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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Uster

EGD Adventures: The Hangman's Woods Part 1 (The Druid’s Trap)

Updated: May 5, 2021

Written by: Nicholas Uster


Running The Adventure

The Hangman's Woods is a short adventure for 4 to 5 characters of 7th level. The adventure takes place just outside of the city of Black Spinel, aka “The Sugar Bush,” contained within The Dark Plains region.

Everything you need to know about the setting is contained within this article. All information for important creatures, people, or items are included within the body of the article. This article will contain part 1 of the 3-part adventure.

Campaign Setting: The Dark Plains

The Dark Plains is a remote reservation of settlements hedged by withered forests that shroud a harsh wilderness. Farmers, tradesmen, and adventurers were able to find refuge amongst the once fertile forests that blanketed the land. Some time ago an arcane tempest erupted throughout the hills and valleys of the realm, corrupting the lush soil. The earth turned black, leaves turned to ash, and animals turned to beasts. The realm was plunged into chaos as neighbors turned against neighbors to survive.

The few settlements that remain have adapted to enduring the perilous wilds that surround them. Few traverse far into the withered forests today, as depraved denizens lurk amidst the crude forest paths. Harbored by the shadows are prowling beasts, lawless encampments, and decaying vestiges of the past. Frigid nights are followed by tepid days. Exposure to the products of this sullied soil is rumored to drive any man mad.


After an arcane tempest erupted through the Dark Plains, the enchanted springs in the heart of the forest were tainted, driving out the spirit of the springs. As she left, the celestial pools became a noxious bog. Dark fey, like hags and other beasts, flocked to the unhallowed area using the magic from the springs for their nefarious purposes. The Snagwood hag coven, run by the infamous hag Auntie Bloodthorn, torture all living beings in their stretch of the forest, using their dreams as a weapon against them. Also taking advantage of scarce resources in the area, the hags aim to force desperate townsfolk into corrupt deals.

Most religious beings in this region of the woods pray to the spirit of the springs, who was believed to grant fertility to the nature and people of the forest. They believe their prayers will draw her back to the realm.


The Hangman’s Woods is a 3 part adventure. This is part 1 “The Druid’s Trap”

The adventurers arrive to the colony of Black Spinel at the desperate request of their former adventuring buddy Rex. Braving the dangers of the Hangman’s Woods, they set out to confront the Snagwood hag coven for cursing his wife, and must fight their way through a corrupted druid’s encampment along the way.

Black Spinel

The colony of Black Spinel, aka “The Sugarbush,” is one of the oldest settlements to remain in The Dark Plains. The heart of syrup production for the realm, it is placed by a peculiarly productive woodland.

After the arcane tempest withered the land, the settlement was thrown into chaos, but soon came together, finding hope in the psychedelic properties of the arcanely-altered tree sap. Some view the sap’s properties as proof that the spirit of the springs will return, and some simply exploit it to suppress their fears of the surrounding forest. With only scare visits from the occasional barge, most goods are in short supply.

Adventure Hook

The characters are beckoned to the city of Black Spinel by their old friend and adventuring buddy Rhexyn Teak (Rex), who left the party some time ago to raise his daughter Anne. He is in desperate need of the party’s assistance to save the life of his beloved wife. After his daughter was poisoned by the bite of a creature in the night, Rex was forced to contact his old patron, Auntie Bloodthorn. In exchange for her assistance, Bloodthorn required Rex to deliver her a spell scroll of clone. When he was unable to deliver on time, Bloodthorn cursed his wife, turning her into a plant. If the scroll is not delivered to the hag coven by the next full moon (3 days) his wife will be trapped as a plant forever.

What Rex does not know is that Bloodthorn requires the spell scroll to clone a fellow hag within the coven before she dies by the next full moon. The party may deliver the spell scroll and complete the hag’s terms, or murder the coven and break the hag’s magic. Either way, it will be an arduous journey for the party.

When introducing the adventure hook to the players, keep their characters’ motivations in mind.

Will they do the job because it is altruistic? Should they be offered a magical item, money, other riches? Maybe there can be rare artifacts in the hag’s coven. Would the glory of surviving the forest and facing a hag coven be enough? Adjust the hook as needed to best suit the characters’ motivations.


Part 1: The Druid’s Trap

The adventure begins as the player characters arrive in the city of Black Spinel.

