Reign of Winter
The Talking Stag (CR 4)
The narrow game trail that you have found yourself on winds its way through the trees and undergrowth here; sometimes completely obscuring the the path from sight. Then you notice something in the freshly fallen white snow. Hoofprints, like those left by deer, leading in both directions.
Something then draws your eyes upwards to a small rise along the trail above you. A pure white stag is standing there, graceful and magnificent, its dark eyes turned upon you as you approach.
It speaks in an almost ethereal voice, perhaps not quite what you’d expect from it, but certainly no less wondrous.
Note: The stag is actually the pet of a Atomie named Fawfein, who is invisible and hiding on the stags back, trying to trick the PC’s into revealing more about themselves. Good questions to ask the PC’s:
1. Why are you here?
2. Where did you come from?
3. Are more following?
4. How are they faring against the cold weather and the new dangers in the forest?
While asking the PCs these questions, secretly roll them a Sense Motive check against Fawfein’s bluff roll.
DC 20 Sense Motive (Secret)
There’s something about this… it just doesn’t seem right. You can’t ignore a feeling in the pit of your stomach that this creature isn’t as benevolent as it seems… in fact, you’re not even sure it’s the stag talking at all…
If Fawfein’s Bluff is Called:
“I see… that’s unfortunate. I was so hoping I’d be able to tell my masters about you, but I guess I’ll just have to finish you myself!”
As these words are spoken, a tiny winged man is revealed on the back of the stag. He has large, solid crimson eyes and shimmering dragonfly wings that suddenly begin humming as he lifts himself up into the air, brandishing a tiny rapier at you.
If any of the sprites from before fled to Fawfein, they attack from the trees now.
DC 11 Knowledge: Nature
This little creature is an atomie, a miniscule, but no less dangerous type of fey. They can speak with animals, and have several magical abilities. They are resistant to weapon attacks, except for those made of cold iron. An atomie stands just under a foot tall and weighs 2 pounds.
DC 16 Knowledge: Nature
In lands thick with fey, atomies often serve as border sentries or bodyguards to nymphs, dryads, or other more powerful fey creatures. While atomies prove only passable in their ability to defend such creatures, other fey accept their fealty out of respect and perhaps with a bit of mirth as well. Atomies enjoy their time as honor guards, but often grow bored and leave their posts in search of adventure.
DC 21 Knowledge: Nature
Atomies perceive themselves as larger than they actually are. Like pups standing up to a full-grown cur, atomies never back down from aggression, and take tremendous pride in defeating and humiliating foes larger than themselves. Atomies find great pleasure in shoring up the odds in a fight against larger foes. They make use of their reduce person spell-like ability as an offensive measure, hoping to shock and humiliate humanoid opponents, giving them a chance to make a killing jab. Atomies employ their invisibility spell-like ability to get in close and make sneak attacks before darting back out of reach.
DC 26 Knowledge: Nature
These nimble creatures adore swordplay and practice with their blades endlessly. Atomies often travel their lands seeking adventure tinged with mischief. Sensitive to bullying and oppression, atomies revel in turning the tables on a cruel mayor or tormenting dishonorable mercenary bands. Atomies, enamored with tales of epic duels and the defeat of great evils, sometimes follow adventuring parties and eavesdrop on their nightly tales by the campfire. If a warrior in the group tends to boast of his swordplay, an atomie rarely resists the urge to humble him by sabotaging his equipment or invisibly reducing him and challenging him to a duel.
DC 31 Knowledge: Nature
Atomies get along well with grigs, and it is not uncommon to see the two types of creatures banding together for defense or companionship. Some sages claim the two creatures share a past link, pointing out their similar insectile wings. Anyone questioning an atomie or grig about this theory is greeted with bouts of shrill tiny laughter.
If Stag is Slain Before Fawfein:
At the death of the stag the tiny fey screams in rage, shaking from head to toe in anger and sorrow.
“Tá arrachtaigh! Tá arbanach! Con féidir tú marú a leithéid ain álainn!”
Translation (Sylvan): “You monsters! You fiends! How could you kill such a beautiful beast!”
With wild fervor he pursues you, slashing at you with wild abandon and using every trick that he knows to defeat you!
If the PC’s Fail to Call Out Fawfein
With a now silent bow the stag turns and begins to walk away, before bounding off into the snowy underbrush.
Fawfein will immediately head to warn Izoze and Teb Knotten about the PC’s so they can prepare for their intrusion.
If the PC’s slay Fawfein, award them each 200 XP.