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Faerie Ring

nd tier (
(less than 1 hour)

While traveling down a track crowded on either side by near-impenetrable woodlands, the party comes across a clearing with a mushroom ring of tall and brightly red-capped fungi that blocks their way. Being in sight of the mushroom ring causes strange hallucinations of gnomes peeking around trees, which end when an adventurer steps into the mushroom ring. In addition to ending the hallucination, the adventurer feels extreme peace—and the urge to recite a riddle they have never heard before, which if answered correctly causes a powerful enchantment to spread through the area. 

Investigation. An Investigation check reveals that the hallucinations are harmless.

Lore. An Arcana check determines that this is the work of mischievous fey.

Magical Aura. Observing the mushroom ring while under the effects of detect magic reveals an aura of divination magic.

Possible Solutions
  • The adventurers have three attempts to answer the riddle posed by the faerie ring. Answering correctly on the first try is a critical success, and on the second or third try a success; otherwise a failure is triggered.
  • Alternatively, a group Acrobatics check allows the party to carefully step over all of the many fungi making up the mushroom ring, risking a critical failure, but they gain no experience from the exploration challenge.

Potential Outcomes

Critical Failure: When the mushroom ring is damaged each of the adventurers immediately suffer one level of strife as a sense of dread spreads from it. As they continue on, the hallucinations become just tangible enough to mercilessly tickle them and each adventurer suffers a level of fatigue .

Failure: Going far enough from the ring for the hallucinated gnomes not to follow requires half a day of travel time. 

Success: The area around the mushroom ring is turned into a haven for the next 24 hours.

Critical Success: As a success, and when the party awakens they find a delicious breakfast waiting for them.

Table: Faerie Ring Riddles (d10)

1 I am a stone that flies through the air but has never been thrown, what am I? A roc.

2 What begins in T, ends in T, and has T in it? A teapot.

3 What can you hold in your right hand but never in your left?” Your left hand.

4 What bites deeper than a wolf, yet has no teeth? Blades.

5 What can you catch, but not throw? Diseases.

6 I named myself, I’m well armored, and squid men love to eat me, what am I? A brain.

7 What always murmurs but never talks, always runs but never walks, and has a bed but never sleeps? A river.

8 Why wouldn’t acid burn me if a green dragon used its breath on me? Green dragons breathe poison

9 What comes and goes and always says ‘yes’? The seashore

10 A stupid adventurer is condemned to die. They must choose between three doors. One is full of soldiers with swords, the second one leads into a pit of fire in Hell, and the third is full of owlbears that haven't eaten in three years. Which one is safest?  Room 3—the owlbears haven’t eaten in three years, they’re dead.