Part VII: Murkendraw (Downfall and Bavlorna)

The Wild Beyond the Witchlight: Reimagined

Welcome to part seven of The Wild Beyond the Witchlight: Reimagined, an expansion and alternative take on the The Wild Beyond the Witchlight campaign. Please check out the previous entries in the series before diving in here!

If you want to be notified every time I release a new entry in this series, feel free to follow me on reddit and / or sign up for my e-mail newsletter!

Downfall

The Soggy Court is my favorite part of Murkendraw and as such we’re going to be adjusting things quite a bit. My take is primarily a remix of the fantastic free supplement developed by u/Tarver48 (links: Part 1, Part 2), but given the amount of integration required I’m calling it out here at the beginning rather than throughout the section.

What’s Happening in Downfall?

The way we’re approaching Downfall can be complex, but provides your party with a (hopefully) fun sandbox to play around in. The following are the main plot threads in the reimagining:

Escape from Murkendraw

  • Soon after arriving in Downfall, it will become clear that the player’s lost things are not in Murkendraw and that the Fields of Spring is the next place to look. Due to the wall of mist surrounding the swamp, there is no easy way to leave though. Even killing Bavlorna (as unlikely as it is), doesn’t bring the wall down
  • To escape, the players need to acquire a working swamp gas balloon, the know-how to fly it, and a guide to the Fields of Spring. There are multiple ways to get each of these items:
    • 1) Working Swamp Gas Balloon
      • Duke Ickrind will provide a working balloon if the players assist with rebuilding his balloon factory, but he will need special lumber and swamp gas
        • King Gullop XIX will provide the needed special lumber for the balloon factory if the party assists him (see King Gullop XIX section below). Alternatively, lllig – the Baron of Muckstump, will provide it if they help him to kill the king
        • Bavlorna Blightstraw will provide the needed swamp gas if the party assists her (see Bavlorna Blightstraw section below). Alternatively, the gas can be stolen from the cottage
      • The players can repair and steal the damaged balloon in section D2 of Downfall. It will still require the swamp gas from Bavlorna’s cottage
    • 2) Know-How to Fly It
      • Duke Ickrind will provide flying lessons if the players assist with rebuilding his balloon factory
      • Morgort will serve as a pilot if rescued from the holding cells
    • 3) A Guide
      • Clapperclaw will serve as a guide if the players return it’s head or if convinced by the party
      • Morgort will serve as a guide if rescued from the holding cells
  • If the players have done quite a lot in Downfall, it is also possible to have Bavlorna let the players out of Murkendraw via swamp gas balloon (but they will still need a guide). See the Bavlorna’s Cottage section for details.
  • Once the players have everything they need skip to the From Hither to Thither section at the bottom

King Gullop XIX and the Quest for Lumber

  • King Gullop XIX, the bullywug ruler of Downfall, is under constant threat of assassination. To provide his would-be killers with more targets, he wants to make his two children, Glummph VIII and Mirva III, co-rulers of Downfall
  • To make his children co-rulers he needs the nobility of Downfall to approve a majority vote and asks the players to assist in convincing the six nobles present in Downfall (or in other words the king needs at least 4 yes votes)
    • Mayor of the Sinking Palace, Glaur of Eightfens
    • Mirva III, Princess of the Soggy Court
    • Glummph VIII, Dauphin of Downfall
    • Illig, Baron of Muckstump
    • Ickrind, Duke of Fetidcreek
    • The Royal Executioner, Sir Graycroak, Knight of the Gar (on behalf of his wife – Norlop, Countess of Flowermoss)
  • If the players win in combat at the Proving Grounds, they can also become nobles and vote themselves. Since they’re not bullywugs though they only get one vote for the entire party (this should be based on the number of players you have; so if you have 4 then each non-bullywug noble gets 1/4 of a vote). This would mean only 3 noble votes are needed
  • When the players think they have secured the needed votes they can ask the mayor to arrange to have the vote held. If successful, the king will provide the requested lumber

    Bavlorna Blightstraw and the Quest for Swamp Gas

In order for Bavlorna to agree to part with swamp gas, she will ask the party to assist with two tasks

