The Lost Ingredient is an adventure that takes place in the city of Aurel’s Reach and the surrounding Elderwood. The player, a new apprentice to Thanlin, a powerful but forgetful elven alchemist, is tasked with finding a rare ingredient, the Luminescent Elder Lily, for a potion that Thanlin has been brewing. The adventure involves seeking guidance from Rye Leafoot, a friend of Thanlin’s, retrieving stolen truffles, and negotiating with a tribe of pixies.
Thanlin explains to the player that he’s lost the lily. Thankfully, his friend Rye can locate where to find more in the Elderforest. Thanlin sends the player to the Whispering Willow to ask Rye for help.
Part 1: Seeking Rye’s Guidance
Read to player
As you step into the Whispering Willow, the warm glow of lanterns and the cheerful hum of conversation welcome you. At a corner table, you spot Rye, engrossed in a book, a half-eaten pie forgotten next to him.
Rye is happy to cast Locate Animals or Plants for the character to find the lily. However, he needs the material component, a bit of fur from a bloodhound. More importantly, he’s just overheard that there’s a new delivery of truffles at Underwood’s Delights, a store in the east district market.
“It’s just one basket,” he says with a distressed look on his face. “I can start the ritual for the spell now, but I must get a few of those truffles before they’re out.” He hands the player 20 gold pieces and says, “get the truffles first, and then find the bloodhound hair. The constables’ kennel should have plenty - they might even pay you to take it!”
The player finds their way to Underwood’s Delights and managed to buy the last four truffles for 20 gold pieces. As they leave, an orc child runs into them and with a scared look runs off.
The orc child has stolen the truffles! The player will notice almost immediately. It won’t be hard to track down the orc child as there aren’t that many of them. If the player gets to them quickly, they can just demand them back. After some bluster, the child will hand them over.
If it takes longer, the child will have run into a building that has been painted crimson red. This is the new embassy of The Lost Tribe, an orc tribe of the Elderwood. There are three orcs inside (known as a “triangle,” they never separate). Use the standard orc statblock, but two carry two handed swords and the third a longbow and longsword. The orcs speak common and are more “civilized” than stock orcs, but still as blustery and brutal. If the player explains their case, one of the orcs will question the orc child, get the truffles, and give them to the player.
Once the player has the truffles, and they return them to Rye, he will finish casting the spell and draw a map for the player to the hidden glade. If the player can wait, Rye will offer to buy the player a fish in truffle sauce dish for the player after sending the truffles back to the kitchen.
Part 2: Journey to the Glade
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As you leave the city outskirts, the familiar sounds of Aurel’s Reach fade into the distance, replaced by the harmonious symphony of the Elderwood. The path before you is a winding trail through towering trees and lush undergrowth, the air filled with the earthy scent of moss and damp leaves. Dappled sunlight filters through the dense canopy above, casting a mosaic of light and shadow on the forest floor.
You cross a bubbling brook, its clear waters sparkling in the sunlight. The stones beneath your feet are smooth and worn, a testament to the countless travelers who have crossed here before. The path then leads you up a gentle slope, the forest growing denser and the air cooler as you ascend.
Suddenly, a rustling in the underbrush grabs your attention. You pause, your senses heightened, ready for whatever the forest might throw at you. But it’s just a squirrel, scampering away with an acorn clutched tightly in its paws.
You continue your journey, the forest around you alive with the sounds of chirping birds and the rustling of leaves. The path narrows and the trees grow closer together, their branches interweaving to form a natural archway. As you pass under it, you feel a sense of anticipation building, as if the forest itself is holding its breath.
The glade is north west of Aurel’s Reach, and should take about half a day. The map is surprisingly accurate, though it does not always show the easiest way.
While going down a narrow path, the player will encounter the player will encounter a giant spider, first encountering a dense web that fills the path.
Should the spider capture the player, they will be rescued by a three orcs from The Lost Tribe. These orcs will cruelly joke about the player’s weakness, one of them gnawing at a spider leg, but will roughly dust off the player and let them go. If the player is an elf, they will give them a playful (to an orc!) kick in the pants to send them off.
The spider has three cocooned bodies in its net: dead human and dwarf guards (leather armor, daggers, long swords, and common gear), but a still live tax collector with a bag of 150 gold coins, papers authorizing tax collection, and a record book of two years of tax collections for the past five years. If the orcs rescued the player, they will have taken all of this and freed the tax collector, leaving them unconscious but free.
- City Outskirts: As the player leaves Aurel’s Reach, they pass through the city outskirts, where the hustle and bustle of the city gives way to the serene outskirts. Here, they might see small homesteads, farmlands, and the occasional roadside inn or shop.
- Elderwood Forest: The player must traverse the dense and enchanting Elderwood Forest. This ancient forest is filled with towering trees, thick underbrush, and a network of animal trails. The forest is home to a variety of creatures, both friendly and hostile.
Part 3: The Glade and the Pixies
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As you push through the last curtain of hanging ivy and moss, the forest suddenly opens up into a breathtaking glade. The air here feels different, imbued with a quiet magic that makes your skin tingle. Bathed in a soft, ethereal glow, the glade is a symphony of color, the luminescent Elder Lilies casting dancing shadows that turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.
An ancient tree, gnarled and wise, stands sentinel in the heart of the glade, its branches reaching out like a silent invitation. The tree is surrounded by a tranquil pool, the water’s surface shimmering with the reflected light of the Lilies.
As you take a step further into the glade, you notice odd insects flitting about, their wings iridescent in the glow of the Lilies. They buzz and hum, adding a soft undertone to the symphony of the glade. It’s a sight to behold, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the Elderwood, untouched and unspoiled.
As the player enters the Luminescent Elder Lily glade, they encounter a tribe of five pixies. These tiny, whimsical creatures live in the glade, and while they don’t value the Lilies themselves, they are intrigued by anyone who does. The player’s interest in the Lilies presents an opportunity for the pixies to engage in one of their favorite pastimes: bartering.
“A song, a story, or a shiny trinket. That’s our price for a Lily."
- Pixie Introduction: Describe the pixies as they flit around the glade, their iridescent wings catching the glow of the Lilies. The pixies are curious and playful, but also cautious of the player. They watch from a distance, whispering amongst themselves, before one of them, bolder than the others, approaches the player.
- Pixie Bartering: The bold pixie, acting as the spokesperson for the tribe, expresses interest in why the player wants the Lilies. Once the player explains their need, the pixie proposes a trade. The trade could be for a shiny trinket, a heartfelt story, or even a song - pixies love music and are easily swayed by a good performance. If the player agrees to the trade and meets the pixies' request, they allow the player to take a few Lilies.
- Pixie Interaction: Encourage the player to interact with the pixies. The pixies might ask the player about their adventures, share some of their own stories, or even offer some advice or warnings about the forest. This interaction can add depth to the encounter and make the glade feel like a living, breathing part of the world.
See also pixie tricks and nonsense talk.
Once the player has satisfied the pixies, they will allow them to take three, or even ten, Luminary Lily. The player then safely returns to Aurel’s Reach if they choose to.
Upon giving the Licht Lelie to Thanlin he will proclaim, “wonderful, wonderful!” and then drop the Lilly into a beaker full of translucent brown liquid. The liquid will poof. “Finally! You’ve helped me perfect my recipe for transparent tea!”