This post goes into the events of Episode 31 of Podquest: No Strangers to Adventure. If you haven’t listened to the first 7 parts of Chapter 2: Heart Asunder, reading this will spoil some things!
The nights of Rinsland see roughly a half hour of darkness at this time of year. But it’s enough time for a mysterious terror to befall the village of the Otikiri elves. Like clockwork, every third night a child has been found taken in the woods, with no recollection how they got out of bed. A home has been ransacked, jewelry stolen, a child screaming in their sleep, or a lock broken. The only connection the elves could find is an inordinate amount of items stolen had the Rinsland-native blue stone in common. So the town banned the use of the blue stone, but the trouble had not let up.
Our three travelers, though passing through, agreed to help this village find the source of their nightly woes. They decided to spread out through the town in hopes of guessing the next target. By nightfall, the threat had arrived from the East, first seen as trees shaking.
Giacobo was the first to encounter the threat, leading a group of volunteer watchguards into the woods. There was something in the trees, slashing past them into town.
Gnoman was the next to see it. Protecting the doctor’s office of potential theft, he was able to apprehend what turned out to be a hypnotized, or sleepwalking pig monkey. One of many now making their way to the community center at the top of the hill.
Digby sat near the ill Ivaniri, in case he was the night’s target. By the time Giacobo and Gnoman had arrived at the community center, the full force of sleepwalking pig monkeys were in mid-motion of taking Ivaniri back into the eastern woods. Together, the three arm themselves with smelling salts, their deduction skills and a good old-fashioned hammer to stand and protect the community center at the top of the hill.
(Click on the maps to enlarge.)
This session is the night of 1,000 dice rolls. To replicate the random event of pig monkeys climbing through the foliaged environ, 6-sided dice were tossed (from the East direction) onto to-scale maps of each location in the village the party members defended. Pig monkeys are tiny animals with little HP, but something magical and unknown was urging them in their sleep to seek a treasure. Each die represents a pig monkey, it’s location on the map, and its starting hit points. If a pig monkey was woken up and ran off, or if one was injured, the die was removed from the map, and when it came time to roll for the next location, that removed die was not rolled.
We had a fun session trying out this horde mechanic. Feel free to try it out at your table! Now enjoy some drawings of what we think pig monkeys look like. From left to right: Nathan, Kelsey, and Andrew’s renditions.