  • The first is to recover her Big Book of Bad Blood. Unknown to her, it was stolen by Sir Graycroak
  • The second is to pickup a crate of animal carcasses from the home of Illig (a simple task, but one that introduces the players to the assassination plot)

    Illig, the Baron of Muckstump and the Assassination Plot
  • The Baron of Muckstump wants to become the new king, a fact the party can learn after the Proving Grounds or by visiting Illig’s home in section D16 of Downfall
  • If the party assists the Baron in killing King Gullop XIX, Illig will gladly provide the special lumber the party needs for the balloon factory

Downfall Locations

Art by tzlynart

D2. Damaged Balloon

If your party has an artificer or otherwise handy PC, they may try to simply fix the swamp gas balloon and fly their way out of Murkendraw, skipping most, if not all, of Downfall. This bypasses some great content so I’d avoid allowing this on its own. The way I handled it was that Bavlorna controls the supply of swamp gas, and so even with an intact balloon it’s not possible to actually use it until the party gets some gas. This also would be stealing and shouldn’t be easy.

D3. Stepstone Crossing

In addition to the merrow, there is a giant octopus (Basic Rules) lurking in the water. The octopus is skittish and if cornered will release an ink cloud, which can be collected by a successful DC 12 Sleight of Hand check. This will be relevant later.

D4. Burned-out Balloon Factory

The events at the factory should play out as written, with the exception of once the party meets Ickrind whose role has been expanded.

Ickrind, Duke of Fetidcreek

  • If the characters help Duke Ickrind extinguish the coals, he gives them a potion of Marsh Bubble Pop (instead of the brooch – see below). He says he bought it from the big black balloon in the east where a few merchants have set up shop. He planned for it to be a fail-safe if he ever crashed a swamp gas balloon
  • Duke Ickrind is likely to be a very welcoming to the party (after they help him with the factory fire of course). The duke oversees the production of the swamp gas balloons, and is the only person with the authority to issue piloting licenses
  • The duke is completely unaware of the scheming of the Soggy Court, and won’t have any useful information to share with the party on assassination plots or the stolen Book of Bad Blood
  • With the recent fire destroying the balloon factory, Ickrind is in hurry to repair the damage and start making balloons again (or risk the king and/or Bavlorna’s wrath). Ickrind will ask the characters for aid and will promise to provide access to a balloon (he will mention the damaged one the party likely saw in section D2) and train one of the PCs in balloon piloting as compensation. He explains this is a two-part effort:
    • First, the factory itself needs to be repaired. This includes finding special lumber suitable to repair the building. The lumber supply is all controlled by the king of course. As the duke is helpless with politics he knows he won’t be able to get help without risking being replaced (or even his head chopped off!)
    • Second, would be balloon gas. This is controlled by Bavlorna. She would be quite upset to find out that the last delivery of gas was all destroyed in this fire so he doesn’t feel comfortable going to her either
    • While the duke will only provide these two options, there are in fact more avenues that the players will discover as they go (see the What’s Happening in Downfall? section above for details)

Marsh Bubble Pop
Potion, uncommon

When you drink this potion, you immediately move up to 30 feet vertically without provoking opportunity attacks. Once you end this movement you are suspended in the air and hover in place for 1 minute. You can’t be knocked prone while airborne. If you‘re in the air when the effect wears off, you fall unless you have some other means of staying aloft.

Piloting Lessons

Once the party successfully secures the special lumber and swamp gas, the duke will provide flying lessons as promised teaching them how to operate the balloon and navigate the air currents. If the players have a balloon with gas and a guide ready to go then skip to the From Hither to Thither section at the bottom of the article

D5. Chattering Heads

There’s not much to change here – just two small items.

