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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Uster

EGD Adventures: The Hangman's Woods Part 2 (Dwellers of the Dark)

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 Part 1 of The Hangman’s Woods (click here). All information for important creatures, people, or items is included within the body of the article. This article will contain part 2 of the 3-part adventure.


The Hangman’s Woods is a 3 part adventure. This is part 2 “Dwellers Of The Dark”

The adventurers have just braved the Druid’s Trap, confronted with the first of many dangers of the forest. Continuing their journey, they may encounter Euphoria the alchemist, the Firbolg settlement of Cygnus, and Ancient Fey Catacombs.


Part 2: Dwellers Of The Dark

After The Druid’s Trap

If the party tries to take a short or long rest following the encounter, they will be plagued with nightmares. Any creature that finishes a short or long rest in the region must succeed on a DC 10 wisdom saving throw or gain no benefit for finishing the rest. Describe at least one of the nightmares to the party. They can include torturous beasts, the characters’ fears, or even taunts from Auntie Bloodthorn herself.

If the players take shifts for a night watch, those awake must make a DC 15 wisdom saving throw. If they fail, they suffer one of the effects on the table below, temporarily losing their sanity to the woods.

1.) They see a phantasmal image of their worst fears. They become frightened for 1 minute, and take the dash action in a random direction as determined by the DM.

2.) Their weapons or equipment begin to whisper to them in infernal, barking the names of loved ones.

3.) They hear someone desperately calling their name. The longer they take to approach the call, the louder and more desperate it grows.

4.) They are paralyzed with fear as they watch wraithlike creatures descend on other members of the party, seizing them in foul tentacles.

5.) Their nose begins to bleed profusely. Nothing they do can stop the bleeding.

6.) The sounds of the forest dwindle as they fall deaf. Their vision begins to fade as they become blind.


Continuing The Journey

This session is designed to allow the players a break from combat, if they so choose.

The party can come across Euphoria the alchemist, the Firbolg settlement of Cygnus, and the Ancient Fey Catacombs in any order, or skip the encounters altogether.

As the characters continue their journey through the Hangman’s Woods, feel free to include some random encounters from the table available at the end of the document.

(Jump to section)


Euphoria’s Burrow

“A putrid miasma begins to fill the air. The earth below your feet becomes spongy as you emerge from the dense woods. Just ahead is a large, waterlogged clearing. Dark mud surrounds the trees, and small beds of withered flora hover above the murky water. A small bed of what seems like stable land (30 ft by 30ft) rests just above the water’s surface, brimming with vibrant flowers. Tending to the plants seems to be a woman, obscured by her long, sleek hair.”

If a party member tries to touch Euphoria or investigates her appearance, have them make a DC 20 investigation check. Upon a success, they are able to discern that Euphoria’s true appearance is not what it seems. If they fail she appears as normal and holds up to physical inspection.

Investigating the flowers:

“You can see three distinct plants growing in this raised bed. One has heart-shaped green buds, with withered extensions that seem to produce lustrous red peas. Another has alluring plum leaves with amethyst-colored flowers which bear an ebony pearl. The last has a tall stem, shrouded by a perfectly spherical eruption of white flowers at its end.”

If a character does a nature check (DC 15) on a plant, they can discern it is poisonous.

Role-Playing Euphoria:

If Brin is with the party, it quickly becomes apparent that Euphoria is the powerful alchemist rumored to live in the Hangman’s Woods.

Euphoria appears as a beautiful human woman, cloaking her true Lizardfolk form with a daily Disguise Self potion. Her home is her duty, and cultivating these cursed plants is her craft. Just like her, these plants conceal their caustic nature under the guise of vibrant beauty. She refuses to stray far from her burrow, lest occupants of this forest harm her only home. She sees little value in altruism, and only enters a deal if it serves her craft. Her past is of no concern to outsiders. A meager, but incredibly poisonous bird named Castor has befriended Euphoria. It is a gorgeous bright blue. It hides amongst the trees, waiting for Euphoria’s command.

Euphoria would detest a battle, especially one in her home. If she must fight, she will fight to kill. Euphoria and Castor's statistics are included at the end of this section.

Euphoria’s Quest:

Euphoria needs an old artifact, a ruby necklace with a claw attached to the chain. She claims it is rumored to hold life-giving magic, and is important to her so that she can enrich the nature surrounding her home. However, she lies to hide its true properties. The ruby necklace is actually a control gem, a magical gem that can command aberrations known as Slaads. Attached to the necklace hangs a claw that is infected with a disease called chaos phage. She seeks to infect a humanoid with this disease, turning them into a Slaad, and controlling them to protect her home and carry out her bidding.

Euphoria tells the party that this necklace is sealed within the tomb of a Satyr rogue who passed generations ago. His tomb resides inside an ancient Fey catacomb. All she knows is that his sarcophagus is adorned with a golden seal that depicts two deer straddling a dagger (Jump to section). If they are to retrieve the necklace and bring it to her unharmed, she will provide them with important information about the coven, some potions of their choice (DM’s discretion), and a magic oil that she claims will be essential to their quest (Oil of Slipperiness).

