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Click image to download this free multi-level TTRPG battlemap of Izumi’s Winter Japanese Village, then keep scrolling for the detailed adventure prompt written for it.
You arrive at a lively winter festival. Hot food skewers are sold alongside candied fruit and cups of warm sake. Loud music wafts through the air while children run underfoot giggling and throwing snowballs. Then you hear screaming from above. When you arrive at the source, you find a frozen man beneath the cherry blossom tree and an old woman in distress.
It looks like he froze to death but if the body is investigated you’ll find he died from hitting his head on a rock, as well as evidence of a struggle. His only possessions are jewellers equipment, plus a small white daffodil in his front pocket. No-one recognizes him—strangers travel into the village for the festival, but they believe his death is a dire omen.
Later that night, a blizzard rolls down from the mountains and you’re invited to shelter in a family’s home. The next morning a peasant boy and his alcoholic father are dead—frozen solid in their hovel of a shelter, near the still-warm embers of a fire…
WHAT’S HAPPENING? The first dead man, with the daffodil, had a wife who is a yuki-onna; a winter-spirit. She looks like a beautiful young woman with long black hair, blue lips, and pale, nearly transparent skin. She leaves no footprints, and when threatened can transform into a cloud of mist or snow. Her breath can freeze, but she can’t tolerate hot water.
Her husband had journeyed down from their mountain cabin, as he did every few years, to sell the gems he cuts. This time he was killed and robbed by three street urchins, who stole his gems and now keep them on their persons. After learning of his death, she returned with a blizzard and froze one murderer and the man with him. She will continue nightly until they are all dead.
The robbers are street children without homes, though one was a teenager caring for his abusive alcoholic father. The group didn’t mean to kill the jeweller, but when he realized one of them was pickpocketing he grew angry and they panicked. He was pushed over as they escaped and hit his head on a rock, killing him.
The thieves eat scraps and have been struggling to survive for months, but they will die soon if the yuki-onna isn’t stopped. If you figure out what’s happening in time and are persuasive, you might be able to remind her of her love for her own children and beg her to show mercy. Otherwise, you could trick her into believing the murderers are dead by returning the gems.
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LUKE: The founder of Seafoot Games, Luke's been making maps and RPG games since he was a child, and spent over a decade creating his own game systems from scratch to play with his brothers. That was before he discovered other TTRPGs existed. Now, he paints the realistic grimdark fantasy battlemaps we're known for, helps write adventures as needed, and spends his free time printing and painting 3D minis, as well as working on his forever in-development TTRPG system.
BEB: Luke's wife, Beb's been writing, painting, and graphically designing things her whole life. She published her first book when she was 20, alongside a handful of sci-fi short stories, and was responsible for writing almost all of our adventures until mid 2022 when Steve joined the team. Now she mostly creates the outlines for the adventurer's guides with Luke, graphically designs documents, handles the bookkeeping (or as she likes to call it, bureaucrat wrangling), and manages the website—but she is slowly delegating these responsibilities, so she can focus on raising her and Luke's beautiful son.