  • Adjust that Clapperclaw will offer to escort the players to the Fields of Spring (and not Thither) if they assist with its missing head
  • Given that Bavlorna has Clapperclaw’s head – have Clapperclaw add that Agdon gave the head to the hag after he stole it

D6. His Royal Majesty Gullop XIX

After reading the introduction, give a chance for your players to interact with the king for a bit. In addition to the consorts described in the book, Gullop is also accompanied by the Court Mage, Xiph the Illustrious Arcanist, who wears an oversized black wizard’s hat. Important: Ignore the entirety of the Scheming King and Secret Note sections (the note will come up later instead).

Once things get heated or after some time has passed, the following attack on Gullop, secretly orchestrated by Illig, the Baron of Muckstump, should play out to demonstrate the constant assassinations of the Soggy Court as well as to provide an in with the king:

  • One of the bullywugs suddenly darts forward in the direction of the king. Not expecting it, one of your players should mistakenly bump into the bullywug jostling him
  • After a better look it’s clear that this bullywug has lifted up a blowgun to fire at the king, but has seemingly accidentally swallowed the dart due to the interference by your player
  • As a result, the would-be killer collapses as his own poison dart takes his life
  • The unintended rescue should break any tension as the king orders Xiph to provide the players with delicacies (such as balls of mosquitos smashed together) and then he will look to talk business

With the king’s trust gained (at least for the moment), Gullop will explain his plan to crown his children as co-rulers, due to the constant attempts on his life (and the successful killings of his predecessors). If the players were to become nobles through combat at the Proving Grounds then that the task would be even easier as they could vote too (see the What’s Happening in Downfall? section above for details). While King Gullop seems somewhat composed on the outside (he is the leader of the court after all), a DC 12 Insight check will make the king’s selfish and paranoid nature more clear. After all, what other kind of personality would willingly seek to put their children in harm’s way?

The king will share the following in terms of immediate next steps:

  • His court mage Xiph, is an acclaimed wizard (spoiler: he actually isn’t) and could surely help the players if they have any questions or want to learn more about Downfall
  • The king can arrange the combat at the Proving Grounds whenever the players would like
  • Both of his children and the mayor are usually at the palace. The mayor can arrange the co-ruler vote whenever the players are ready which will take place at the Sinking Palace

The Court Mage, Xiph the Illustrious Arcanist

If the players go to speak with Xiph they will learn the following:

  • Xiph is the only mage of the Soggy Court, and as a result is extremely popular with all the nobility; however Xiph is a charlatan. Xiph’s talent for basic alchemy and sleight of hand has allowed him to fool the nobility of Downfall. He uses items like smoke bombs to cast “fog cloud” or alchemist’s fire to “produce flame”. Since Xiph is the only mage in Downfall he’s too valuable (and entertaining) to get rid of despite the constant turnover of kings
  • Xiph loves the fame and popularity that comes from being the only mage in the court. He’s friends with almost everyone, gets invited to every feast, and as a result knows many of the dirty secrets and plots of the nobility
  • He cautions the party to not upset the king. In addition to the assassination attempts, the court musician – Caesar, recently was killed or fled – he’s not sure which (Caesar will come up later at the Fields of Spring)
  • Xiph has gotten many recent requests from the princess to learn magic. As a result, Xiph is in a panic, and he’s sure it’s only a matter of time before someone find’s out he’s a fraud. To prevent this Xiph is trying to find a spellbook so he can study it to learn actual magic, and he’s heard that visiting Darklings might have such an item. Xiph will ask the characters to purchase the book for him if he believes the party can be discreet and keep his secret.
    • If successful, Xiph is willing to supply the characters with a flask of alchemist’s fire (Basic Rules) and a smoke grenade (Basic Rules)
    • He’s also able to secure audiences with any of the bullywug nobles due to his connections and can share rumors of your choosing

D7. Murky Lake

No changes.

D8. Holding Cells

Won’t you free the unjustly imprisoned Morgort?

