older than fourty for humans and one hundred and sixty for the small community of dwarves (about fifty heads of the village). The village is directly dependent to Lord Canibher, but the town the lord rules from is a weeks travel away to the south, so as long as Merwhyll pays its tenth and obeys the Kings laws, they are left to their own devices.
  Once you think it is time to start with the story, inform the players that they hear screams coming from the north near the river. Caira, an older woman from the village, is shouting for help at Athelmars mill. Once the players arrive they find a broken door, a devastated room behind it and an Athelmar who is only now regaining consciousness thanks to the help he is receiving.   Feel free to read the following or convey the same information to the players otherwise.  
When you arrive you stumble into the remains of a fight. The front door to the mills main building is broken down. By the looks of it it has been splintered by something akin to a battering ram or a large mace. Beyond the doorway you see a chaotic room. A table is overturnt and its previous content a morning meal of porridge from a wooden bowl is splattered onto the floor. In the far corner, near the hearth, sits the miller, Athelmar leaning against the wall holding his head. He is wearing his usual greystained clothes, but now, a part of them is stained red by a trickle of blood running forth from below his hairline and onto his shirt.
As they enter, they can see that a note has been pinned to the doorframe using a simple dagger. It reads:
You angred Catriona for last time! We take children as punishing. Come get them, if dare!
  Athelmar, who is still incapacitated from his injury can relay the following information to the players:
  • Two humanoid scoundrels kicked down the door, while he and his family were eating a quick meal. The stronger looking of the two came at him with a large club and after a short fight struck him down with it. After that he remembers nothing until he came to later in the day, being woken by Caira who had come to visit.
  • The two villains were clearly not fully human and according to Athelmars expertise had a fair amount of ogre blood in their veins. The larger one had one lame eye constantly staring to the left. The smaller one Athelmar did not get a good look at, but he carried a curious staff, which looked expensive.
  • Athelmar knows that over some months now, he has been the person people looked to, whenever demands came from foul looking men from the swamp. The name Catriona was used and each time he turned them away, eventually becoming less polite and more violent, when the demands became more agressive.
  If the party has lived in the village for a while, they are also aware of the demands because they have been one of the chief topics of gossip for a while now. Some in the village argue that they should be met with defiance, while other seemed more willing to pay to make this problem go away. A vocal minority has also been arguing that they should send for help from the nearest town, where the local lord holds court. Over all though, people have been mostly trying to ignore the problem, because there had not been any severe consequences until this point and Athelmar had been handling it until now.   Additionally if the players investigate the scene they can notice the following:
  • A small pool of blood is found next to the table. Caira can tell the party that the blood is Athelmars, as this is where she found him.
  • In a shelf next to the hearth are sitting rows of smaller linen sacks. They contain the small percentage of grain that Athelmar charges the village for using his mill. Most of the shelves are empty, given the winter that has just ended, but the lower shelves still contain some. More importantly, there is one sack missing, that is out of order.If asked, Athelmar can tell the party that he always goes from top to bottom and left to right when using up the supplies. He is also confused why there would be a gap in the second to lowest row. If the party searches outside the house, they can find an intermittent trail of grain, likely left in secret by one of the children.
  • A particularily perceptive party can also notice, that the weapon rack above the hearth is empty. The dagger at the door belongs to Athelmar, but the sword that he used to carry in his heyday is nowhere to be found. Athelmar had grabbed it when trying to defend his family. What the players can only find out with some magical help or an insane amount of intuition is that the sword, which is magical, was tossed into the river by Mork, when they crossed it.
  Athelmar, who was a monster hunter before he settled down and had his family, wants nothing more than to set out and chase after his children, but the blow to his head gave him a serious concussion and he still has trouble with focussing and feels nauseous. As a result he begs the heroes to go in his stead. Neither he nor the village can offer large sums of money for the endeavor, but they appeal to the heroes sense of justice and possibly duty. If they need anything for the journey though, the village will, if it is reasonable to assume they have it, provide rations, equipment and weapons for the heroes.  
The heroes should of course be aware that they are in a race against time, so longer preparations or resting should not be on their mind. At the longest they should wait until the next morning, if they do not willingly depart on the same day (Catrudag). Before they do depart, Athelmar gives them his amulet of adventure, a magical trinket that saved his life many times in the wilderness.   If the heroes do not wait for longer than it takes for them to gather their supplies, they can easily follow the trail of grain left by the children until the campsite in chapter 2.2 (meaning that anyone trained in tracking does not even need to roll for success). If they did not find the trail or wait too long (meaning the grain will have been eaten), they instead need to do proper tracking using a roll appropriate to your ruleset. A failure here could either mean that they take longer following the trail or that they need to come up with a different plan (like following the kings way until they reach the bog and trying again, in which case they will miss out on a potential ally (see chapter 2.2). I would advise option 1 but it is up to you as the DM. In either case the heroes pass the river Mer at the villages bridge. If they successfully follow the trail or the tracks, they notice that the kidnappers left the road

