Part IV: The Witchlight Carnival (Section A)

The Wild Beyond the Witchlight: Reimagined

Welcome to part four of The Wild Beyond the Witchlight: Reimagined, an expansion and alternative take on The Wild Beyond the Witchlight campaign. Please check out the previous entries in the series before diving in here! Or if you’re looking for Section B of the carnival you can find that at this link.

Introducing The Witchlight Carnival

The carnival is one of the premier sections of the campaign, and for good reason. It’s an open-ended sandbox with a lot for players to experience and explore. As a result, I want to make sure we get into the necessary detail to support you, as the DM, for this very fun part of the adventure and will be splitting this entry into two!

Given the carnival’s popularity, many creators from the community have already provided a lot of great resources for the carnival. I will reference these at points instead of re-treading well-trodden ground. At the time of writing, I do not personally know the creators of any of these supplements, so they are purely things that I found useful. That said, they are all optional for the reimagining.

A Deal Struck

Let’s start by taking a look back. There’s actually more to the background of the Witchlight Carnival than the campaign lets on, as a portion of the history is actually found in another book –Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft. If we bring it all together the general series of events are as follows:

  • Tasha (as Zybilna) is interested in an elven holy warrior and defender of the Feywild named Isolde
  • In an effort to isolate and befriend Isolde, Tasha secretly murders all of Isolde’s companions with the help of a fiend named “The Caller”
  • As a part of her efforts, Tasha convinces Isolde to take up ownership of the (yet to be named) Witchlight Carnival
  • Mister Witch (Naeryx Krumple) and Mister Light (Urmius Umbrage) are two shadar-kai (shadow fey elves) from the shadowfell. Light is from a wealthy family and purchases a shadowfell carnival to run with Witch, and to escape the constraints of his family
  • Eventually, Isolde yearns for more than the Witchlight Carnival, but Tasha keeps Isolde trapped through the use of the wish spell
  • Tasha eventually lets Isolde leave by permitting her t,o make a one-for-one trade of the Witchlight Carnival for the shadowfell based carnival owned by Mister Witch and Mister Light. However, there’s a catch. If the two carnivals ever cross paths again then the deal is void
  • Additionally, Tasha wipes Isolde’s memories of Tasha and the Feywild, and sends minions to harass Isolde and her new carnival
  • Isolde, who now only has part of the story in her mind, is entirely focused on revenge on the fiend named “The Caller”
  • Mister Witch and Mister Light meanwhile are happy to run the Witchlight Carnival. Unfortunately, the Hourglass Coven becomes aware of their deal with Isolde. The hags force the two shadar-kai to allow the Thieves of the Coven to steal from the carnival’s patrons in exchange for not causing the two carnivals to reunite
The shadowfell carnival is much darker than the Witchlight Carnival – not to mention Tasha’s minions that endlessly hound it

You can probably now see part of my reasoning for shifting Tasha to the BBEG role for the campaign. That said, we do need to make one change to ensure this backstory still fits. As written, Tasha’s actions are conducted as Zybilna. Given Zybilna is only a recent disguise for the reimagining, we will simply change that Tasha conducted these events as herself (and not as Zybilna).

What Else is Changing?

Like most of the campaign, we’re going to make some key adjustments for the WBtW: Reimagined and I want to explore these up front for your reference given the open world nature of the carnival. I already shared one with the background of the carnival but some others include the following.

No Free Ride

There’s no reason to give your party free carnival tickets. Your players should now easily have the funds to buy their own, or even better, take one of Nikolas Midnight’s bargains which opens up a lot of fun roleplaying opportunities at the carnival. While it’s unlikely to happen, if your party wants to try and sneak in like during the Prologue, there’s no reason for them to try to do so if they have free tickets.

Speaking of tickets, the eight hole punches in the tickets don’t provide much purpose either. There’s already a time tracker if you want to limit how many rides your players participate in (though there’s not much of a reason to limit the rides in any case) and 8 sp isn’t much of a money sink to be forcing players to buy multiple tickets. I’d just make the tickets good for the day.

Ellywick Tumblestrum

I’m a big fan of planeswalkers dating back to the days of Urza (any Freyalise fans here?). But what is the deal with Ellywick Tumblestrum? This is probably old news to you, but the character serves no purpose except to railroad your players and/or act as a dues ex machina. My recommendation is to remove her entirely.

