Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Dangerous Encounter: The Crystalline Forest

While visiting a small village, perhaps while recuperating or shopping for supplies, the PCs will be summoned for a meeting with the local chieftain. Upon arrival, the village leader will welcome them and ask for their help. He explains that, last week, a traveling merchant reported spying an odd patch of "crystalline trees" nearby. The chief sent one of his scouts to investigate two days ago, and he has not yet returned. The chief would like the party to follow up on the scout's whereabouts as well as the nature of the mysterious crystal.

As they approach the area, the PCs will see that a section of the woods appears to glisten in the sunlight. Getting ever closer, they will soon discover that the area seems to be much colder than it should be and the ground is covered in frost -- the grass crunching like glass shards under their feet. The trees are coated in a thick clear ice, giving it a crystalline appearance from a distance.

Investigating further will reveal some frozen, shredded articles of clothing. Picking through the debris, the PCs will find a small item or token that IDs the clothing as coming from a member of the tribe. This is all that remains of the scout. Unless the PCs have been very cautious and watching the branches overhead, they may not realize that the trees are infested with a roaming swarm of Vomit Flies (MF rulebook, page 101). The Flies have migrated to the area and have nested in the trees limbs overhead.

Vomit Flies (12) (AL N, MV 150' (50'),  AC 5, HD 4, #AT 1 (bite or vomit), 1d10 or 4d6 cold damage, SV L3, ML 8, mutations: energy ray, reflective epidermis (cold), gigantism)

The Flies' toxic bile is like liquid nitrogen, instantly freezing anything is comes into contact with. They use this fluid to freeze a victim, then they consume the frozen flesh. The vomit of a Vomit Fly does 4d6 hit points of cold damage and their bite does 1d10. Vomit Flies cannot actually "fly," so they will drop out of the trees to attack any invaders to their grounds.

If the Vomit Flies are left alone, their numbers will triple within a month (all of the females are about to lay eggs), and the village will be in imminent danger. Destroying the Vomit Flies and bringing back evidence of the scout's demise should be the goal of the party. If successful, the chief will reward the PCs with three strong horses that they may use as transport as well as all of the supplies they can carry. If the Vomit Flies are left unchecked, the PCs may return to the village one day and find nothing more than an icy barren wasteland.

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