Thursday, May 3, 2018

sleep spells and the honeywood

If you have ever been magically put to sleep by a wizard reading his spell out of a book, it’s likely it could be traced, by wending ways, back to when the school folks came to the honeywood.

It’s been a fair while so it wouldn’t be surprising if most anyone that wanted it had a copy by now. It weren’t always on paper, though, and perhaps the real sleep magic of the woods can never really be writ down.


It stretches for a few hundred miles, up from among the foothills and slopes of the Mountains of Smoke Without Flame and down to the Iron Valley. Some say it was someone’s orchard, way back when, and though the apple and oak trees now have grown where they may there does seem to be some truth to it. Between the tangled roots there is a curious mix of masonry - and sleepers - that yet sometimes hint at a single style stretched halfway over a continent. Whoever built the place, and whatever happened to turn it wild, well, we mightn’t ever know.

Most folks avoid it these days, except sightseers or those with a thirst that can’t ever be filled in the city. The roads aren’t kept up like they could be, and the locals mostly stay put, so travelling is rough for any that try it. The towns are welcoming enough when they arrive, though, and the stills are running, so the aimless end up sticking around as often as not. They join in the harvests and the strange festivals and the drinking and sooner or later you couldn’t tell the visitors from the natives.

The ones that keep rambling onward usually end end asleep, or roasted.

Big ol’ fruitbat ogres live in the woods, eating the fruit off the trees and finding travellers in twilight with their weird screeching. Them and their little tapir-headed goblin cousins tend to leave the sleepers alone, but folks that are up are bound to piss ‘em off. They’re easy enough to sneak up on, though, so often times they’ll be found just yapping and dancing around a campfire. They always know where the nearest beehive is and show some smarts in harvesting the honey.

Stats: As Ogre
No. Appearing: 2-4 plus 1-6 tapir goblins
1. Getting drunk off fermented fruit caught in the roots 2. Roasting fish over a fire 3. Dancing around an altar to Herne 4. Sitting back with snouts stuck in a honeycomb 5. Stalking a couple of mushroom foragers 6. Swooping out of the trees at you!

Everyone in the towns is quite content for the most part - the funny ones always end up learning a lesson or heading out. The woods have a way of showing folks how they ought to be satisfied. Anyone complaining that their wives nag too much or wishing that they had never been born inevitably find themselves becoming rather drowsy the next time they are out amongst the trees. They take a lie down between a couple of handy roots and the next thing they know it’s been a few dozen years. They might take a bit to come to their senses but the moral lesson of the whole ordeal always seems to leave them wiser. Of course, some folks take longer than other. You never know what kind of age a sleeper might’ve come from.
Some say on occasion the sleepers will then wake up back in their own time, wiser for their “dream” but wary it was real. If that’s true the sleep magic of the trees is something that’d get the attention of anyone hoping to get a message to the past - and indeed that rumor has already begun to spread. Some desperate souls search the trees for a sleeper with silver hair, looking for one as would pass on a word to a younger version of themself or some other such thing. It’s an iffy thing, since all kind of folk are out there and there’s the bats and dream eating goblins to avoid. They might get lucky though.

Awakening from among the roots is:
1. An old mushroom hunter, his beard to his belly and his granddaughter full grown
2. A prince, his attendants all overgrown and his castle frozen in time
3. A heartbroken heiress, her hair down to her ankles and her estate grown massively
4. A centurion, his pitted armor unrecognizable and his language unintelligible
5. A reptile woman, coated in amber (or honey) and her phase rod barely radioactive
6. A student of Jormund School, his books rotten and the snake ‘round his arm dried out

Folks with book learning came to the wood, years ago. They’d heard about the slumbering in the woods, and with strange divining and calculations they took to cracking how such a thing was done. They brought their books and their pet serpents and carpetbags out of the northlands and threw up buildings around sleepers to measure and test them. It took time, and they lost a few here and there, but eventually a couple o’ wizard women figured it out enough to write it down. They called it Sleep, and took it home and sold it to every mage, scholar, and insomniac from here to the Glassy Mountains.

The two women came back, though. See they’d heard the stories and knew the forest had more secrets to tell about magic.

Jaki - dressed in cobras. Imperious and aloof. 5HD Wizard, knows standard Jormund spells plus Falling Through Your Clothes (All your attire ends up bunched around your ankles, save or phase partway into the ground. 2nd level spell)

Yssica Numbers - a very thick northern accent. Friendly but painfully awkward. 6HD Mathmancer, can cast identify Lamentations-style (and has the materials to do so)

Paladins of the Fall, Fire on the Velvet Horizon
Chromatic Soup Vol 2
Magic the Gathering Lorwyn Art
Angry Orchard Cider
Washington Irving stories (and film adaptations)
Over the Garden Wall