Wandering through the Vosjin Wood is an unnerving experience. Adventurers tell of a mysterious trail which fades away not long after they pass a region, and the forest closing up behind them; party members have sometimes found the trail leading them in circles, or carrying on for what feels like dozens of miles with no change in the nature of the woods around them, only to stumble across an unfathomably huge mountain that was previously nowhere in sight. Indeed, once spotted (DC 10 perception check for those who try to scout the horizon) it cannot be unseen; the mountain looms like a great monument of stone waiting to fall upon the entire forest, as it is so large and steep….yet no matter how hard adventurers try to get closer to it the mountain always seems to remain the same distance away. Only the White Stag, Sukagra, or a friendly Tymardiae can show the true path to the chasm at the base of the mountain.
Any efforts to sense direction while in the forest seem thwarted by the woods, and the thick foliage makes getting a consistent bead on the sun or moon nigh impossible at times. As such, all efforts related to sensing direction, following a trail, or orienteering are done at disadvantage while in the woods….and if the attention of either the White Stage, the Black Rook, or one of the other denizens of the wood such as Aruman or Sukagra are upon the adventurers, then regardless of their desires the forest will take them where the denizen desires.
The Haunted Trees of Vosjin Wood are all pervasive, and it is impossible to go fifty feet without seeing one. These trees do indeed contain the captive forms of an ancient army of Saric blood knights, elves who gave up their mortal coils to become vampires in the name of the Saric Emperor, and were trapped within the trees as a result of the Enkanneth curse. Of these trees, perhaps one in ten contains a spirit with a vestige of power left inside. Smearing fresh blood on such trees has a disturbing effect: the blood will seep into the cracks and crevices of the bark as if it is being absorbed by the tree. If someone feeds enough blood to the tree, it will begin to grow and bloom….it grows stronger. If the tree is cut or craved into, and then fed, there is a very slight (10%) chance that the blood knight within is able to gain some strength from the sustenance, allowing it to try and break free of its wooden prison.
These elvish vampires were among the deadliest of the old forces of Sar, and even a thousand years later they have enough protean strength and speed to break free if fed the full blood of a victim. Such vampires usually return to the world in a maddened, ravenous state and slaughter all they can find until they have quenched a thousand year thirst, then begin to recover their wits and seek a means of escape from the wood. If the vampire does not find a means of tricking its way out of the wood within 1D6 days then he will be struck down by the forest and immobilized in a tree once more.
Adventurers may run across many strange beings and locations while moving through the woods. Encounters happen on a 1 in 8 chance per hour while in the wood. Certain encounters lead to sub-tables, as indicated below. Roll a D20 when an encounter occurs and consult below. There are usually two or three encounters that are fated to happen; the DM should determine which force is most interested in the parties by alignment, and plan for those encounters to happen for certain after a specified amount of time (usually 4D12 hours). As a guidelines, certain entities of the woods favor certain types of characters as follows:
Sukagra (Entry 17): any party which seeks escape, is trapped, or stands in opposition to Aruman. Any party which has already found Mt. Sahambla and its temple cavern.
Aruman (Entry 20): any evil party that may be willing to work for him.
The White Stag (Entry 16): Any party which is predominantly good and also potentially friendly to the primordial Sahambla.
The Black Obelisk (Entry 5): All wanderers in the woods find this after 1D6 days.
Caldare (Entry 11): Caldare will take an interest in any party he believes can aid him…or any that threaten him directly.
1: Small Ibixian Warband
2: The Black Rook
3: Large Ibixian Warband
4: A Haunted Grove
5: Glade of the Black Obelisk
6: The Monstrous Tree
7: the Lost Settlement
8: The Tymardiae (Roll D6: 1-2 an encampment; 3-4 a lone traveler; 5-6 a caravan)
9: Elves of the Woods (Roll D6: 1-2 The Grove of the Saganyir; 3-5 A hunting party, 6 a party led by Vask’Tinorin)
10: The Putrid Cistern
11: The Dragon Caldare
12: A Hidden Temple to Hox Nagor
13: The Chasm at the Base of Mt. Sahambla
14: The Yawning Chasm of the Outworld
15: The Spectral Fields
16: The White Stag
17: Special Monstrous Encounter (D6: 1 Serpent of the Woods; 2 The Rogue Blood Knight; 3 Sukagra; 4: Hydra; 5: The Shambling Mound; 6: Slaad Nest)
18: Mark of the Spear
19: The Hydra’s Tree
20: Aruman’s Villa
During any short or long rest encounters happen on a 1 in 6 chance per hour. If the party is resting, use this table to determine what happens upon them instead:
1-5: An Ibixian Warband (Entry 1)
6: The Black Rook (Entry 2)
7-8: A brilliant flash of purplish cascading energy in the distance caused by the Black Obelisk; this surge of energy allows the PCs to find the Obelisk if they look for it within the hour.
9-15: Wastrels and lost travelers (Entry 3)
16: The Serpent of the Woods begins preying on the party (Entry 17)
17: A wandering tymardiae guide or caravan comes upon the party (Entry 8; Roll D6: 1-3 a caravan, 4-6 a solitary guide).
18: Caldare flies by night, possibly looking for the party out of interest or spite (Entry 11).
19-20: An encounter with a beast of the wood (Entry 17)
Part II: Encounters 1-4