GMs, I’ve read a lot of different things about the Feywilds. Do you think spirits there should be immortal and unkillable, as some of the lore suggests–taking time after being “killed” to reform again? Or do you play it some different way, such as only powerful spirits doing this–or none of them? Let me know in the comments below! As always, keep scrolling for the one-shot adventure written for this Feywild Castle Courtyard free TTRPG battlemap! ⬇
Realm of Maddness
A poster in a large city requests the aid of mercenaries for a foray into the realm of fairies. More information can be found at the university of magic, and if you go there you’re halted at the reception until the man who wrote the poster comes down from his apartment for you.
He is an old wizard, with wrinkled skin, long gray hair, and a scraggly gray beard. He looks gaunt, and his blue robes come up a little too short around his ankles. The man cheerily introduces himself as Eskal, and shakes your hand with a bony grip. He invites you to an inn across the street for something to drink and a bite to eat while he explains his proposal.
Once settled at the inn, Eskal explains enthusiastically that he seeks a special artifact from the fae, which was lost a long time ago in the ruins of a palace that is said to have been built by the God of Madness. He says he is searching for it as he needs a suitable gift for a queen who was recently widowed. He admits cheekily that he’s always had a thing for her, and says that now they have even more in common because his own wife Bertha left him…
Anyway, the point is the Queen’s set up a competition. The man who gets her the most wondrous gift will become her next husband, he says with dreamy eyes. Of course, Eskal chuckles, rumor is that she poisoned her last husband–but that’s women for you! He slaps his knee in mirth at this.
He concludes that he’s found the most wondrous gift of them all, one surely any lady will love. It’s a chicken, said to once have been a pet of the God of Madness, but it lays eggs–lots of them! And you’ll never guess what’s inside the eggs! People! Tiny people, who hatch fully grown and clothed–though it is said you can’t understand a thing they say. He’ll need to study it more once he has it. If you help him, not only can you keep anything else you find in the fairy realms, but he’ll pay you in a collection of rare toads from his last project. They’re worth quite a bit, you know, and he can’t be bothered selling them.
Should you haggle for a better deal, he grudgingly concedes that he can throw in a few rubies as well–though he mutters under his breath something about them being slightly cursed. Should you press him on it, he stammers that it only causes a persistent itch on the left ankle, while absentmindedly scratching his own.
If you agree to the job, he whoopees in delight before telling you to wait for him at the reception again tomorrow morning.
When the time comes, he leads you to an overgrown, unkempt graveyard in the city and down a small path inside it. Eventually you arrive at a crossroads, and he tells you to hold his hand before closing his eyes and walking forwards. He leads you through the middle of the crossroads, and suddenly the land around you changes. You are no longer in a graveyard, but a lush jungle–and plants there shimmer bright blues, greens, pinks or purples.
Overgrown by the brightly colored plants are the ruins of a beautiful, yet perplexing castle. Parts of it are normal buildings, with flowering hedgerows which even now keep their shape (as you watch, flowers bud, bloom, and die rapidly)–but other parts of the castle weave in and out of a giant tree which spreads its roots throughout the entire area. Some small rooms even hang like precarious baubles from the higher branches.
Eskal leads you to a courtyard, filled with statues holding blue flames. He takes a pouch from his belt, and opens it; showing you some shimmering purple powder. He explains that you and him need to put the purple powder in all the flames that the statues are holding. The color of the flames indicate which room waits behind the large timber doors, which are built into the tree’s roots at the end of the courtyard.
Each room, he explains, presents a challenge before one can enter. Unfortunately, you seek the castle’s Chicken Room, which means you’ll need to defeat the bane of all chickens–a large, 6-legged fox! It’s also got QUITE the number of tails, but don’t you worry about that, Eskal assures you.
When you go to put the powder in the bowls the statues are holding, the statues come to life and shift away from you, trying their best to hold their bowl out of reach while saying things like “No”, “Nuh-uh”, “Don’t touch me, you filthy plebeian”, and the like. But, as soon as the powder is in the bowls the flame will change to purple and the statues will grow still again with a sigh or grumble.