The Amulet of Adventure

This amulet is a recent creation favored by monster hunters and those, who will spend many days in the wilderness without someone to watch their back. It is a simple round medallion suspended from a chain. The metal is bronze and in the center of the medallion is a polished piece of amber. Its function is twofold:
  • When you let the amulet hang from its string, it will exhibit a tiny amount of pull towards magnetic north. If the place the user is in has no magnetic north, the amulet slowly precesses in a circle, indicating the absence of magnetic north.
  • When the amulet is held in the hand instead, the gem at its center starts to shine light even darkness. At night its brightness equals that of a torch, but in magical darkness (no matter the source), it instead has the brightness and illuminating capacities of a candle.
after the bridge and entered the forest proper, choosing the underbrush over having to risk discovery by the Kings rangers or knights on the road.

2.2 The forest

The forest Turelion

Turelion is a classic ancient forest that has so far successfully resisted any attempt at deforestation or colonisation by civilised folk. A few roads have been carved through the thick vegetation that allow travel through the forest, but even the maintenance of these thin strips against the reclaiming forces of nature cost the king a small fortune.   As the players venture deeper and deeper, feel free to focus on the unclaimed wildness of the place. Gnarled roots that stick out of the ground and trip up our heroes, the light shining through the just now sprouting foliage of the trees, the smell of fresh plants growing and the near constant sound of life around them (which will cleverly contrast to the bog later if you want it to).
  As the players follow along the path the villains took previously they will eventually stumble upon the campsite. When they arrive highly depends on when they left Merwhyll. If they immediately departed and chased after the villains, they find the campsite in the morning hours (about 1 hour after breaking camp) of Cuindag (5th day). If they wait until the next morning, they instead find it in the late afternoon.  

The Campsite

You have been travelling through the forest for a while now and the monotony of the scenery begins to set in. You could have sworn that you have seen that tree before. At least the protest aching up from your feet lets you know that you are making progress. As you clear a particularly thick and thorny bramble bush, your nose is hit by a strong earthy smell underlaid by the metallic, rusty smell of large quantities of blood.   Steeling yourself for what is to come, you slowly step into a small clearing. The first thing you make out is a large brown mass of fur that lies lifeless on the ground, which you quickly identify as a male brown bear. Based on the surrounding area, the brown one did not die without a struggle. Branches are broken, some of the trees show scratch marks and the ground is trampled flat. To one side you spot the charred remains of a campfire that can not be older than some hours. As you take in the scene. You cannot help but wonder what transpired here...
  Once more the players are free to investigate the scene. Here is what they can immediately discover:
  • The bears cause of death is decidedly not by another bear. Its skull was caved in by an unknown blunt object, but not before the bear had a chance to retaliate. Its mouth and snout are bloodied by a red too dark for human or animal blood. Someone knowledgeable with monsters can identify the blood as that of ogre(s).
  • Two different paths lead away from the clearing. One, less pronounced one is heading in the direction of the bog, while the second, more noticeable one leads away, deeper into the forest. The latter was decidedly not made by humanoids, as a incredibly large bear paw print can be seen on in. The paw is so abnormally large that even the untrained eye can tell it is not from a normal bear. The dead bear in the clearing has smaller paws.
  • Multiple items are strewn about the scene. The most noticeable is a large shield, which is a buckler in shape but not in size. Additionally, a pouch containing three vials of a mysterious liquid is half hidden by grass. Miraculously all three vials of glass survived whatever transpired. The liquid is a potion of deathward, which staves off death for a small time. A person on deaths door who ingests a vial recovers barely enough to keep going, but a single further injury may send them back into peril. The players can identify this by drinking one of the three charges or if one of them is trained in alchemy.
  Several less obvious clues can also be found by more attentive heroes:
  • A little away from the fireplace is a half empty linen sack which still contains some grain. If the party has used the trail left by the children until this point, they are now no longer able to use this help.
  • When they closely examine the ground, the heroes can also see more blood leading away from the site on the less noticeable path.
  The party now has a choice. Do they immediately follow the kidnappers towards the bog, or do they see who the mysterious other party involved is? After all, the enemy of their enemy might be a friend. If they head for the bog, you can skip the following aside and directly go to chapter 2.3.  

