City Of Forgotten Heroes – The Park!

It is so long since I last looked at this that I thought I would post a bit of a recap for anyone who missed the original posts. So here goes, if you want to refresh your memory…

So I was thinking about this over the weekend and I was thinking about how human centric I am when it comes to ghosts. They are nearly always human or humanoid at the very least. So that was my train of thought and from there I went to ‘if we have this evil influence extending across the city how would it effect other things?’

The I though about trees and the parks.

Read this description of an Active Tree. (taken from the RMC Creatures & Treasures

Warped by the unclean influence of evil, these gnarled trunks grasp spider webs and shadows as well as darkened foliage with their boughs. Malice and spite devour their treeish spirits, bestowing an unusual animation to their limbs. Mannish creatures take the brunt of their hate, expressed by hurled fruit and grasping branches. Yet none remain exempt from such treatment, and all feel the oppressive gloom generated by a grove of these trees.

I do not see hurled fruit as particularly threatening or scary, if anything it is rather comic or even pathetic. Trees grasping at you with their branches on the other hand is the stuff of nightmares.

If you have an entire city inhabited by undead with wights and liches and a necromancer all vying for power I think that qualifies as ‘the unclean influence of evil‘ if anything ever does.

So far everything in this city has been non corporeal but if we had a central park that was full of tree left to grow unchecked, a forest of dark shadows and thick undergrowth it is another potential adventure location. As the characters penetrate further into the park the feelings of despair (see monster description) would grow stronger. Once deep into the trees then the trees attack having the characters surrounded. At 5th level these are not the toughest of foes, their OBs of 50 or so does not make them that dangerous so you can afford to use large numbers of them,let the character penetrate ten ranks deep before the attack starts to they have to get out through the same density.

I think in the original post I mentioned a jade throne? There could have been some speculation before the characters embarked on this mission that the ‘Jade Seat’ may be a location within the park, the jade being a reference to the leaf canopy during the summer and the seat a literal seat in the centre of the park. This of course is complete speculation and wrong as we know the jade throne is a 2000lb stone chair at the bottom of a water cistern protected by a huge intelligent octopus necromancer.

What I like about this addition is that it creates a little bit of variation in the threats, there must reach a point where one ghostly figure is pretty much like another and once the party have worked out a strategy for fighting them then they could get into a ‘bring em on’ attitude. This location is suddenly about bash attacks and grappling and being bashed from every direction by things you normally hide behind, not from.

That is it for today, but I want to add a chase scene into this and Wild Hunt Hounds seem to be the perfect foes. More ghostliness to come I think!

7 Replies to “City Of Forgotten Heroes – The Park!”

  1. The fruit could be warped by evil in some way as well. An apple may not be scary – although I bet being hit by one hurts – but if the apple was more than that, it could be different. An apple filled with a small swarm of insects, or whose pulp is acidic.

      1. I think it probably depends on how it’s phrased. “Apples dangle from the boughs of the tree, which it starts throwing at you.” does not sound scary.

        “Large, malformed spheres dangle from the branches of the tree. They glow with the sickly green light of rot and their shape is disturbingly reminiscent of severed heads dangling by their hair. With a creak, the tree’s boughs shift and one of the spheres tears free with a ripping sound to splatter at your feet. Where the pulp touches the leaf mould there is a hissing sound and acrid smoke rises up.”

        Something like that might be a bit more creepy.

  2. It doesn’t have to be fruit. There are certainly rocks in the surrounding earth that can be picked up and certainly branches. Petrified wood is as hard as stone. The beauty is that the party will most likely have no idea where the attacks are coming from. Who would suspect a tree of attempted homicide? The fruit itself could also be petrified, hard as stone.

    1. Nothing like replying to your own reply. 🙂

      I’ve been giving this little twist a lot of thought. In the overall layout I have sketched up, this compound could be a very large walled manor/castle, or a small walled town. In either case, it would be as self sufficient as possible to last against a siege. If this is the case, the could be a very large courtyard area.

      If we are going to have the gallows located somewhere near the middle or offset from the center, a park could be the counterpoint to the executions. Between these two venues, a very large tree with a lot of foliage, like a Weeping Willow, (fitting for an execution area) could be placed. This would obscure the view of the gallows as patrons relaxed in the park area.

      With the amount of corruption in the area, the executions the tree “witnesses”, the blood flowing into the ground into the trees roots, and the corrupted water supply from below, a tainted, evil, tree would fit right in.

      1. I like that idea.

        This wooded area I think adds a lot to the city, with everything else being obviously undead, a physical challenge is important.

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