The Night's Sun Festival One-Shot
What is this Adventure?This a one-shot adventure for a party of level three characters with the Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition ruleset. The adventure starts in the rustic town of Blackthorn Dale during one of the most important and beloved festivals of the year; the Night's Sun festival. Set during the lunar eclipse, this celestial event is marked by the people of Ior as the time when the sun goddess, Eanna, and the moon god, Aldanoc, come together as husband and wife. To ensure that the gods are not attacked by the Titan during this time, people the world over celebrate with light and music throughout the whole night, distracting the Titan with his hatred of both and drawing his attention to everything but the divine couple. The player characters are locals who have lived most, if not all, of their lives in the Dale or its surrounding region of the Silver Mist Hills. They are familiar with the town and its inhabitants at least on a basic level. This celebration, however, is marked with strange visitors to the Dale and rumors of banditry on the roads through the hills. As the festival progresses, events take a dire turn and Blackthorn Dale is attacked by a band of minotaurs. There is a running battle through the streets and where the PCs choose to defend will affect the survival of certain NPCs. Once the battle is won and the dead have been numbered, it is quickly discovered that the fleeing minotaurs have taken all of the children from the town. Panicked parents turn to the PCs to help track down the minotaurs and see the children safely returned. The path of the enemies leads through the wilds of the surrounding hills and to a sprawling ruin of an ancient city. The Rose City was likely the capital of a long-forgotten kingdom but has been abandoned for thousands of years. Now it is the home of shadows and haunts. There will be random encounters available for the wilds and the ruins, or the party can head straight towards the crumbling arena where the Minotaur warchief is holding the children. This minotaur band are working with a mysterious being who is looking for a key. This key, which can open portals between realms, is in actual fact a child. The minotaur shaman works a ritual to contact their master while the warchief guards the children with his enthralled manticore. There are several ways the PCs can approach this encounter such as using stealth and distraction to free the children, a frontal attack, or even taking control of the entralled manticore by its controlling chain and turning it against its master. In any case, the shaman's ritual will fail at the end, consuming the shaman with its burst of arcane energy. The only thing to escape this ritual is the furious roar of the thwarted being from another realm. With the children rescued and safely returned to Blackthorn Dale, this is the end of the adventure. The child who is the key, however, still remains and this can be expanded into a whole campaign if desired.
Goat RacingThere is a track which runs around the entire market square of the town. Children are able to ride and race the goats around this track, and the winner gets a ribbon, a pie, and special title of "Goat Champion." This event is intended for children but adult dwarves or particularly small PCs can participate. They likely won't be looked to kindly on by the parents of the other racers but it is an option nonetheless.
Pie EatingThere is a platform set up near the market tents which hosts a blackthorn berry pie eating contest. PCs can participate and roll a d12 + their Constitution modifier to determine how many pies they can eat. The prize is a small keg of wine or blackthorn berry mead, a ribbon, and a bronze pie shaped trophy worth 2 gold pieces. NPC participant scores Lida, Elf - 9 Mera, Human - 8 Rose, Human - 5 Hammond, Dwarf - 12 Eitrig, Human - 11
Catch the PigIndeed, there is a competition to catch a greased pig set loose in the town. This is a simple succession of Athletics or Acrobatics checks to catch the pig, the winner receives a small purse of 20 gold, a full keg of ale, and the pig.
The AttackAt the zenith of the lunar eclipse, minotaurs attack the town with the goal of taking the children. There are two primary routes the PCs can take in defending the town; the market square or the temple. They can, of course, choose a different method or split the party, but these two locations are the primary combat encounters. Depending on which place the PCs choose to defend, different residents of the town are at risk of injury or death. Those chances are laid out in the table below.
Charge. If the minotaur moves at least 10 ft. straight toward a target and then hits it with a gore attack on the same turn, the target takes an extra 9 ([roll:2d8}) piercing damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 14 Strength saving throw or be pushed up to 10 ft. away and knocked prone.
Labyrinthine Recall. The minotaur can perfectly recall any path it has traveled.
Reckless. At the start of its turn, the minotaur can gain advantage on all melee weapon attack rolls it makes during that turn, but attack rolls against it have advantage until the start of its next turn.
Greataxe. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (2d12+4) slashing damage.
Gore. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8+4) piercing damage.
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