Optional: Ser Wobblesworth

  Hidden away in the deep recesses of Turellion is a fae realm. Its ruler is the knighted and honorable Ser Wobblesworth, who once was just a humble bear. In his past Wobblesworth saved the life of a fae princeling, by cuddling him up in his fur and keeping him warm in a winters night. As a thank, Wobblesworth was given a fae knighthood, sentience and rulership over the Turellion.   Wobblesworth has no love for humans and their axe-wielding, tree-felling ways, but he hates necromancy even more. When Jork and Mork trespassed on his land, they angered the fae knight. The trail leading away from the fight he fought with the half-ogres brings the party to Dunbegh Castle, which are the imagined ruins that house our knight. The structure resembles a ruined version of the locally common hilltop castles. It is however obvious from the shimmer on the stones that the walls are not entirely physical.   In the main courtyard, the party can find Wobblesworth:  
As you approach the shimmering walls of the strange ruined castle, you cannot help but hold your breath in anticipation. Stepping through the half collapsed gate arch you come upon a large court dominated by someone who has clearly noticed you already. You see a giant behemoth of a bear with brown fur that is starting to grey.   Strangely, he is standing on his hind legs, and staring in your direction as if he had been awaiting your arrival. More strangely, he is wearing a simplistic piece of armor over a bulging belly. How utterly strange indeed. Then he opens his mouth and speaks:   "Alas, my day doth darkens even more. I am to mourn a dear friends passing and now I am accosted by even more hoodlums and villains. What say you, villains? Why dost thou bother me on this day of grief? At least thou reek not of the vile necromancy like the last did. Speak now!"

Roleplaying Ser Wobblesworth

Gentle Giant: Wobblesworth is, despite his intimidating size of 5 meters standing up, a sweetheart and a kind soul. He may grumble about the heroes coming, but if they mind their manners and act friendly, he quickly warms up to them.   Righteous Warrior: Despite this, Wobblesworth is truly convinced of his duty to oppose evil. If the players even indicate that they are hunting the same villains he had an encounter with, he will commend them for their courage. He freely offers any information he has and encourages them to continue on their quest.   Traditionalist: Wobblesworth is deeply entrenched in his views of the world and while he appreciates a pleasant conversation, he will also point out that humans and their civilizing influences are not truly welcome in the Turellion. The heroes may consider themselves guests for a short while, but are expected to move on quickly.   Sweettooth: Even if the players do not start off on the right foot with Wobblesworth, this quickly changes if they offer any food to the hungry knight. This will immediately improve his mood so far even, that the heroes could convince him to follow them into the fight as an ally.   Stat Wobblesworth as a hard-hitting behemoth. A good way to start is with the stats for a normal
bear of your ruleset and then juicing up the numbers. Hard to take down, devastating when he hits.
Since he wont be there for the final confrontation, you dont need to worry about him outdoing Jork
and Mork, but make sure he does not outshine the players before that either.
Ser Wobblesworth, the fae knight by Ninodonlord (via Midjourney)

Physical Description

Wobblesworth is a abnormally large and old brown bear. He clearly eats more than enough for his size though, judging from his large belly and rotund overall shape. The armor he wears is made of the same illusory material as the walls and resembles leather garb. Whenever he moves, the earth shakes and he exudes a musk of wilderness. When Wobblesworth speaks, his voice is deep and gravelly, occasionally accented by bearlike groans or moans.  

Potentially Allies?

