"The Wooded Lands" - A scene-based adventure for Cairn - Collaborative project

We’re making a scene-based adventure for Cairn!

Here are the principles of such an adventure in blog form and here is the background and conversations that produced it.

Here’s the premise:
The player characters are wandering the woods along a path. It’s just as dense with trees behind as it is ahead and to the left and right. Escape the forest!

Here are some “blanks” in the adventures to be filled:
*** How did the player characters get here?**
*** What happens if they leave the path?**
*** What lies ahead?**

That last question is where y’all come in. Here’s what this project needs from you, the community:

  • One or more highly interactive scenes with clear challenges and opportunities. This includes features like monsters, allies, traps, treasures, landmarks, puzzles, and more. Whatever makes an adventure adventurous!
  • A one to three sentence “boxed-text” that sets that scene and highlights the interactable features within.
  • Detailed descriptions (and stats when necessary) for each feature.
  • Small tables are cool too! :smiley:
  • Each scene should be able to fit on a half-sheet of 8.5" x 11" letter paper (reason for that below)

The genre of the adventure is a forest folktale infested with fairies, ghosts, and spooky monsters. It’s near Halloween after all! Here are some touchstones:

The finished product is a PDF compilation of all the scenes put together, which could then be printed at home, the same size as the Cairn booklet! :slight_smile:

Ideally the scenes would be in by Friday the 15th of October, so the layout and such could be done in time for spook season.

Let’s do it!


I’ll go first.

#1 The Well

You come to a moss-covered well filled with greenish water. A metal object gleams from the bottom. There seem to be more things down there too…


  • Made of stone. One stock has a rune carved into it, allows bearer to cast one randomly rolled spell (pages 16-18).
  • Water within is cursed. Any flesh that touches it becomes rotted.
  • Metal object is a greenflame sword. It’s at the very bottom, pinned under a rock.

Other objects in the water (1d6)

  1. Rotting undead hand that attacks disturbers of the water
  2. Coin with the inscription ‘Remember me’
  3. Book filled with recipes
  4. Metal chain
  5. Broken bottle
  6. Boot with a gem in its toe

Hobbling, gnarled woman (3 HP, 8 STR, 15 WIL, basket of apples (d6))

  • Coming to well to transform honeycrisp apples (4) into poisoned ones (d20 STR damage).
  • Trying to make a business of cursed foods and wants no trouble. Will even offer selling goods to adventurers.
  • Wears a long fake nose to sell the effect but is otherwise just old.

#2 The Observer

The road splits East & West around a muddy mound. Atop sits an impossibly large statue, built from some porous, ancient rock. It appears centuries-old. It appears humanoid, almost comical; its lips are tight but smiling. Small spikes ring its crown. Its eyes seem alive, somehow. You get the feeling that is watching you.

  • Spending more than a minute in sight of the statue quickly builds great fear & desperation in a mortal’s soul. A WIL save is required to escape its evil gaze, or to prevent total collapse.
  • The path West is not well-maintained; flowers, shrubs and even flecks of purple mold grow through the cracks in the dirt. A floral air wafts from that direction as well. Walking this path leads to The Garden.
  • The path East slopes downward, flattening out into a cave entrance, visible from the mound’s edge.

#3 The Garden

  • The path West is lined with dried rose bushes that form a natural archway, ending in a small garden.
  • The garden is preternaturally beautiful in its arrangement and design, as if an expert gardener spent years building it.
  • In the center of the garden sits a crystalline structure roughly the size of a cow. Within is a preserved moment in time: a man and woman, seemingly in mid-battle. The man is injured at the waist, and holds a sword high above his head as if preparing to strike. The woman lies prone, a single hand in the air for protection. Her other hand appears blackened as if by ash.
  • Anyone with a magical or spiritual background will immediately recognize an Astral Prison spell, likely released from a Scroll read by the woman.
  • A withered handbag is partly trapped within the prison, its strap strewn halfway inside. Where the strap intersects with the prison a faint tear is visible, and appears to be growing.
  • The bag can be opened with care, and its contents perused. Within is an Oath of Protection from one Gethan (a Knight) to Aisling, an “agent of the Crown.” It doesn’t say which crown but the typeset is old and very faded. There are also jewels in the bag worth 50gp.
  • Pulling the handbag out of the prison frees the bag, and rips open a small tear in the prison, which begins to grow.
  • Eventually the spell collapses and the two are freed; the scene continues without pause unless otherwise interfered with.

#4 The Tunnel

  • The path East eventually narrows into a tall, wide tunnel made of sheer rock.
  • A series of strange, faintly glowing diagrams line the tunnel walls.
  • Careful inspection reveals that the growths are a sort of fungal growth.
  • Although the whorls and shapes appear familiar, that is a trick of the toxin being released into the air.
  • Anyone inhaling the spores becomes lost in reverie, walking in a sort of dream-state.
  • They might fixate on former lovers, or a favorite toy from childhood, or the caress of a parent. The victim often becomes unaware of the passage of time.
  • A WIL save is required to overcome the dream-fugue. A failed save causes the loss of a treasured memory.

#5 The Beast
Small green spores fall all around you as you press on. The path ahead is blocked by a large bear-owl monstrocity slumbering in a large nest of dried twigs. A light ringing of bells can be heard nearby.


  • Causes sneezing allergies and runny noses.
  • Also causes dried and scratchy throats, making it difficult to cast spells that must be read aloud.
  • Can be harvested out of the air and stored in a container.

Bear head and paws with owl feathers and claws (10 HP, 15 STR, claws (d8+d8))

  • Will awaken after any sneezing, snapping of twigs, or any other noise above a whisper.
  • Adept climber, but hates water that mats its feathers.
  • Can be calmed with meats, preferably very live meats.

Faeries (“Twee” and “Tum”)
Naughty faeries that ring and ring when they fly around (3 HP, 6 STR, 13 DEX, pinch (d4))

  • Twee is hot-headed and angry about their missing coin. Tum is apologetic for their companion.
  • Both just passing through, but eager and curious about any distraction and excitement.
  • Tum knows much about the bear-owl and will stammer through instructions about how to subdue or calm it, should the need arise.