“You are beckoned to the city of Black Spinel by your old friend and adventuring buddy Rhexyn Teak, who left the party some time ago to raise his daughter Anne. He claimed to be in desperate need of your assistance to save the life of his beloved wife. He has paid the fare for your transport and is eagerly awaiting your arrival to the colony. You’ve spent the last week traveling by ship, and have just entered the city from the port of Black Spinel. So far it has been a safe journey, but this realm is known to harbor untold horrors. As you approach Rex’s home, you see a chiseled sign that reads ‘Teak’ hanging above a pristine plum-colored door.”

The Teak Home

The Teak home is a small, one-story, square house. Not much is inside, aside from cobbled child’s toys and the Teak’s meager possessions. On the mantle is a modest painting of the Teak family. Rex’s daughter Anne sits in the corner playing with her dolls.

Upon seeing the party, Rex wipes away his tears and greets them kindly. He then hastily says that they are short on time, and quickly explains the adventure in full.

Role-Playing Rex

While Rex is happy to see the party, he does not want to waste much time reminiscing. Focus on Rex explaining the main points of the adventure hook to the party and fill in the rest as the characters converse with Rex. Taking the character’s motivations in mind, adjust his explanation and rewards to best motivate the party. Rex can not assist the party on their quest due to his lack of powers and the well-being of his daughter. He recommends for the party to acquire a guide to assist them in their journey through the treacherous forest, mentioning the names of the 3 guides listed below. Have him encourage the party to explore the town and gather some supplies before heading out on their quest (This way the party can meet the various NPCs and learn more about the setting).


Brin - Artificer Alchemist (Sea Elf).

Daughter of the general goods trader, Angler. She has been here forever and always wanted to be a good alchemist, but if she wants to learn more she will need a teacher. She has heard rumors of a powerful alchemist that lives in the woods. She will go with you and guide you through the woods if you help her find the alchemist. She can also offer potions. Can be found with the general goods trader by the lighthouse.

Cyrus Ironblood - Wild Magic Barbarian (Dwarf).

The only dwarf in town and one of the craziest members of the hunting guild.

He has the most kills, but also he is the only one who keeps track. He wears an old rum barrel as armor, with cutouts for his arms and face. He stole a cursed rune from some alter in the forest and now has magic surges. He wants the sheer glory of killing whatever beasts lurk in the forest, and has some experience doing so.

He would also like a cut of the rewards for his assistance. Can be found in the Sugar House Tavern. He is eager to challenge the party to a drinking contest, and will honorably reduce his cut of the rewards if they can out-drink him.

Basil - Ranger (Firbolg).

A middle-aged man who is highly wise, but is still young enough to hold his own. He knows about the forest because he survived it. He escaped and found himself in Black Spinel, and found faith with the help of the priest. He feels that the hag coven needs to die and he will help you if you help him kill them. Amazing at tracking and finding his way through nature. Can be found in the church.

Important NPCs

Listed below are some of the most important NPCs in Black Spinel and their relevance to the adventure.

Rhexyn (Rex) Teak (Elf) - Former member of the party with a quest for the party.

Veldana (Elf) - Owner of the sugar house, comes from a long line of druids that keep the trees and soil fertile. Most of the other druids were lost during the tempest from death or fleeing. She is among the last left. She runs the tavern, you’ll see her at the front of the bar. She is gentle and patient, but strong-willed.

Augys (Satyr, but disguised as Human) - The blacksmith in town. He has an enchanted iron belt that keeps him disguised as a human, but he is really a satyr. He has a tough persona, hiding that he is a kind-hearted and anxious guy.

Cervyn (Elf) - Head of the hunting guild. He killed a massive beast years ago and earned his position for it. Stern and serious, but often displays inappropriate humor. If the party tells him of their quest, he will beg them to kill the hags and will offer great rewards, as his son is tortured by nightmares which he believes are due to the hags.

Father Arndell (Human) - Priest of the church. Calm, cool, and collective. Spreads the word of the spirit of the springs, a god of fertility and purity. Always looking to share his wisdom, or a piece of his homemade flatbread.

Angler (Sea Elf) - General goods trader. She has a passion for crafts like knots and loves when people take an interest in her little trinkets. Loves to talk and meet with new people.

If statistics become necessary for ordinary townsfolk, use the stat block below to represent an adult NPC of any race.