Part XIII: The Fields of Spring (The Golden Fields)

The Wild Beyond the Witchlight: Reimagined

Welcome to Part 13 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!

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Introduction

Once the party moves southeast, they will enter a region known as The Golden Fields. The area mostly consists of a flat grassland with short grass that sways in the breeze and gives off a golden sheen – the origin of its namesake. A keen eye can spot packs of blink dogs as they roam the countryside hunting for their next meal.

We’ll be starting to cover the areas that fall within The Golden Fields (#8 – #10 below), but hold the Green Keep for next time. As a reminder, if you’re going to use the the random events as your players travel between locations, I recommend to reference Part 8 where I went through how to manage these.

  1. Folly Bridge
  2. Town of Vale Crossing
  3. Goblin Logging Camp
  4. Little Oak
  5. The Wayward Pool
  6. The Burrow
  7. Loomlurch
  8. Nib’s Cave
  9. Snark’s Lair
  10. The Green Keep

8. Nib’s Cave

Art by tzlynart

We will be adjusting the cave so that Nib is in fact Raxivort in disguise, a monstrous creature who used to look over the treasury of Graz’zt, a demon lord and ex-lover of Tasha. You can find more details on Raxivort in the Xvart entry in Monsters of the Multiverse.

This is an idea from Dylan Ramsey’s 11th Hour supplement that better ties into the larger plot, but we will be taking a slightly different approach to the concept. 

When the players arrive, read the initial text as written, including the description of Nib at the spinning wheel. The gold will also still radiate an aura of conjuration magic if inspected with a detect magic spell. From there though you can ignore the rest of the book’s entry on the cave as we will be replacing it wholesale.

Meeting Nib

The man introduces himself as Nib, but is in fact Raxivort under the effects of a permanent disguise self spell to hide himself from his enemies. Nib shares a fake backstory that he was a thief within the land of summer, and stole the spindle he is working at (known as the Infinity Spindle) from the Summer Queen’s treasury. Unfortunately he was cursed as a result and now must stay in this cave, forever working at the spindle.

The party can discern there is a false sense to Nib’s story with a successful DC 14 Insight check. If confronted, Raxivort will begrudgingly share the truth as long as he’s convinced the party is not here on behalf of Graz’zt, in which case it will need to be pried by force. If any members of the party are tieflings, he will act particularly nervously around them, concerned they may be demonic agents of Graz’zt sent to hunt him down.

  • In truth, Raxivort was once the treasurer for Graz’zt, a powerful demon lord (and an on and off again lover of Tasha)
  • Raxivort eventually ran off from his job, stealing the Infinity Spindle, a powerful artifact, from Graz’zt’s treasury. Graz’zt, enraged, sent agents out to seek out the spindle, forcing Raxivort into hiding in the Feywild
  • To protect himself, Raxivort made a pact with Granny Nightshade to hide himself from the prying eyes of Graz’zt’s hunters. Unfortunately her idea of hiding was a bit more extreme than he was expecting. She created the old man guise of Nib that the players see, and now he is forced to dwell in this cave, magically unable to leave
  • If the characters ask Raxivort for more information about Granny Nightshade and Loomlurch, he imparts the details from the book
  • If the players ask about Graz’zt, Raxivort will share the following:
    • Graz’zt is a powerful demon lord sometimes known as the The Dark Prince or Prince of Pleasure for his… erotic tastes.
    • Graz’zt’s principal lair is his Argent Palace, a grandiose structure in the city of Zelatar, found within his abyssal domain of Azzagrat. More details on him can also be found in Monsters of the Multiverse
    • While Graz’zt took many lovers and consorts, none compared to Iggwilv, an Oerthian archmage, who is likely the only woman he ever truly loved. The two were a confusing pair that seemed to switch roles between lovers and enemies at the drop of a coin. At one point she apparently also robbed the demon prince, stealing a book called the Tome of Zyx. Even more than he wants Raxivort, Graz’zt still desperately seeks his old lover
    • While Raxivort won’t share this – Iggwilv is, of course, another name for Tasha the Witch Queen
Xvarts certainly aren’t the prettiest creatures