  Ser Wobblesworth can fill in the gaps for the heroes: He and his subordinate bears quickly noticed the intruders as he calls the half-ogres. When the intruders stopped for the night, Wobblesworth and his bears ambushed the campsite. The strong one struck down Orob, a dear bear friend, in battle, which incensed the remaining bears. The two intruders grabbed the bound human cubs (which Wobblesworth can confirm were alive at the time) and hastily retreated towards the northeast.   Wobblesworth sent his bears after them to ensure that they could not rest until they had left the forest. He himself performed a quick burial prayer for his dead friend and then left his carcass as nature intended to nourish life in the forest.   Wobblesworth does not know much about the intruders, except a physical description. He points out the large club the strong one carries and the flaming staff of the other intruder. If the party suggests it, Wobblesworth is willing to accompany them into the bog on the hunt for these villains.  

2.3 The Bog

  Once the party reaches the bog, feel free to read the following blurb:  
Before you even see the bog you are approaching, you can smell its presence. A thick waft of air washes over you, bringing with it the sulfury smell of rotting eggs, but also an earthy richness. Then Turellion opens up and you behold the border between two worlds. Before you stretches a vast wetland only seldomly accentuated by a lonesome group of trees. The rest of the Ground is covered in small bodies of water, spongy looking moss, ferns and grass sods. As you approach you spot a gruesome sight. Along the border of the bog, someone has driven large sharpened stakes into the ground. Impaled on the sharpened tops you see a variety of animal heads, but more horrificly, among it are also several human heads as well. With some relief you realise that none of them are the kids you are searching or anyone else you know and then you move on so you dont need to think about where the rest of the bodies ended up.

The Bog Sarl

Entering the bog we see a very intentional mood shift in the adventure. Where some parts of hit may have been light or even whimsical before, the heroes are now confronted with the very real evil associated with their foes. Hopefully, they will no longer care just about saving the Athelmars kids, but also a sense of justice against the ogres.   The bog is a vast stretch of land that is dotted by tiny territories claimed by single ogre families which rarely exceed the parents and one or two broods of children. Ogres grow quickly, are always hungry for more and unfortunately human meat tastes sweetest to them. Since this adventure is intended as a oneshot, I did not plan for additional encounters with ogres, but you can easily add a cat and mouse game into this story, with the party having to navigate a hostile stretch of land, staying moving to avoid detection.   In this case, Ser Wobblesworth is intended to be a heavy weight, which tips the scales in favour of the party. Even if they did not bring him, you can use him as a trump card to save the party if things look dire against an ogre family. Remember, that the true final confrontation is supposed to be against the sons of catriona. There (as you will learn) Wobblesworth cannot help them, so use him as you like previously.
  Stat ogres as tall, lumbering maneaters. They should be clumsy but stronger than two men, a challenge to defeat in single combat, but not impossible for a party of heroes.
  Tracking the ogres across the bog is arduous, but very possible. Terrible terrain, treacherous deep puddles and the odd ogre make progress here very taxing on the body. Fortunately the Jork and Mork do want to be found, and therefore even someone very unlucky or inexperienced in tracking will eventually find the right place. Until then, have the party roll for their constitution (or your ruleset equivalent) to see how well they handle the swamp.   Their feet will be aching, the legs burning and any exposed skin will be itchy from countless mosquito bites. The last at least particularily clever adventurers can avoid by rolling well on a nature or survival roll. Success here means that they can take preventative measures such as smoke and long clothing to mitigate the blood lusting insects.   Finally they arrive at the hideout. Before we get to it though, you need to figure out how long it took them, and the relation of that to Jork and Mork.   Very simply, Jork and Mork took one and a half days to reach their lair from Merwhyll. If the party performed admirably, they can achieve a similar pace. For distractions, failures or delays add some hours to this time at your own discretion. The second part of this equation is how long the party took to set out. If they took haste and did not wait at all and kept pace with the Ogres, they arrive so early, that Jork and Mork are still not fully rested. As a result, have them start with reduced hit points and resources to the battle. If the party took longer, these advantages should shrink accordingly.  

