I am happy to announce that my adventure Moonrhythm Mire has been acquired by David McGrogan for In the Hall of the Third Blue Wizard, a collection of new OSR adventures and fantasy stories now live on Kickstarter.
I am working overseas until July and am unlikely to add much to my blog until then, though in a few days I will post a story which I submitted to In the Hall of the Third Blue Wizard unrelated to Moonrhythm Mire. Ultimately, the project will include one submission per writer.
Of the other writers involved in the project, I am familiar with Sam Doebler of Dreaming Dragonslayer, which has been on my blogroll for some time due to his interesting findings about running roleplaying games for younger players during his work as a camp counselor.
Special thanks to Dan Sullivan, who was the first editor of Moonrhythm Mire, and David McGrogan, who will now become the second. You can find the beginning of the adventure below, but note that it will be subject to change.
Moonrhythm Mire starts on a course set for tragedy, but it can become a tale of heroism, redemption, romance and riches depending on the actions of the players.
By Dave Greggs
The imperial soothsayers and dryadic sibyls saw a vision of newborn golden seeds. Such an event is the portent of a golden age ending, impending, or in progress far away.
They saw a tree nymph alight from a cyan sycamore, pray over the seeds, and spirit them away.
The seers have tracked the tree nymph to a magical quagmire of skyless night called Moonrhythm Mire. It is a place where the moon appears only to herald events of great significance. When it does, ghosts dance in its light.
Moonrhythm Mire was once a rich forest, but fell to ruin with the madness of its Margrave. He is nothing but a robber baron now.
The Seeds of Rebirth are objects of great desire, and two ships have been launched to capture this Seedmaiden. One is a bronzeclad vessel from the emperor’s court, the other is a deadwood carcass birthed by a morass of rotting vegetation with a chthonic intelligence.
The imperial merchants would prefer that the emperor didn’t use the seeds in his formal gardens. They have proposed that the players acquire the seeds for ten thousand gold pieces each.
They have made it clear that the Margrave and his fortune are expendable.
The ships will arrive in Moonrhythm Mire tonight. The party will only just beat them there.
The seeds will not stay in the tree nymph’s possession for long, unless the party decides that they should. What the players will do when they learn the true powers of the Seeds of Rebirth? Will they carry the Seedmaiden’s cause, or will they take the seeds for themselves?
1. Arrival: The Tunnel Canal and Startpoint
An old, bald boatman will paddle you to the mire. His name is Ridian. He brings you through the imperial riverlands until you enter a tunnel beneath an overgrown bridge.
Ridian rows you for hours through the subterranean canal, then opens a door in the darkness. You see the moonless mire. He rows you into the reeds and rushes.
The mire is scattered with spiderwebs of sodden wood and protrusions of jagged rock. It is a maze of trees.
There are places where the soil lays just beneath the surface. Elsewhere the water is deep as an ocean trench.
The thickest groves of watertrees are nearly impassable. They are the sinister intestines of a dead devouring forest, a hungering but ungrowing ghast.
The tides move in an invisible spiral toward the Margrave’s tower. An ouroboric tide.
Ridian, the boatman, sits back and smiles. Then, he is transparent. He is a ghost.
He tells you that he was a subject of the Margrave. He brought you here so that he could witness the depredations of the old man end. He will give his boat to you. It is magical. Fold it, and it will become a scroll case. Open it, and the boat will fold out again.
He will disappear after his explanation. This land belongs to the ghosts who died here. He deserted it before the final catastrophe. But he will watch, and perhaps he will reappear at the end of the night.
You can see a tower and a glassy crag in the distance. The tower belongs to the Margrave, and it will be full of his plunder, but you could get a better vantage point from the crag.
Then, out of nowhere, the moon is shining. White ghosts dance in the starless sky. A great vortex of translucent bodies swirls between the crag and the tower.
Then, the moon and ghosts disappear, and the mire is bathed in darkness.
What do you do?