Blind Study: the Wild Hunt


Homebrew


I am running an Arthurian fairytale game where the characters slowly realize the gritty, hard world they live in is full of magic, wonder and terror.
They have already had their brush with obvious supernatural entities.
The next few sessions will be episodic,  self-contained stories, the soonest will most likely involve the following:

A young lady approaches the heroes--for that is what this ragtag band is swiftly becoming--with tears in her eyes. Her dearest love has disappeared in the night, run off into the arms of some fell enchantress, no doubt.

The woods are dark and thick, heavy with winter's frost. But suddenly, the band passes between two huge oak trees, and the wind is warm and sweet. The sky is rich purple velvet, the moon a heavy amber coin in the sky. They have, somehow, entered Faerie.

After that, they will find several things at one point or another:

a.) The Huntress, a feral fae creature with antlers, hooves and lupine features. She is strange and inhuman, so questioning her directly yields little beyond vague and confusing pseudo-riddles.
She has called for the Wild Hunt, and soon she and her Hounds will ride forth in search of the White Hart.

b.) The bones of a knight and his horse, shrouded in ivy. There is an arrow nocked upon his great horn bow. On the arrow's shaft is tied a message, "wait for me in the valley, my love. I shall be with you soon."

c.) An abandoned tower. There are dungeons, traps, gargoyles, and--at the very top of the tower--a small bedroom. There are claw marks on the walls and floor. The canopy bed has been rent to splinters. A few tatters of silk are all that remain of a once-fine gown.

During their travels through the wood, I will occasionally mention a thought, feeling or desire within each of the characters that fits them to a point, but (hopefully) seems out of place.
-a quiet, inquisitive character considers letting an injured foe escape, so he may pursue and defeat him again.
-a cold, violent character hears potential danger and freezes, ready to strike down whoever it may be.
-a gruff, brutish character finds annoyance turn to bloody-minded anger in the span of a moment.

The longer they wander, the more odd these urgings become.

-the first character sees a sun-drenched patch of forest floor that looks perfect to nap in.
-he second does not care for how the wind tastes here at all.
-the third has to exert tremendous will to retreat from a fight, and continues to trample the broken bodies of his foes even after the battle is won.

I would really like some imput here. Can anyone see the direction things are going in? Am I being too obtuse, or do you think the players stand a decent chance of figuring things out?
Laying it all out like this, with no filler or distractions, undoubtedly makes it easier to see the pattern. But then again, the players have an understanding of the setting/story/characters that anyone on here will obviously lack.
I feel like I can be subtle enough at first and lay it on thicker as I go until it becomes clear or it's too late. But I thought I'd at least ask and see what anyone had to say.


I'm sorry, I don't really understand what you're trying to achieve.

Are you looking for advice on how to set the mood of the episode? In my experience, little of my actual planning survives contact with my players, least of all winding them up with subtle hints as to the future encounters they'll face. They're usually more interested in loot and making in-character puns, or squeezing pop culture references into their dialogue to pay too much attention to my descriptions.

What's your end goal here? Let's assume the players can put two and two together and realise it equals the Wild Hunt. What impact does this have on the outcome of the episode compared to if they fail to recognise this? Is there any meaningful difference between these two? You might as well just have a villain monologue the information at them as he swears they'll be hunted down like dogs.


I'm also not quite getting what you're trying to achieve. I mean I assume you mean them to find her love unless they already did with the skeleton.

I lack the insight into your world, obviously, but none of the things you mention make a great deal of sense overall unless you're trying to hint at transformations. Even then, that really doesn't help your players on the quest to find the guy.

I'm presuming the first guy is going to turn into a cat, the second into a dog or wolf, and the third into a boar or horse. Has her true love been turned into the White Hart? If he has there needs to be more clues to this end.

Also, how will they find their way back? Can they undo the changes that happen to them and her love? What does the Wild Hunt mean for their world?


JDLPF wrote:

I'm sorry, I don't really understand what you're trying to achieve.

Are you looking for advice on how to set the mood of the episode? In my experience, little of my actual planning survives contact with my players, least of all winding them up with subtle hints as to the future encounters they'll face. They're usually more interested in loot and making in-character puns, or squeezing pop culture references into their dialogue to pay too much attention to my descriptions.