Nib’s Plea

Raxivort will entreat the party for help to break the hag’s curse and free him from his prison and offers to magically enhance one of their weapons with gold as well gift them 500 gp from the spindle as a reward. He can be convinced to do this up-front with a successful DC 16 Persuasion check as a gesture of goodwill and as he has few other options

In the canon backstory the spindle provides great power; instead we will be retconning it so that the spindle crafts magical items out of gold instead. As a result Raxivort is also just a xvart and not a demigod. The spindle cannot be removed from the cave, and players are unable to discern how to use it themselves, even with the use of the identify spell.

If the players have already killed Skabatha (or she fled the Fields of Spring) then the curse has already been broken (Raxivort just hasn’t realized it). He will still reward the party for their help (even though they didn’t know they were doing so). Once the curse is broken and reward given, Raxivort will magically teleport himself and the spindle out of the Feywild.

When Nib enhances a weapon with “Nib’s Touch” it gains the following properties:

  • It requires attunement (if it didn’t already)
  • The weapon takes on a golden sheen
  • The user gains a +1 bonus to Attack and Damage Rolls made with the weapon
  • Whenever a hostile creature of CR 1 or higher is killed with the weapon, the finishing blow shatters the creature’s skull into a number of gold pieces equal to the creature’s CR multiplied by the creature’s number of Hit Die

Fairy Ring

If the players search further in the cave they will spot a 20 foot diameter circle of colorful, 6-inch tall toadstools. It radiates an aura of conjuration magic when scrutinized with a detect magic spell. Nib will explain that this is a fairy ring and presumably used to be home to a number of faeries but he hasn’t seen any since he arrived here. It’s rumored that one can magically travel between fairy rings but he isn’t sure if it’s true or how it would work.

Mechanically, one can travel between fairy rings as long as they’ve been to the ring they’re looking to travel to before. The manner of travel must be learned from the faeries or through a successful DC 20 Intelligence (Arcana) check to recall enough folklore about fairy rings to know what must be done to activate them. The other two fairy rings in the Fields of Spring can be found at Little Oak and Spring Hollow (in Vale Crossing). These are not fey crossings like in the book.

9. Snark’s Lair

When the players arrive, perhaps out of curiosity or directions from Sheriff Grimm, they only know the Snark is in this general area and will need to locate the snark’s actual lair. If the party has come from Sheriff Grimm, they are hopefully keeping in mind his point of no one having seen the creature as this is the result of its invisibility ability (see below for the creature’s stat block).

The ground here reminds you of the depths of Murkendraw, as the golden fields give away to a mud-caked field dotted with rocks and leafless trees reaching up towards the sky. The stench of decay is heavy in the air. You can’t help but think this is just the place for a Snark!

If your players make an Investigation, Nature, or Survival check reveal the following depending on the result (a higher roll would receive all of the information from the lower results as well). If the players brought any of the snark’s droppings with them from Sheriff Grimm, they can use them to aid them, gaining advantage on the roll.

  • 1 – 9: Half buried in the mud are the carcasses of various creature ranging from deer to bears. They appear rotten, bloated, and half-eaten.
    • A further DC 10 Medicine check will reveal that bites that slew these creatures all came from the same beast, and that it must be Large in size. A 14 or higher will also reveal that some of the bodies are charred.
  • 10 – 13: After a while of searching, you find a pile of dung resembling what you had seen back at Sheriff Grimm’s
  • 14 or higher: Imprinted in the ground you discover the partial shape of the paw prints of a massive two-legged beast. They appear to lead south.
    • With this the players can follow the tracks directly to the snark’s lair

Instead of heading to lair, your players might get creative and decide to lay a trap. If the players lay out sufficient bait (such as a medium sized animal or larger) and remain hidden themselves, the Snark will arrive after 30 minutes and strike out at the bait from invisibility. If the Snark spots the players it may attack from invisibility if it feels like it can take the party, or otherwise return to its lair – the only hint of its arrival being the sound of “juuummm” on the breeze. If the players are looking for bait you can allow them to find creatures such as giant lizards, black bears, and deer (Basic Rules) with a successful DC 12 Nature or Survival check.