Sorry Ellywick, you’ll have to take your lute elsewhere

Kettlestream the Kenku and Catching Kettlestream

In the campaign, Zybilna is Kettlestream’s patron, but with our take on the story (where Tasha is our BBEG and Zybilna is simply a disguise) this doesn’t really make sense. Instead I would change the kenku’s motivation to be that she was previously a Witchlight Hand that was fired by the owners for noticing too much about the strange going-ons at the carnival (e.g., Burly and Star going missing, the robberies by the Thieves of the Coven). As a result, Kettlestream’s antics are in an effort to draw Mister Witch and Mister Light’s attention so she can confront them as to what is going on under the covers at the carnival, and hopefully put a stop to it.

Keep this in mind in particular for the Catching Kettlestream section of the book:

  • The story Kettlestream should tell should be the above and not anything related to Zybilna or Prismeer (the latter of which doesn’t exist in the reimagining)
  • Instead of Prismeer, Kettlestream is unable to enter the Feywild in general
  • Madryck also does not exist in the reimagining so he should not come up either
  • What Kettlestream overhead from Witch and Light, the Candlefoot romance plotline, and the plan to steal the witchlight vane can be kept as is

Carnival Events

While the carnival is very open-ended there’s still a general outline of how events should likely play out. In particular, in order for the players to get to the Feywild and continue the adventure after the carnival, they need to get leverage over the owners. Otherwise Mister Witch and Mister Light won’t have a good reason to lead the party to the fey crossing in the Hall of the Illusions. Make sure you have some options in mind for how this will play out or otherwise there’s a risk the party gets stuck in carnival limbo. In most cases this leverage will takes the shape through one of the following three scenarios:

  • Burly’s Plan (to steal the Witchlight watch). The best opportunities to introduce this are:
    • After the Big Top Extravaganza
    • After the players meet with Mister Witch and Mister Light
    • If Burly observes the players do something impressive (e.g., win at a ride like the Snail Race, rescue the dwarf at the Dragonfly Rides) after the Big Top Extravaganza
  • Kettlestream’s Plan (to steal the Witchlight vane). The best opportunities to introduce this are:
    • If the players catch Kettlestream during her antics at the Dragonfly Rides, Feasting Orchard (new to the reimagining), or Silversong Lake
    • If the players spend one hour searching for her with a successful DC 13 Investigation check
    • If the players are kicked out of the carnival
  • The PCs independently come up with a way to get leverage over the owners. You could have a NPC like Diana Cloppington vaguely suggest the party should go this route (but the plan itself will be up to the players)

We will introduce a fourth scenario though to provide one additional path. If the players break into the Staff Area we will be adding more detail on the history of Mister Witch and Mister Light through a journal hidden in their wagon (see the “Staff Area” section later for more details). With this info in hand, the party will also be able to blackmail the owners.

To help pull this all together I’ve created the following flowchart to help visualize the paths the players might take.

Welcome to the Carnival

Arrival and the Ticket Booth

At the “Carnival Overview” section, the book provides an introduction to share with your players as they approach the carnival. I would recommend to instead combine that with following to set the stage and integrate some of the other book descriptions.

The Witchlight Carnival has returned after eight years, and you find yourself standing with the others near a ticket booth just as the carnival is about to open. While you came as quickly as you could from school, a large crowd has already begun to gather outside, eager to buy tickets and enjoy all the wonders the carnival has to offer.

[Read “Carnival Overview” Text Box]

You all feel slightly troubled though – this is the place where you all lost something of yourselves. Perhaps if you search hard enough inside you’ll find them again?

[Read “Ticket Booth” Text Box]

“Buying a ticket? It’s 8 sp for an adult and 3 for a child.” He looks you all up and down. “Not sure what you are though. You all look the same to me. But if you can’t pay, don’t worry, we can come to an arrangement!”

As you’ll see I’ve purposefully thrown in Nikolas’ ticket bartering options as otherwise it’s not clear to the players that they’re even able to do this. In addition you could have an NPC in front of the party in line take one of these bargains if you so choose as more of a “show don’t tell” approach.

