The Westraven Witch
The Westraven Witch was originally written as a Fourthcore module designed for five players using a party of pregenerated level 3 characters, but playtesting proved it was WAAAY too long. I’ve left it here in its original form (with a couple of minor revisions from playtesting) in case anyone wishes to use it as a full adventure. I’m writing a much-revised version, hopefully more suitable for Fourthcore, as “Dahlia”.
The players have 12 hours of game time and 5 hours of real time to complete the adventure. If either timer runs out, they will be considered to have failed, and the village destroyed. (Optionally, if the Witch could emerge from her lair at that time and find them, allowing them one last desperate chance.)
The objective of the group is to stop the town’s destruction at the hands of an evil known as “The Westraven Witch”, the avenging spirit of a young girl named Dahlia who was hung a century earlier. To save the town, they must travel to a netherworld to find and kill the Dahlia. This netherworld is a pocket dimension within the Shadowfell, a bizarre combination of the twisted dreams of the dead, and contains a deadly mixture of puzzles, traps, and monsters. The group will need to manage their resources wisely, overcoming as many obstacles as possible with brains more than brawn.
Note: This “pocket dimension” should be cited as the excuse plot for any all all rules (4E, physics, whatever) bent or broken by the adventure. Doesn’t make sense? Hey, you’re in the dreams of the dead.
The adventure begins immediately after the party arrives, with Dark Passage, a simple riddle to set the stage for their transition to the netherworld, and to put them in a thinking frame of mind.
From there the group will find themselves in The Crypt, from which the dungeon branches into five areas: one for each suitor plus one for the Witch herself. Clues in the crypt should lead the players to leave the Witch for last, choosing instead to collect the corpses and weapons of the four suitors first and put their spirits to rest, in order to better their chances of winning. Though it is possible that the foolhardy, with a modicum of effort, can gain access straight-away to the Witch, they would face such overwhelming odds, they would no doubt die in short order. Far better is to spend as much time as possible, moving as quickly as possible, to retrieve the items required. If they find themselves running out of time, they can still trigger the final encounter, and even partial success (i.e. putting some but not all spirits to rest) has its advantages.
The four suitors’ areas can be done in any order, and are intended to be of approximately equal difficulty.