What Euphoria Can Offer:

Afflicted by the same nightmares that unite all in this realm, she shares the desire to eliminate the Snagwood hag coven. She has crafted a poison that will ravage the mind of any creature, and is determined to force it upon Auntie Bloodthorn. This poison would not cause Bloodthorn to die, but rather weaken her mind to prevent her nightmare hauntings.

Euphoria’s Mindfire Poison - This poison can be applied to weapons, ammunition, trap components, and other objects that deal piercing or slashing damage and remains potent until delivered through a wound or washed off. A creature that takes piercing or slashing damage from an object coated with the poison is exposed to its effects.

A creature exposed to the effects of the poison is inflicted with Mindfire. The creature's mind becomes feverish. The creature has disadvantage on intelligence checks and intelligence saving throws, and the creature behaves as if under the effects of the Confusion spell during combat.

At the end of each of the target's turns, it must make a constitution saving throw (DC 18). After succeeding on three of these saving throws, the creature recovers from the poison, and the effects end. After failing three of these saving throws, the disease's effects last indefinitely, and the creature stops making these saves. The creature can only be cured of the poison’s effects with a greater restoration spell or wish spell.

Euphoria will only offer the following rewards upon the completion of her short quest:

Euphoria has gathered information on the Snagwood hag coven from her time in the forest. She explains that the coven is rumored to have created a Banderhobb that carries the coven’s Hag Eye, a magical item that allows the coven to perceive through it. This allows their Banderhobb to do their dirty work, and carry out reconnaissance. She warns the party of its abilities, and advises them to expect it in a fight. She also tells the party that destroying the Hag Eye will weaken the hags.

Also, one of the coven’s hags has become weak, inhibiting the coven’s strength. But be warned, Auntie Bloodthorn and the other hags don’t exclusively fight with magic. Is it rumored that the other healthy hag in the coven can crush even the strongest adventurers with her bare hands. If the party mentions the spell scroll of clone, Euphoria will urge the party to destroy the scroll or kill the hags before they can use it.

Euphoria will give the party a small glass bottle, containing Oil of Slipperiness, which will help them to survive attacks from the hags. She will warn them to apply this oil to one of the party members before they encounter the hags.

If Brin is with the party, Euphoria will not offer her anything unless she helps to inflict Auntie Bloodthorn with her Mindfire Poison. She tells Brin that she can offer her the contents of a poisoner’s kit and a few months of training to learn about poisonous plants and potion brewing.


The Firbolg Settlement of Cygnus


The Firbolgs of Cygnus are a small clan whose ancestors have lived on this land for centuries. After the arcane tempest ravaged the forest, many died, including most of the clan’s elders. Mother Svane was the only elder to survive, destined to guide those who remained. She was dying, but was determined to live and guide her clan. The spirit of the springs had left, but she found the inner strength to fulfill her own prayers. She miraculously recovered and became a healer and teacher to the clan. She saved the Clan and brought life back to the land of the settlement. When she eventually passed, the clan prayed to her for 5 straight days. The next morning a great stone crashed into the center of the settlement, believed to be a gift from Mother Svane, sent from the heavens. Each night it gleamed with a cerulean light, and the Firbolgs of Cygnus began to study the stars and constellations in hopes of understanding the mystical gift. Thereafter, each child of the clan is named after a constellation. Each year, chips of the rock are shaved off and turned into ink, used to tattoo star maps onto young members of the clan. The markings glow just like the sacred rock. Youth are sent out to search for divine secrets, mapping the stars as they travel.

Entering The Area:

“Just as you pass through a break in the dense trees, the path steeply declines. In what seems like a modest crater, a humble, quiet settlement lies below.”

Unless the party has specifically taken measures to be quiet, such as casting pass without trace or silence around themselves, the Firbolgs of Cygnus are alerted to their arrival. Standing just ahead on the path, the party sees a lone Firbolg woman, covered head-to-toe in a tattooed map of the constellations. Sofya, the clan’s matriarch, will greet them and kindly question their purpose for traveling. 10 Firbolgs are using their hidden step to surround the party from all sides, and will respond to the party the same way that they respond to Sofya. Kindness with kindness and violence with violence.

If the party is kind to Sofya they will be greeted fondly and invited to join in the village’s youth ceremony, as a new child has been born.

The Youth Ceremony:

If the party stays for the ceremony, Sofya and the remaining members of the clan gather just outside of the settlement’s largest tent. Sofya gives a short speech about the clan’s history, including the information from above. A stone pillar about 5 feet tall stands just in front of a roaring fire. The baby’s mother presents the child to Sofya, who lays the child flat upon the top of the pillar. She then dips a finely-pointed chisel into a small stone bowl filled with the sacred ink, and tattoos a small star map on the child’s stomach.

If the party continues to talk with Sofya after the ceremony, she reveals that one of her passions is glassblowing. She uses the sullied sands of the surrounding land and shavings of the sacred rock to make unique glass art.

Sofya speaks giant, and is able to help the party to read the inscription on the weapon found in the catacombs. However, she will become uneasy once she reads the inscription, and will warn the party that she senses dark energy.