When the players meet Morgort adjust the encounter as follows:

  • Instead of mentioning that she will likely face the players in trial by combat, she will instead offer to explain the rules of the Proving Grounds if it comes up (see that section below)
  • In addition to her recommendation to steal the balloon, she will offer to pilot it if she is freed
  • Morgort will mention that even if the balloon is repaired it will still require balloon gas, which Bavlorna controls the supply of
  • She will also share a bit about the history of Downfall. Before the Soggy Court, the bullywugs were a proud people who were not so caught up in petty politicking. Unfortunately, they, along with the harengon and stilt walkers, were defeated in battle 10 years ago by Bavlorna’s creatures when the mist wall came up. This led to the harengons turning to banditry and the current ineffectual Soggy Court, both of which ultimately report to the hag

We will also make a few adjustments:

  • Two bullywugs stand guard outside of the hut. If the players attempt to break Morgort out they will also need to make a successful DC 14 Sleight of Hand check to not alert them
  • One of the guards will have the cell key which could be lifted with a successful DC 16 Sleight of Hand check
  • In the player’s bargaining with the many players of Downfall (the King, Illig, Bavlorna), none of them care about Morgort one way or another and should be fairly willing to throw her in to any deal if the party asks

D9. Proving Grounds

We will be completely changing this area so disregard the text from the book. Instead of trials by combat, the Proving Grounds are a way for commoners to prove themselves worthy of becoming nobles by defeating representatives of the Soggy Court in combat. The party won’t be able to participate until they meet with the king in section D6. Once ready though read the following:

The remains of a mangrove tree stands in the middle of a patch of shallow water and heavily churned mud, where rusting and rotting bits of armor and weapons are scattered. The king and members of the soggy court have gathered to watch the proceedings.

From here King Gullop XIX will announce the rules and the combatants that the party will face. The rules are simple – knock-out all of the members of the other group to win. If the challengers are the victors then they become nobles of the court. While it is technically meant to be a non-lethal competition, sometimes accidents happen! You can remind your players that they can make non-lethal strikes by mentioning as much.

The combatants will depend on how many players you have, with the main threats being The Royal Champion, Sir Voolp, Knight of the Brightfens and the Royal Executioner, Sir Graycroak, Knight of the Gar. Here are some recommendations to get you started (but adjust up / down as needed).

  • 3 Players: Sir Voolp (bullywug knight), 2 bullywugs
  • 4 Players: Sir Voolp (bullywug knight), 3 bullywugs
  • 5 Players: Sir Voolp (bullywug knight), Sir Graycroack (bullywug knight), 3 bullywugs

For the bullywug knight statblocks here, they’re a bit too tough, so make the following adjustments (unless you feel like your party is strong enough to take them as is):

  • Reduce their hit points by 20 (from 66 to 46)
  • Reduce their AC from 18 to 16
  • Remove the multiattack action
  • Add the following bonus action to provide an additional option to the knight’s repertoire
    • Hurl Mud. The bullywug throws a handful of mud at the face of a creature within 5 feet. The target must succeed on a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw or be blinded until the end of its next turn. The mud can be removed early by another creature as an action.

The D9 area of the map is too small for this event, so I used the “Green Dragon Lair (No Ruins – Day)” map by czepeku. I had the combat take place in the shallow water at the top with the king and his entourage watching from the clifftops.

If the players are victorious, the following will take place after the combat:

  • The king will order Xiph, the court mage, to heal any downed participants. Xiph, who in fact has no magical talent at all, will instead sneakily eke out potions of healing to anyone who’s been knocked out. A successful DC 14 Perception check will make Xiph’s subterfuge obvious to the players
  • The Mayor of the Sinking Palace, Glaur of Eightfens will congratulate the players and ask them to come meet him at the Sinking Palace so they can be given their titles
  • Sir Voolp (if not outright killed), will offer wine goblets to the players as a “toast to their victory” before leaving. In each of the goblets the players will find scraps of parchment with words written in Sylvan. The message reads, “Find Illig, the Baron of Muckstump, at once. The revolution lives!”
    • Most inhabitants of Downfall will know of the Baron given his nobility, but only other titled bullywugs will know that the Baron runs the warehouse in section D16
    • If the players ask about the revolution to any nobles who are not an allies of Illig (Voolp is the only titled ally), then they will likely be putting themselves in harm’s way (unless of course it is with an explanation that they want to stop any sort of revolutionary activities for the king)
  • If the players are still Level 2 then they should advance to Level 3 after the combat if you are using milestone leveling. If the players do not partake in the Proving Grounds then they should level up after the co-ruler vote (or after de-throning the king if working with Illig)