What's your end goal here? Let's assume the players can put two and two together and realise it equals the Wild Hunt. What impact does this have on the outcome of the episode compared to if they fail to recognise this? Is there any meaningful difference between these two? You might as well just have a villain monologue the information at them as he swears they'll be hunted down like dogs.

My apologies if six months counts as thread necromancy, but I finally circled back and found this, and it made me laugh.

My players are not interested in "loot", as they are participating in a collaborative story-telling game, not some version of Skyrim or World of Warcraft. They also do not make puns unless their characters are people who make puns, and pop-culture references...well. Suffice it to say that I am liberal enough with the phrase "No. Your character does NOT say that" until things begin to stick. Humor is all well and good, but it usually belongs outside the setting, and there it shall remain.

As to my "end goal", see below.


Indagare wrote:

I'm also not quite getting what you're trying to achieve. I mean I assume you mean them to find her love unless they already did with the skeleton.

I lack the insight into your world, obviously, but none of the things you mention make a great deal of sense overall unless you're trying to hint at transformations. Even then, that really doesn't help your players on the quest to find the guy.

I'm presuming the first guy is going to turn into a cat, the second into a dog or wolf, and the third into a boar or horse. Has her true love been turned into the White Hart? If he has there needs to be more clues to this end.

Also, how will they find their way back? Can they undo the changes that happen to them and her love? What does the Wild Hunt mean for their world?

First: again, apologies for any practicing of the dark arts. I'll let sleeping threads lie, if this is too long a gap.

Second: fantastic guesses with the transformation, both that it was the theme and the specifics. I was going for a cat, a snake and a boar. Really well done!

Third, the explanation:

The forest turns you into what you "truly are" within.
The knight was trying to rescue his love, but the enchantment of the forest had turned her into a ferocious beast...who then sought him out and rent him asunder (mentioning claw marks on the knight's remains AND the hidden chamber helped a lot).

So yes, it was meant to *appear* as if the missing boy had been transformed into the White Hart (again, well done!), but that was a red herring (no pun intended).
For you see, when they talked with the young peasant girl (when they "received the quest" if you must), they learned she was with child. And her lover had just fled into the woods...
...so he had a bit more of the wolf in him, the ol' rake, than one might first suspect. He was the largest and most formidable of the Hounds.

As for what the consequences are, if he had tasted the blood of the sacred Hart, he would have remained a beast forever, and the heroes would have to return empty-handed, to deliver bitter news to a mother-to-be.
But. Thanks to the additional hints of a sleepy owl in the wizard's tower, as well as a few hasty entries in an old journal ("I fear this will be my last entry. The Wood has taken hold at last. I was a fool...I will sign here, for I go now to where there is no need for names..."), they figured it out, made a deal with the Huntress, and brought the wolfish boy back to his village (and, most likely, a shotgun wedding).

Thank you for the imput, though. It is appreciated. I'll have to do this again, if I have the chance. Just need to be more patient in waiting for a reply.


TheGreatWot wrote:
I don't think further necros are going to be a problem. There's nothing else to add.

Mwahaha! You fool! You've failed to realize that I'm a mythic thread necromancer (with an ill-advised level in bard).

But in all seriousness this feels more like a campaign journal than an advice thread. Not that I wouldn't enjoy hearing more of your campaign, but as TheGreatWot said there's not a lot too add here.

I did run a short campaign in the fairie once. It was a murder mystery where the PCs were the ones meant to be murdered and they had to figure out who wanted them dead and why. They were attending a ball that involved the fey courts and had to deal with their politics. I think it was pretty fun.


Artofregicide wrote:
this feels more like a campaign journal than an advice thread. Not that I wouldn't enjoy hearing more of your campaign, but as TheGreatWot said there's not a lot too add here.

My motive for the original post was to see if other people could pick up what I was laying down, so to speak. Your friends may be smart,but your players are always dumb. The line between obvious and obtuse is a very fine one, and I wanted to see where I was standing in regards to it.

Unfortunately, the situation required a rather lot of exposition to make any sense. At least, it seemed so to me.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder RPG / Homebrew / Blind Study: the Wild Hunt All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.