At this point Nikolas should provide the players with a map which means you get to switch to the amazing carnival map with your players. However, for some reason the small stalls are missing from the map. To address this, I went ahead and created a banner for you to place onto the map where ever you’d like (see below).

Welcome Gifts

We’ll now skip ahead to the “Welcome Gifts” section under “Timed Events” before allowing your players to explore. The book states this occurs “shortly after the carnival opens” so it makes sense to just have it take place as the party enters. Read the following:

As you head past the ticket booth you hear a barker yell out, “Big Top Extravaganza tonight! You will be amazed! Be there right on time or you’ll miss out.”

[Read “Welcome Gifts” Text Box].

“ENJOY THE WEELLLCOOOMMME GIFT” the tree calls out. You think if you’re fast enough, you should be able to catch one of the falling “gifts”.

Let each player take a shot at catching a gift. It’s more fun if everyone gets one, so if anyone fails, consider letting another player catch more than one to share with a high roll (14 or higher).

From here I would recommend making some adjustments to the table of welcome gifts. The personality trait “gift” received for rolling a 1 – 3 is underwhelming and serves little benefit. The 1 gold piece is also very strange as tickets are only 8 sp for adults. Why is the carnival paying people to come visit?

I instead propose the following table. While we haven’t gotten to the small stalls, I’ve adjusted the games there to require payment to play (just like the games with prizes you find in carnivals here in the real world). The voucher not only still provides a monetary benefit, but also provides a reason to go the small stalls.

d8Gift
1 – 3 The creature gains a die, a d4, which it can add to one ability check it makes before the next dawn.
4 – 6 The creature gains a die, a d8, which it can add to one ability check it makes before the next dawn.
7 – 8 The creature gains a die, a d8, and a free play voucher for the small stalls.

You’ll also notice the added call-out for the Big Top Extravaganza. There’s little reason for the party to stop by the Big Top before then, so some subtle hints to wait for hour 4 can go a long way.

The Carnival Locations

After the welcome gifts, the party should now have free reign to explore the carnival. As your players take part in the carnival’s offerings I want to offer a few things to keep in mind:

  • In-between locations, consider using the descriptions from the “Bringing the Carnival to Life” table in the book to liven up the atmosphere. The Witchlight Carnival Expanded supplement by Daniel Kahn and Patrick Rehse also has a “Carnival Scenes” table if you’re looking for more options
  • Don’t forget to adjust the mood tracker based on the actions of the party. The Witchlight Carnival Expanded has some detailed recommendations on when to increase / decrease the tracker, as well as descriptions to read when doing so if this sounds of use to you
  • You are in full control of the time tracker. If your players are having a great time and you want them to be able to fully experience the carnival then have time pass accordingly (i.e. trigger the Big Top Extravaganza when the players have done about half of the rides and the Crowning of the Witchlight Monarch when they’re all done). Alternatively, if they are getting that carnival exhaustion I warned of, then go ahead and speed things up
  • Make a note when one of your players does something impressive or to improve the mood at the carnival. You can count these later when selecting the Witchlight Monarch
  • As a reminder we are ignoring the concept of ticket punches
Oof – that’s a lot of places for the players to explore!

A Note on Magical Items

Magic is fun. Who doesn’t want to throw a fireball into a room full of goblins (and maybe also your party members)? Getting cool loot is also fun. What’s even better then? Magical loot!

Everyone has different takes on how many magical items to give out to their party ranging from nothing to magic shops on every corner. I like to sprinkle in a good helping of items to my players, but if you ever feel like it’s too much then there’s nothing stopping you from not sharing them out. It may just mean encounters will be a bit harder.

That said you will notice I start with a more measured approach. Early on, the majority of the magic items I share are either very limited in use (sometimes even roleplay only focused) or temporary buffs (like potions or items with charges). This helps prevents players from accumulating too much consistent power, makes for more interesting options (do I use this potion now or save it?), and makes the big upgrades later on more impactful.

A unique aspect of The Wild Beyond the Witchlight is that many of the denizens of the Feywild will have little use for gold. Instead they’ll be much more interested in striking a bargain, which might include trinkets and minor magical items. As a result there’s more opportunities for the party to collect trinkets and magical items in the WBtW: Reimagined carnival than the original version and I’d avoid being too stingy.

Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for – the rides!

