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Click image to download this free Multi-Level TTRPG battlemap of Trollgore Forest Grotto, then keep scrolling for the detailed adventure prompt written for it.
When you enter a small, country town situated in lush forest you come across an old sign for a missing child. It’s clearly been there for a while, but if you go speak to the mother who put the sign up she will tearily tell you that her young boy Mica has been missing and no-one’s had time to help her find her little angel. He was such a good boy, she’ll cry—if you would find him, or at least bring her news of… well… bring her closure, then she can finally rest.
She’ll invite you into her house and sit you down on a toy chest. The walls are covered in different, colorful children’s scrawls from her son. She explains with a smile that he loves to draw, before describing Mica to you.
He is a small, brown-haired boy who looks a little bit like a mouse. She says he always carried his favorite toy with him, which is a little black, wooden stallion his father had carved for him when he was just a baby.
She says she doesn’t have much, but can pay you with her gold wedding and engagement rings if you find her boy—or what happened to him. She will always remember her dead husband in her heart, and knows he wouldn’t mind her using the rings to get their son back.
If you agree, she’ll cry tears of joy, thanking you profusely. Then she’ll sniffle and wipe her eyes, before suggesting that you start by talking to his friends. She knows he was friends with a little blonde girl named Hani. Her and her parents only moved here a few years ago from one of the big cities. They live on the far side of the village, near the woods.
If you go talk to Hani, you will find the small house covered with little magical charms. It is quite isolated and a good walk from the village, but if you knock on the door a woman with long, dark hair will open it. If you explain that you would like to speak to Hani about Mica, she will immediately become cold and haughty, before calling over her husband to talk to you.
The man is large, but very friendly and welcoming. He’ll happily call over Hani to speak to you while his wife waits at his shoulder. When Hani learns what you want to know, she will scowl and stick her tongue out. She says she wasn’t friends with Mica, saying that he was always horrible to her and would pull her hair or break her toys with the other boys. She’s happy he’s gone—she hopes the troll ate him!
At this, Hani’s father will pale and admonish the girl, saying come now you don’t really mean that, it would be a horrible thing to happen to anyone. Then his wife will quip that her husband has always been too passive, and if the boy did get eaten he deserves it.
If you ask about the troll, the black haired woman will roll her eyes and walk away into the house, taking Hani with her. The man will sigh apologetically and explain that a troll has been terrorizing the village, since about the time little Mica went missing now that he comes to think about it. The monster has been coming into the edges of the village and stealing livestock. Sometimes it even comes up to the houses while the owners are away, and steals things from inside!
It’s deeply disconcerting. They’ve tried driving it away, but even though the troll flees easily it always comes back. They have an idea of where it lives in the forest, if that would help?
If your players take this news back to Mica’s mother, she won’t believe that her little boy was so nasty to Hani, as he’s always been so sweet around her! But she will cry about the troll, and agree that yes it has been terrorizing the village for a while now but… well, she hoped you’d find some better news. She asks you to find the troll, and see if there’s any sign that it took her little boy—and if there is, please kill it! If you did that surely the rest of the village would pitch in with a reward, no-one likes the horrible thing.
Should you go to the part of the forest where locals suspect the troll lives, you’ll eventually find an old cave set in the ground, with some ancient stairs leading down. There are very old, stone walkways inside it, too.
The whole place smells like rotting meat, and there are cracked bones scattered along the ground. There are also children’s toys scattered along the earth—and amidst them is a small, painted black stallion.
There are also drawings on the walls which look like children’s scrawls, similar to the one’s in Mica’s mum’s house. They depict, in a crude way, an angry black-haired woman yelling at a small boy, who has a flash scribbled around him.
The next image depicts a scared troll being chased away by armed villagers. There are various other scribbles along the walls, but by far the most detailed—and large—is an almost life-sized drawing of what could be Mica’s playroom, with a woman there holding a tray of steaming cookies. Curled up beneath it is a sleeping troll.
If you approach the troll and it wakes up, it will roar aggressively and posture at you. But if you get too close, it will attack viciously.
If you cast dispel magic on the troll, it will turn into Mica, who will continue roaring at you and behaving like a troll for a few minutes, before blinking and looking down at his body in confusion. Then his eyes will widen and he will break down crying.
If you ask him what happened, he will explain tearfully that Hani’s mum turned him into a troll and he got so hungry he had to take food from the town because no-one recognised him. Not even his own mother!
But as time went on, he began to stop recognizing himself too, like the others. He would forget who he was, like he was dreaming, and wake up to himself less and less. But everything he remembers from the dreams is bad, he’ll say, in tears.
Should you return Mica to his mother and explain what happened, she will be so aghast at what that witch did to her boy that she will take off her rings and hand them to you purposefully, before saying that she is going to do her best to give that awful woman what she deserves, along with the help of the other villagers.
Should you confront Hani’s mother, she will spit that the boy got what he deserved and she hopes it taught him a lesson. Overhearing this, her husband will come to the front of the house, angrily saying what did he just hear, before yelling at his wife that she swore to him she had nothing to do with the troll incident. He’ll then say she promised not to do this again and it’s her blasted fault they have to keep moving to new towns! Then he’ll put his head in his hands and say he wished he’d chosen a better wife, not such a spiteful woman.
Then he’ll look at you and apologize profusely, before heading to the back of the house and returning with a bag of gold. He’ll then ask you give that to Mica’s mother as an apology for what happened. His wife will splutter that the gold is all their savings, but he’ll angrily ask what did she expect would happen, saying what she did is unforgivable and they’re lucky if the town doesn’t run them through with pitchforks tonight! Then he’ll tell his wife and daughter to pack their things and get ready to leave in an hour.
If your players kill the troll, it will polymorph back into Mica’s dead body.
Because Mica was a troll for so long, he began to forget himself and take on more and more of the troll’s qualities. If it had gone on for long enough, he would have truly become a troll.
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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.