Once all the flames are purple, a small hole in the center of the courtyard, walled by an overgrown fence, will begin to make rattling noises, as if by some strange mechanical contraption. Slowly a wooden elevator will stop at the top of the hole, locking into place, and on top of it is a fox standing on two back legs, and looking at the other four front “arms”. They have very long claws, and are more reminiscent of a bear’s.
The fox has four eyes, three tails, and long fangs overhanging his jaw. Seeing himself in the light, he sighs in deep resignation. “So, I’m to be a fox now, am I? Very well…”
If you ask him what he means, the fox looks at you uninterestedly and explains in a flat voice that he’s the immortal guardian of this palace, and he is forever destined to take the correct form the challenger must face to get access to the room they seek. Now, if you don’t mind, he’d prefer to get this fight over and done with, so he can go back to oblivion until the next challenger summons him.
He will then lunge at you, doing slashing attacks, biting, and using harsh criticism to demotivate you.
Once defeated, he’ll let out a sigh as his body dissolves into orange butterflies, whispering sardonically “finally”. Then the butterflies will disperse into the sky.
When you enter the room behind the door in the tree’s roots, you’ll find almost everything is made out of pink, sparkling crystal–except for a plump pink velvet cushion, with a white hen sitting on top of it. She is surrounded with cracked white egg shells, and the floor is swarming with tiny people yelling gibberish in high-pitched voices. They stand about three inches high and rush towards you, before beginning to try to climb up your legs.
Eskal will chuckle at the sight of the room, saying isn’t this amazing, before hiking up his robes and walking through the space–uncaring of what he steps on–towards the chicken. The surviving tiny people begin to scream and flee out the door, with their arms up in distress as they disperse into the wilds. If you watch them once outside, a crow will fly down from above and happily eat one of them.
Once Eskal has the chicken on the cushion (you must always keep the cushion, he whispers reverently), he leads you out from the fairy realms again, through finding another crossroads in the wilderness. Once back in the graveyard, he leads you to his quarters in the university and pays you with the toads–which are indeed worth a pretty sum–and also offers the cursed rubies, regardless of if it was agreed upon or not. If you accept them, he sighs in relief once his left ankle stops itching.
He invites you to come with him tomorrow to present the chicken to the Queen, as well. If you agree, he’ll ask you to meet him at the reception again.
Once you do, he emerges dressed in his finest blue robes–which are still a little bit too short for his ankles–with a pointed wizard hat in a matching shade of blue. He has oiled back his hair and his beard glistens… with silver sparkles. There are even sparkles in his eyelashes, and the overpowering smell of some kind of cologne.
He winks at you, saying in his gravelly voice that he’s always known how to impress the ladies.
He is also carrying the chicken, only this time, it’s on a blue pillow. He walks with you and the chicken to the palace, where he requests an audience with the Queen and explains what the chicken is. The guards to the throne room turn red in the face trying to suppress their laughter, but they gesture for you both to go inside anyway.
Once inside, you join a line of others with grievances to bring before the Queen, and on either side of the line are pews partially filled with differing nobility.
After waiting almost the entire day in line, the Queen sees you and Eskal. The queen is a woman in her 30s, with blond hair, rosy cheeks, in a long white lace dress and wearing jewelry which is absolutely dripping with diamonds.
Eskal blushes bright red as he steps forwards, and, stammering, gestures to you as he explains you both traveled into the fairy realm to get this incredible hen. He then places the pillow and hen on the ground, before lifting the hen up. At least five eggs shoot out from behind it as he does so, the chicken clucking loudly, and the eggs crack after rolling about on the floor for a few moments. The small, fully-clothed people pop out of them, then begin running around the floor and examining everything, all the while speaking that strange, high-pitched gibberish to each other.
Though the court begins laughing, the Queen squeals in amazement and clasps her hands together. Then her eyes fall on you, and she breathlessly asks if it was you, the brave mercenary, who fought that terrible fox and acquired this wondrous gift, with the help of that old man?
Eskal will start stammering incoherently while the Queen commandingly clears the court, saying that she wants to be left alone with you–and only you…
All players must be touching each other and one of them touching Eskal to cross over into the fairy realm with him.
The Queen will find the most handsome player in your party the one she wishes to spend alone time with. Note she has a fondness for scarred barbarians, and orcs.
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