Calliope

The calliope first? That’s not alphabetical order! I promise there’s a good reason. As written, this is my least favorite of the “rides” at the carnival with Ernest the monkey essentially busking for buttons. Are the players meant to rip buttons off their clothes? Steal them from others? Who knows!

If you’ve ever been to Disney World, you might know that they have something called trading pins. You can buy these from gift shops and trade them with staff members across the theme park. My recommendation is that Ernest is instead an avid collector of specific buttons – ones given out across the carnival. Specifically he’s looking for the Witchlight Monarch button – the only one he’s still missing to finish his collection! You’ll see that I’ve added in opportunities for the players to collect and trade buttons across the carnival.

We’ll change a few things at the Calliope itself to make this work:

  • Instead of holding a cup (make sure to remove this from the introduction text), Marigold also wears a vest full of buttons depicting ladybugs. When she approaches the party she will explain that special buttons emblazoned with art can be collected from across the carnival, and also traded with staff members wearing vests like her. She offers the party (not each player) one Ladybug Button for free if they seem interested in the game
    • If the players receive a button from another ride before heading to the Calliope, you can have that NPC explain the buttons concept instead
  • Given this change, we’re also going to adjust the reward. Instead of the as written mysterious get of the jail card, have Marigold provide the players with a Witchlight Master Collector Certificate (see below) if they give the Witchlight Monarch button to Ernest
  • Change Ernest’s rhyme to the following to match our other adjustments:

Spare the Witchlight Monarch button if you please,
I’ll sew it next to all of these.
I’ll gladly offer something in its place,
Including a smile upon my face.

Witchlight Master Collector Certificate
Wondrous Item, rare

This diploma certifies that the owner is an accomplished Witchlight Carnival button trader. While in the Feywild the certificate has 2 charges. While holding it, you can use an action to expend 1 of the certificate’s charges to cast one of the following spells from it, using your spell save DC: expeditious retreat, knock, sleep.

When the certificate’s last charge is expended it becomes non-magical.

Last but not least, here’s a summary of the buttons and their details:

ButtonDescriptionLocation
DragonflyA luminescent dragonfly with fluttering wingsDragonfly Rides
LadybugA smiling ladybug with black spots shaped like buttonsCalliope
MimeA pantomiming man dressed in colorful clown garbHall of Illusions
PickaxeA hefty pickaxe breaking apart a stone boulderMystery Mine
TeapotA large teapot with leaves floating down around it like raindropsBubble-Pop Teapot
UnicornA majestic unicorn rearing up in the middle of a dense forestCarousel
Witchlight MonarchA splendid crown of gold butterfliesLost Property
Staff Area

Big Top

Getting your players involved in the action at the Big Top is sure to make it more memorable

Hopefully your players caught the earlier hint and don’t bother visiting the Big Top until the extravaganza. If not, then have the appropriate announcements play out as directed. I wouldn’t penalize the players by having time pass when visiting here outside of an event timeslot.

The Big Top Extravaganza

To kick-off the extravaganza I played the classic Entrance of the Gladiators (the ALIBI music version) to set the right mood. If your players have encountered some of the Thieves of the Coven or are otherwise hurting, feel free to give the players a short rest during the show.

After the introduction, I would recommend supplementing the event with a few community developed additions:

  • Longer Descriptions by u/bunnybunnyxo
    • This resource adds in much more detail to the show and really brings it to life. It is a tad long though and largely without any player interaction, so I’d recommend making the following changes unless you think your party would be into a lot of narration:
      • For the first paragraph of the fairy dragon performance, only use the first sentence
      • When Burly enters, you should emphasize the similarity to Hurly from the prologue (have the party make a DC 10 History check if they seem clueless to hint at the brotherly connection)
      • Skip the last sentence of Burly’s chain routine
      • At this point you may want to have Mister Witch ask for volunteers to challenge Burly in a weight lifting contest. If anyone takes up the offer then two barbells will be set-up side-by-side. Have Burly and the player conduct a Strength contest (Burly has a +2 to Strength checks). If the player wins it should elicit cheers from the crowd and may even increase the carnival’s mood (at your discretion). This should also increase Burly’s opinion of the party if they run into each later, and he may even decide to speak with them after the show (see “Burly’s Plan” from the book and later in this series)
      • Skip everything starting from the cannonball portion of Burly’s routine through to when Palasha exits (though I recommend using some of this content for Silversong Lake)
      • Play through Tintagel the Magician act (see below) if desired
      • Between Burly and Tintagel there are two opportunities for the players to get involved in the show so I didn’t have Mister Witch ask for general performance volunteers as per the book. If you think your party has a good performance up their sleeve, and isn’t sick of the show yet, then definitely keep it in
      • At this point have Mister Witch return and conduct the farewell that starts with “Thank you, one and all…”
  • Tintagel the Magician by u/thebaziel
    • This resource puts a magic performance into the show. My favorite part is that it brings a player into the action, but you can skip if it doesn’t seem like a good fit for your table. A few notes:
      • I didn’t do the “Before the Extravaganza” section but you should feel free to use it if desired
      • If the player steals the Potion of Revivify I believe the carnival mood should actually decrease