D10. Trinket, Bauble, and Charm’s

Make these adjustments to this area:

  • While the darklings are indeed working for Endelyn in their effort to rob Bavlorna, they are also merchants who directly work for Queen Mab of the Winter Court. The queen is not involved in the theft – the darklings are just making some side money from the hag
  • Add two lines to the counter sign “Swampy Spellbook (learn tricks to amaze your friends)” and at the end “Potions and tonics of power beyond your wildest dreams!”
  • If you would like – add some additional bargains for the darklings from the list developed by u/jwdeweese. Given they are merchants, and travel to places like Vale Crossing that do use money, they accept coin in addition to bargains
  • If asked about the potions line of the sign, the darklings say that they have one each of the following potions available for sale for 50 gp, 25 gp and one bargain, or two bargains each. They will not explain what the potions do, but an identify spell or something similar would do the trick
    • Bauble’s Bewildering Brew
    • Charm’s Chilling Cup
    • Trinket’s Trembling Tincture
    • Marsh Bubble Pop (see section D4)

Bauble’s Bewildering Brew
Potion, rare


When you drink this potion, your skin and anything you are wearing mimic the appearance of your surroundings. While under the effects of the potion, Perception checks made to see you have disadvantage, and you have advantage on Stealth checks to hide.

The potion‘s effects last for 10 minutes.

Charm’s Chilling Cup
Potion, rare

When you drink this potion, you and anything you wear or carry becomes ghostly in nature. While under this effect you gain the following effects:

– You gain resistance to bludgeoning, slashing, piercing, and necrotic damage
– You gain vulnerability to cold, fire, lightning, and radiant damage
– Passing through the space of another creature is not considered difficult terrain
– Creatures have disadvantage on opportunity attacks against you

The potion‘s effects last for 1 minute.

Trinket’s Trembling Tincture
Potion, rare

When you drink this potion, your speed is doubled and you gain advantage on Dexterity saving throws for 1 minute. When you attack or cast a spell while under the potion’s effects, you must must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or immediately become incapacitated as you perceive everything as hilariously funny and fall into fits of laughter. At the end of each of your turns, and each time you take damage, you can make another Wisdom saving throw to end this effect.

D11. Sinking Palace

There’s not much going in the palace normally, but as you’ll see shortly – we’ll take care of that! As the players enter through the lower level, in addition to reading the introduction, have some of the bathing courtiers whisper about the “strange sweet smelling pale-skins” (assuming you have any in your party of course).

Lower Level

In addition to the courtiers and musicians, add Sir Voolp and Sir Graycroak to the lower level. If the players fought at the Proving Grounds they may have already met these two.

Sir Voolp is a prominent knight of the Soggy Court as well as the king’s champion. As a result he is very pretentious but acts with a fake air of chivalry. Recently Voolp was befriended by Baron Illig of Muckstump. In exchange for Voolp’s aid in overthrowing the king, Illig has promised him a noble title. As a result, Voolp will be very willing to participate in any schemes to overthrow the king.

Sir Graycroak is a more mysterious figure, and the nobles of the Soggy Court give the executioner a wide berth (after all, such a job is clearly bereft of any honor in their eyes). Graycroak cares little for the court, and enjoys getting his fellow bullywugs into a tizzy. He is important for two reasons:

  • He is married to Norlop, Countess of Flowermoss who is out of Downfall for business. As a result he would vote in her stead on the proposal of making the king’s children co-rulers
  • He stole the Big Book of Bad Blood from the palace treasury as way to sow chaos in the court, but now thinks there’s an opportunity to “auction” it off. If the player’s earn his trust, he will enlist their help in doing so. While payment of sorts would suffice, his preference would be for the players to arrange something embarrassing or scandalous within the court. In exchange for the party’s help, they’ll have his vote and the book

Upper Level

The upper floors, in addition to courtiers and staff, should have three additions:

  • Middle Room – Mayor of the Sinking Palace, Glaur of Eightfens
  • Right Room – Mirva III, Princess of the Soggy Court
  • Left Room – Glummph VIII, Dauphin of Downfall

Glaur is the mayor of the sinking palace and oversees the day-to-day of the king’s home. He is very loyal to the king, but a very frantic individual – going hastily from task to task within the palace. If the players come to see him after a victory at the Proving Grounds he will declare them “True Friends of Gullop XIX” and give each of them a small pin of a frog’s face (it is meant to be the king’s but it’s hard to tell) to demonstrate as much to the public. He will also offer each player a title from the Soggy Court Honorifics table in the book, but it comes with no land or holdings (but it does include voting power as per the What’s Happening in Downfall? section above).

Glummph VIII is the king’s son and has lived a pampered upbringing that makes him ignorant of the lives of the common bullywug. He has a strong passion for the arts, in particular calligraphy, and is always interesting in new and exciting inks to try.

If the players ask for Glummph’s help with the vote, he will agree but first insist (as per the Rule of Reciprocation) on something in return. In particular he needs two ingredients for a new magical ink.

  • Ingredient 1: Moldtree Sap from Big Barkless (area D13). The sap can be easily harvested from the top of tree, which can be climbed with DC 16 Athletics check
  • Ingredient 2: Octopus Ink from Murky Lake (area D3). In the lake is a giant octopus that is very skittish. The party will need to work together to corner the creature until it releases an ink cloud. Once it has done so a character can make a DC 12 Sleight of Hand check to collect some ink that isn’t too watered down. Remember that there are Merrow in the lake

[Optional] In addition to his vote Glummph will offer to draw a temporary tattoo with the new ink for one of the players (see the Small Stalls section from the Witchlight Carnival).

Mirva III is the king’s daughter and younger child. Mirva is very scholarly and has read every book in the royal library many times. She has a fascination with magic specifically, and being very inquisitive will question any magic-user she encounters about how their spells work. To Mirva’s frustration Xiph, the court mage, has repeatedly refused to take her on as an apprentice and she is unsure why. If the party wants her help she asks for either 1) a spell book so she can teach herself (DM hint: the darklings have one in section D10) or 2) convince Bavlorna to take her as an apprentice.

The Vote

Once the players think they have secured the votes for making King Glump’s children co-rulers (or just want to hold the vote anyway), then they just need to the tell the king or the mayor who will make immediate arrangements. The vote will work as follows:

  • All of the nobles of the court and other title members will arrive at the palace
  • The six nobles (and the players if they are nobles) will vote yay or nay (one at a time)
    • Mayor of the Sinking Palace, Glaur of Eightfens – Will always vote yay
    • Mirva III, Princess of the Soggy Court – Will vote yay if her quest is completed
    • Glummph VIII, Dauphin of Downfall – Will vote yay if his quest is completed
    • Illig, Baron of Muckstump – Will always note nay
    • Ickrind, Duke of Fetidcreek – Will always vote yay (though the players don’t know this)
    • The Royal Executioner, Sir Graycroak, Knight of the Gar – Will vote yay if his quest is completed
  • To pass, the vote needs a majority (at least 4 votes); a tie is a failure
  • If successful the king will rejoice and reward the players with anything they may have asked for if reasonable (such as the lumber for Duke Ickrind) as well as a mirror cloak, an item he picked up off a would be-assassin (see below)
  • If the vote fails, the king will be dejected and Illig may later approach the party with his plan to assassinate the king
  • The king will then seek to task the party with investigating the theft of Bavlorna’s Big Book of Bad Blood (if it hasn’t already been dealt with) and returning the book to the hag. He mentions that the book was being stored in the palace’s treasury on behalf of Bavlorna, so it must have been a noble or titled bullywug that took it

Mirror Cloak
Wondrous item, rare (requires attunement)

While attuned to this cloak you have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide. Additionally, once per day when you are hit by an attack targeting you, you can use your reaction to teleport up to 15 feet away to an unoccupied space you can see and a roll a d20. You take no damage from the triggering attack if you roll a 15 or higher, and only half damage if not.