If successful, this will be to the party’s benefit as the Snark will be unable to use its Lair Actions out in the open. However, if the Snark reaches 25% or less hit points it will attempt to flee to its cave.

The Snark’s Lair

The snark’s appearance is frightful to behold and perhaps the reason it always stays invisible

The path eventually reveals a hole in the ground, apparently a mouth leading into a subterranean cave covered in wet moss.

Read the following as the player’s head inside. There is no natural light inside the cave outside of the immediate entranceway. I recommend using AfternoonMap’s Bog Troll Cave to represent the lair but you can use whatever you have at hand.

As you walk in, the path curves down into the ground. The floor is slick, and occasionally you step into a shallow puddle or over a rotten tree branch. As you get further from the outside, it grows eerily quiet.

The snark will wait for the party in the heart of the cave, its body invisible. As the players get close to the heart, they will hear the sound of yelping coming from deeper in with a Passive Perception of 12 or higher (this is Otto the blink dog puppy from the Blink Dogs random event).

Once the group reaches the end of the cave read the following:

The cave gives way into a large circular chamber of natural rock and broken gnarled splinters of wood. It appears empty except for the sound of yelping coming from an inlet in the wall to the south. A large stone has seemingly been pushed over to block the inlet in.

Otto, the blink dog puppy, (see Part 8 for details) has been trapped in the inlet by the Snark to be eaten later. The stone can be moved with a successful DC 13 Athletics check. Thanks again to u/ZemblanityFalls Fablerise supplement for the idea for Otto the blink dog puppy (and feel free to use his stat block if needed for Otto).

Once the player’s enter the chamber, the Snark will strike at what it believes is the most opportune moment. When the Snark does attack:

You can use this token to represent the Snark on a VTT

You hear the sound of a rhythmic “juuummm” first before what must be an ungainly monstrous creature lunges forth from the shadows.

If the party fights the snark in the cave it will have the following lair actions on initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties). The snark can’t repeat an effect until they have all been used, and it can’t use the same effect two rounds in a row.

  • Debris falls from the cave ceiling above one creature that the snark can see. The creature must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or takes 6 (2d6) bludgeoning damage and is knocked prone.
  • The ground in a 10-foot radius begins to shake violently. Any creatures in the affected area must succeed on a DC 15 Strength saving throw or fall prone. The area is considered difficult terrain until the end of the round.
  • The snark lets out a terrible scream. A creature the snark can see within 60 feet must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened for 1 minute. A frightened creature repeats the saving throw at the end of its turn, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Victory!

When the snark is defeated it’s invisibility ability will stop working. A DC 10 Arcana or Investigation check will reveal that the Snark’s horn is clearly magical in nature and worthwhile to take (it can easily be removed from the corpse). If the players are actively in search of a Leyfi Runestone, an Intelligence check of 14 or higher will spark the idea that perhaps the snark horn could be used in place of a unicorn horn in creating one.

If Otto the blink dog puppy is freed from the inlet, he will be ecstatic and playfully lick his saviors. If no attempt is made to stop him, or the party encourages him to head back, Otto will happily dart off to return to his family.

If the players search the cave they will discover loose coins and knick-knacks from the snark’s kills totaling 20 gp worth of mixed coin and 3 items from the Feywild Trinkets table in the book. If there’s an item that party missed earlier in the campaign that you want to throw their way, feel free to have it on a victim’s corpse.

Resources

I have highlighted some of the resources I used for this portion of the campaign below.

Art

Music

What’s Next?

The last location in The Golden Fields, and really the Fields of Spring as a whole, is The Green Keep which will be our focus for next time. The old keep of Oberon the Green Lord is now home to the goblin king Great Gark and his minions, and worthy of its own entry if I do say so myself.

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any comments, questions, or suggestions and… see you in the Feywild!

3 thoughts on “Part XIII: The Fields of Spring (The Golden Fields)

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