After the show wraps up, the book suggests you have Burly escort the players to meet the carnival owners. I actually disagree with this for a few reasons:

  • It negates the main purpose of the mood tracker
  • The meeting with the owners will be much more interesting if it’s when the players have more leverage (e.g., after they’ve stolen Mister Witch’s pocket watch) or have information they want to learn more about (e.g., after overhearing about Kettlestream in the Staff Area)

As mentioned though, if Burly was bested in the strength contest (or was just impressed with a player’s performance otherwise) this could be a good opportunity for him to come explain his plan. All that said – you can still have Burly escort the players to the owners if it makes sense for how your carnival is unfolding.

Crowning of the Witchlight Monarch

TIP
The crowning is a great place for a little bit of thievery if the players are following Burly or Kettlestream’s plan to steal the Witchlight Watch or Vane respectively. Not only will the monarch (assuming it’s a player) have direct access to the owners, but they may get to meet them privately after the ceremony as well. Even during the ceremony can be a valid option though – perhaps another player causes a distraction or the party even recruits Kettlestream to cause one?

As written, this section lays out the how the ceremony takes place, but it’s not provided in a way that you can directly run it. I rewrote it as follows with the goal to make it easier for you:

As you approach the Big Top you see the spinning gold stars on top of the tent glint in the moonlight. A number of performers have gathered outside and are ushering passerbys inside. “Come see the crowning of the Witchlight Monarch! Royalty is about to be created right in front of your eyes.”

At their beckoning you head past the canvas door and into the venue. The crowd is bursting with anticipation as you get seated in the stands. It’s not long before Mister Light takes the center stage. A spotlight shines down on him revealing that he’s carrying a large hatbox in addition to his weather vane. He calls out to the audience, and his voice carries across the tent, silencing the crowd.


[Note: Remove the weather vane from the description if it has been stolen.]

“It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for! The crowning of the Witchlight Monarch. Who will it be? You?” The carnival owner points his weather vane at a crowd member who is so taken aback they almost seem as if they were physically struck. “Or maybe you!” He motions dramatically at another. “We shall find out!”

After a brief pause he stabs his weather vane up towards the sky and it begins to spin wildly. A number of the carnival staff, including Mister Witch, Dirlagraun, and Candlefoot watch this performance from the sidelines. The crowd gasps as a golden thread shoots out of the top the weather vane and begins to wind it’s way through the inside of the Big Top.

One note is that I decided to axe the Charm of the Monarch – and in terms of people recognizing the Witchlight Monarch’s title, I kept that limited to only Murkendraw (Hither). You can certainly keep it as written if you want, but it seemed like a bit too much impact on the overall campaign to me.

It’s time to choose the Witchlight Monarch! I selected the monarch with a mix of the suggestions the book provides:

  • I asked each player at this point to secretly vote for the monarch (on a piece of paper if in person or via private message if online). It could be another player or a NPC, but not themselves.
  • I had been taking notes through the carnival as to when players performed some sort of impressive feat or improved the mood of the carnival. I counted each of these as one vote
  • I then added the votes I had tracked with the votes from the players and came up with a winner

Hopefully your players haven’t been murder hobos or otherwise not befitting of the crown. If so though then you can use the suggestion from the book of the jubilant halfling (or a NPC). After you know who the winner is you can continue.

The thread of golden light suddenly shoots itself towards [name of the monarch] bathing them in light. “Ah – we have our monarch! Come on stage!”