2.4 Confrontation

  The party finds Jork and Morks Hideout by following their tracks into a unusual place for a bog: Underground!   In the middle of the scenery, they finally stumble upon a dug and secured tunnel into the ground. The Halfogres have made this impossible structure (remember, bogs are a wetland) with very hard work and some magical help from their mother. The tunnel into the ground gradually thins until it reaches a set of stone doors which lead into a catacomb of sorts. Ser Wobblesworth, if he is with the party, can not follow them into the lair, because he is too large to fit into the tunnel. He offers to wait for the heroes outside, guarding their rear against any ogres that would dare challenge him.   As the party goes into the tunnel, they will, unless they roll impossibly well on a perception roll, miss the tripwire spanning the tunnel. This tripwire sounds a metal gong, which alarms Jork and Mork of the intruders. They await the heroes in the "Throne Room". If the heroes avoid the alarm, Mork can be found sleeping in his quarters (and therefore surprised). Jork will already be in the throneroom with the captives.   Because of the challenging factors of their hideouts creation, Jork and Mork have a very simple layout. After the stone doors, follows a plus shaped hallway. Left and right are Jork and Morks rooms respectively, and straight ahead are a second pair of doors which lead to the "Throne Room".   Jorks room smells of foul rot. On a table, Jork is the process of cutting open and studying a giant toad, which has legs about as long as a human is tall. The room is chaotic, with magical ingredients strewn all about. Because Jork rarely sleeps, he does not have a bed.   Morks room on the other hand is very cleanly. It is dominated by Morks giant bed and has several weapon stands (which are all empty if Mork was alerted). Hanging from over the the doorway is a leather band on which Mork has strung the toes of everyone he killed in the name of his mother.   Finally, there is the "Throne Room". This where Jork normally receives ogre visitors and where the brothers have set up their trap. At the far end of the square room, which measures 5 by 10 meters (the heroes come from the shorter side), stands a slightly elevated throne crafted from human bones. Jork sits here, with the bound children at his feet. Mork stands with his giant hammer about halfway. Hidden from view for the heroes are the two ogre skeletons which are standing behind the open doors of the throne room. As soon as the heroes enter, the trap activates. "Blasphemers! Time to die!", is what Jork throws their way, before uttering the code phrase that activates the skeletons. Mork and the two giant undead now try to surround the heroes from three sides, trying to overwhelm them.   At the same time, Jork will start casting spells from the back. He prioritizes hindering the obvious spellcasters first and then tries helping his allies with more spells.   The two skeletons fight until they are destroyed. If either Mork or Jork however drop to a third or less of their HP, Jork will activate their contingency. He casts a darkness spell, which obscures the throne room. Mork then disengages from the enemy and the two brother escape though a back exit which is hidden from sight by the throne. They leave the children behind, focused entirely on surviving and living another day.   This is the win condition for the heroes. They then only need to deal with the the skeletons. Afterwards they can dispell the darkness spell or wait it out. If Athelmar gave them his Amulet of Adventure, it can help here by enabling one adventure to go into the room immediately and rescue the children.  

Thats a wrap! For now...

  Hey there! You may have noticed a small drop in quality as this article went on. This is because I am currently in another country and had very limited time to work on the adventure throughout April. I tried my best to get it into a playable state before the deadline. This deadline is as of writing this less than an hour away, so this will have to do for now.   That being said, I am not done with this article! I will come back soon (if I can) and touch up the article in three main ways:
  1. Linking! I promised linking to different sections of the article, and I want to deliver on that. This will be my first job, once I land back in my home country on May 3rd.
  2. Statting! I will stat out the NPCs of this adventure using the Midgard 5 ruleset and give you a set of PCs, which you can use to run it.
  3. Polishing! I will go over the article once more, editing for consistency, clean look and correcting errors.
  For the third part, I will need your help! Yes yours ;)! I would love for you to let me know about the following things:
  • Was this article written in a concise and understandable way? I wanted this adventure to be beginner friendly, so I need to know if everything is easily understood and comprehended.
  • Did you spot any errors? Help me squash the annoying typos, grammar and punctuation mistakes.
  • Most importantly: What did you think? Did you like the adventure, what was your favourite part and what would you like to see more of in the future? Your feedback is invaluable to me and would mean the world.

Cover image: Wild meadow (via Midjourney)


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26 Apr, 2023 16:15

I lo e the overall feel of this adventure and the fact it would make a great one shot for new players. I love the GM advise sections, aloud and spoilers.

30 Jun, 2023 12:00

Thanks! It definitely helped me that I had run a version of this adventure for one of my groups previously. Because of that I already knew how it played and how to stay on track so the reader gets all the info they will need to respond to what the PCs throw into the mix ^^

Yours truly, Nino.
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