D12. Bavlorna’s Cottage

We will cover this in a separate section below.

D13. Big Barkless

To begin with, I would highly recommend to implement all of the changes for this area from u/CasparGlass’ write-up. Other than that, the only adjustment is the addition of the moldtree sap that can be easily collected from it’s top branches (see section D11).

Illig will be especially concerned about Xiph

D14. Toadstool Patch

Rather than listen to me on this one – I suggest to lift wholesale the approach laid out by u/AnomolousZipf in this post.

D15. Bullywug Hut

No changes.

D16. Bullywug Hut

We will be making the following changes here:

  • The co-conspirators in the room are named Glorig, Grundelkrantz, and Gullibek
  • If Illig believes the party will help in the revolution, he will mention that Voolp is on their side and can help in any plots
  • The Baron will also want assurances. If the players agree to help he will seek to make a fey pact with them. The official Domains of Delight supplement (I don’t know why this isn’t in the book to begin with), lays out the terms and consequences of such pacts. Essentially the deal, if agreed by both parties, will be magically binding and going back on it would have magical consequences (of your choosing)
  • If the players help crown Illig I, he will also provide a similar reward as King Gullop (such as the lumber for Duke Ickrind and the mirror cloak from the treasury)

D17. King’s Mount

No changes to be made here, though you can have Vlonk share some information about Downfall and its inhabitants given he works for the court.

D18. Bavlorna’s Cauldron

I don’t really know what purpose this has or why Bavlorna’s cauldron would be out in the middle of nowhere. I’d avoid this area unless your players specifically seek it out. As a reminder from the beginning of the series – the unicorn horn is not here (or any of the random locations).

D19. Watch Tower

No changes.

Bavlorna’s Cottage

Art by tzlynart

B1. Preservation Pool

We certainly don’t want our players to be magically transported anywhere. Instead of how it’s written, read the following if the players touch the mirror as some residual magic sparks alive. Ignore the password – we will instead assume that only Bavlorna and her sisters are able to use it.

The surface of the mirror suddenly becomes a swirling vortex of mist. For a few moments you think you see into what looks to be some sort of noble’s manor or palace. A window inside the room beyond the mirror reveals a snowy landscape. After a few moments it returns to a normal reflective finish. Touching it again seems to have no effect.

Sections B2. – B9.

No changes.

B10. Study

If the player’s sneak in to the study, they may hear bits of the conversation between Bavlorna and Charm (with a successful DC 16 Perception check):

  • Most of the discussion from the toad-like creature seems to be focused on her sisters. The players catch the names Endelyn and Skabatha and the way they are spoken doesn’t sound particularly positive
  • The darkling seems to be named Charm and is a traveling merchant, but strangely doesn’t seem to cast a shadow

Once the players parlay with Bavlorna we will change a few things. Keep in mind it would be best for the players to avoid combat with Bavlorna (a CR 7 creature with a cottage full of minions) at this point. While she is a hag, she has no reason to attack or kill the party (unless they try to rob her of course). We will of course ignore anything related to the “Warlock’s Quest” as that hook is not in the reimagining.

To start with, the order of operations as written makes little sense. Essentially Bavlorna won’t talk with the party until three chores are completed, at which point the party will want something (likely swamp gas in the reimagining), but Bavlorna’s next job is to steal a portrait from a faraway land. Does the campaign expect the party to go back to Murkendraw later when there’s nothing left to do there? Instead we’re going to change this up a bit:

  • Bavlorna is intrigued by the obvious outsiders. She wants to give them a little test to make sure they’re worth her time and tasks them with fixing the preservation pool. This minimizes the work for the party up front, and also means they they don’t have to leave the cottage and do a bunch of backtracking. If they’ve already taken care of it on their way in, then even better!
  • Once complete the bargaining can begin. Most likely the party will start by asking for information (“Hey! Where are those things you stole from us at the carnival?). She will share the following honest information freely as recompense for the preservation pool and as she has no fear of the party
    • Why, yes – of course I send my little lornlings to the carnival to steal. I’m not the only one though. My sisters do it too. (If pressed she will share that is on behalf of Queen Mab of the Winter Court)
    • The carnival owners? Those pathetic shadar-kai? Yes they work for us – just like my sister’s little puppets
    • Where are your lost things? I certainly don’t have them – maybe one my sisters has them? Who keeps track of these things? (She will share that her sisters are Skabatha is in the Fields of Spring and Endelyn in Yon, but not mentioned Tasha)
    • Lower the fog around Murkendraw? Certainly not! That’s what the swamp gas balloons are for after all
  • Bavlorna will provide swamp gas (or something of similar value; but not a direct way out of Murkendraw) in exchange for retrieving Big Book of Bad Blood and the package. Use the method of sealing a bargain that the book lays out for the portrait, but for this deal instead
    • Unlike the campaign, the book is actually with Sir Graycroak and not the king. She will mention though that she was storing it in the Sinking Palace vault
  • After the party completes these tasks, Bavlorna will be true to her word and provide the swamp gas or whatever else was promised (perhaps freeing Talavar if the party lost him?). It is at this point that she proposes another deal
    • Instead of stealing the portrait, she wants Skabatha’s magic mirror destroyed within 8 days (this will avoid backtracking and why would she want her sister’s portrait anyway?)
    • One key change (which I will get into more in a future entry) is that Tasha visited Bavlorna when she first came to the Feywild and tricked her into thinking that Skabatha is plotting against her. As a result, Bavlorna wants the mirror destroyed to protect herself from Skabatha (or her minions) dropping in
    • That said – DO NOT MENTION TASHA or anything about this visit – just share the ask itself and Bavlorna’s suspicions
    • If your players are sick of bullywugs and it seems like it’s time to leave Downfall, she can offer them a ride on a swamp gas balloon over the wall of mist and out of Murkendraw (as per the book she’ll still mention Clapperclaw as a much needed guide), or if not perhaps she’ll offer the potions in her cabinet.
    • Unlike the other deal, Bavlorna is paying up front, so she will seal the deal to ensure that the mirror is properly taken care of (no return to Murkendraw needed!). The players can also turn down this deal if they so choose without consequence

One last note – the iron key that Bavlorna has should also open Talavar’s cage.

B11. Aviary

Change Thither to Loomlurch.

B12. and B13.

No changes.

B14. Cages

If the players were beaten by Agdon and given to Bavlorna they will be deposited here. After a rest, Bavlorna will meet the party here and begin the negotiations laid out in section B10. Remove Vansel in this situation.

B15. Pantry

No changes.

B16. Dining Room

Remove all of the language around the mirror password. Only Bavlorna and her sisters can use the mirror. In addition to the carnival add that she also sometimes talks to her sisters with it.

B17. Hooch Distillery

Instead of hooch – we will change this to be a swamp gas distillery. If the players steal one barrel from here it will be sufficient to power a swamp gas balloon on a trip to the Fields of Spring.

B18. Bavlorna’s Bedroom

No changes.

B19. Bavlorna’s Hoard

Remove the Bronze Frog Statue entirely.

From Hither (Murkendraw) to Thither (Fields of Spring)

Ignore the first portion of this section as the way out of Murkendraw is well covered by the rest of this article. The point about a guide holds true though.

Once your players are ready to depart (they must meet all the requirements from the What’s Happening in Downfall? section at the top) then they will take off to the sky and over the fog wall surrounding Murkendraw. Additionally they should advance to Level 4 if you are using milestone leveling.

The waterways, huts, and “nobility” of Downfall shrink and fade away as you float higher and higher into the air. Off to the Fields of Spring!

Resources

I have highlighted some of the resources I used for this portion of the campaign below. Some of these are for locations within Murkendraw not covered in this article.

Art

Music

What’s Next?

I’m very excited for the next entry as we’ll heading to The Fields of Spring – an area with a ton of homebrew content by yours truly. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any comments, questions, or suggestions and… see you in the Feywild!

5 thoughts on “Part VII: Murkendraw (Downfall and Bavlorna)

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