Once the winner arrives on stage, Mister Light will ask them for their name, and raise their arm in celebration to the crowd. If you feel it appropriate, you can even give your player a chance for a speech. Meanwhile, Mister Witch will approach to stand next to his fellow carnival owner. It’s then time for the crowning itself. Remember that we’ve removed Ellywick Tumblestrum so she shouldn’t be making an appearance here.

Mister Witch snaps open the hatbox revealing a crown of golden butterflies. He gingerly removes it from the box and places it on the monarch’s head. A perfect fit. Mister Light quietly motions for the monarch to kneel and then dramatically knights them with the Witchlight vane. Seemingly out of nowhere a number of clowns appear, throwing glitter in every direction as applause breaks out across the Big Top.

Mister Light turns to the crowd. “The Witchlight Monarch ladies and gentleman!”
Music begins to play and you see Palasha the mermaid lending vocals. Now, please join us in our nightly Witchlight parade.” Mister Light leads the way as everyone begins to head out of the Big Top in a neat procession. Burly lifts the monarch on his shoulders as the guest of honor.

As you head outside to the night sky, it begins to explode with colorful lights – fireworks!

Feel free to narrate or fast forward through the parade, but once complete you have a few options:

  • Proceed as written with Dirlagraun escorting Mister Witch back to his wagon. This might be how the party planned to steal the watch if they’re using Burly’s Plan
  • If it’s not clear that the above is their plan, I would recommend that Dirla instead escorts the monarch and the party to the staff area to meet with Mister Witch and Mister Light (see the Staff Area section). This can serve as a last chance for them to pull off a theft. Alternatively, if they already have something to blackmail the owners with, it’s the perfect time for a confrontation

Bubble-Pop Teapot

For this ride I’m a big fan of the alternative take from the Witchlight Carnival Expanded which is more of a bumper car esque competition. If you do decide to run it I’d consider have Luca Oxley stop by and join in the fun. It gives the party a chance to finally one up the class bookworm. I also repurposed the Scatterleaf Tea as the prize for winning the game.

If you prefer to stick with the book then you can just run it as written. Either way, toss in the addition that Treaclewise will also part with a Teapot trading button if the players partake in his rhyming game. If you’re confused with Treaclewise’s strange rhyming – I found u/yaniism has a nice write-up on it you can find here.

Carousel

The Carousel is unique in that it’s full of lore, to the extent that it could even be considered an info dump. Either way though it’s fairly important that your players visit here so drop hints if you need to (I’ve added one already to the Gondola Swans). Perhaps your players overhear other carnival goers comment on how fun it is?

I kept Diana and the riddles as is, but there’s a lot of content out on the campaign subreddit to mix it up if you don’t feel like they’re a good fit for your table. If you need more riddles, Eventyr Game’s Witchlight Carnival supplement has an expanded list.

Given the changes we’ve been making in the reimagining (e.g., that the hags don’t even have the player’s lost things) we’ll need to change a few things here. Firstly, three secrets per rider is quite a bit. Let’s keep it to a maximum of six (so about one or two per PC). Next, we need to change the secrets available to match our story. I also removed some that seem like too much info and are better earned later (like the hag weaknesses). I would use the following:

  • The hag that tricked Diana was a member of a group called the Hourglass Coven
  • Her name is is Granny Nightshade
  • Granny Nightshade has a sister named Bavlorna Blightstraw
  • Bavlorna lives in a rambling cottage on stilts in the swamps of Murkendraw
  • Your lost things are not at the Witchlight Carnival – they’re in the Feywild!
  • The carnival owners have a way of traveling to and from the Feywild

Last, but not least, add that Diana is wearing a sling bag with a large number of Unicorn trading buttons attached. She will offer to trade one for one of any other button except Ladybug and Dragonfly (she’s not a fan of bugs).

Dragonfly Rides

Northwind and Red

I can’t get enough of Northwind and his complete inability to keep secrets. To that point, if the players are participating in the trading buttons game, he will mention he’s heard that only Dirlagraun and Mister Light have Witchlight Monarch buttons. Feel free to throw in other secrets as appropriate as well, such as that the carnival owners have a secret way to the Feywild. Make sure to throw in the “Oops! I simply cannot keep a secret.” line from his roleplaying card for maximum comedic effect as well.

Change Red the squirrel to be wearing a vest of Dragonfly buttons (though given his size he only has a few). Red is willing to trade for one of any other button or he’ll give one for free to the party if they successfully rescue the blue-bearded dwarf.

The Dragonflies

For the ride itself, I used the alternative take from the Witchlight Carnival Expanded and then immediately segued into the rescue of the blue-bearded dwarf. If you don’t have the supplement, consider making the Animal Handling checks a contest of sorts. Whoever rolls the highest is considered the best rider. In either case, provide the winner with a prize – a Potion of Animal Friendship (Basic Rules).

Feasting Orchard

As we’re removing Ellywick Tumblestrum I thought it might be a good opportunity to add something in her place. And what could be better than some Kettlestream antics? Kettlestream has the disguise self spell, so she will use that to appear as if she is a normal carnival goer named Puck, and enter the contest with whatever party members are participating. Her goal is to win and get the prize so she can turn herself invisible and sneak into the staff area to confront Mister Witch and Mister Light.

Once everyone is ready to go we’re going to adjust how the cupcake eating contest works slightly:

  • The contest will play out over three rounds and then a sudden death round (if needed). Any contestant reduced to 0 hit points by custard damage is unable to continue, loses the contest, and has custard splattered all over them
  • For round one, each player will be provided a cupcake to eat and must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or take 1d8 custard damage. Custard damage works as described in the book
  • For round two the DC increases to 12, and then for round three to 14
  • In sudden death contestants will try and eat as many cupcakes as they can to win. The first will have a DC of 14 and each one after that will increase the DC by 1 until there is a winner
  • While Kettlestream only has a +0 Constitution modifier, she is definitely not above cheating. If she fails any of her saving throws, have her use one of the following cheats. If a player is suspicious they can make an Insight or Perception check to investigate or, as per the disguise self spell, an Investigation check to see through Kettlestream’s disguise. A 10 or higher Insight or Perception check will reveal that something seems off about Puck, while a 14 or higher will make it clear that she is cheating.
    • Kettlestream uses mage hand to sneak the cupcake under the table while pretending to eat it
    • Kettlestream casts minor illusion to summon an illusory cupcake that she swaps out for the real one
    • Kettlestream convinces a passing by squirrel to run off with her cupcake via speak with animals, as she sneakily hands it under the table
  • If Kettlestream is caught she will break her disguise and flee from the contest, providing the party an opportunity to attempt to corner her if desired (see Catching Kettlestream from the book)

Lastly, for the prize I don’t know why the writers didn’t just create a Cupcake of Invisibility, so I did it for you.

Cupcake of Invisibility
Wondrous item,
very rare

Topped with pink buttercream custard frosting and sparkling rainbow sprinkles, this cupcake otherwise appears normal to the naked eye. When the entire cupcake is eaten, the creature becomes invisible for 1 hour and provides as much nourishment as 1 day of rations. Anything the creature wears or carries becomes invisible with them. The effect ends early if the creature attacks or casts a spell.

Gondola Swans

Oh, Feathereen – what a fun chatterbox. The giant swan drove my players crazy and even at some point mentioned she only works at the ride so she can “trap” people into having conversations with her (unless they’d prefer to jump into the water). Given her gossipy nature I added a few points of information to her repertoire:

  • She loves chatting with Northwind when he stops by from his work at the Dragonfly Rides as he’s terrible at keeping his mouth quiet
  • She’s heard a rumor that there’s some sort of secret to the Carousel, but Diana Cloppington isn’t very forthcoming
  • If the players are participating in the trading buttons game she’ll mention she’s heard only Dirlagraun and Mister Light have Witchlight Monarch buttons

What About the Rest?

Unfortunately this has already clocked in as my largest article yet – so we’ll return to the rest of the carnival next time!

Resources

I have highlighted some of the resources I used for this portion of the campaign below. Some of these carnival locations will be covered in part 2 of the Witchlight Carnival.

Art

Music

What’s Next?

In the next article we’ll be wrapping up the carnival and taking the players through the carnival’s Fey Crossing. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any comments, questions, or suggestions and… see you in the Feywild!

10 thoughts on “Part IV: The Witchlight Carnival (Section A)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s