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The Blighted Battlefield

nd tier (
(1 day)

The party comes across a large, open field. The ground is blasted and cracked, and grass is dry and brown. The trees gnarled and devoid of leaves, their trunks seemingly split by lightning strikes. It is oddly silent here—there are no birds, no insects, no other signs of life. A pervasive fog hangs over the land, and no amount of breeze seems to displace it. This is a blighted battlefield, corrupted long ago by the death of an ancient evil from beyond the stars.

Corrupt. Upon entering the area, each adventurer must make a Constitution saving throw . On a failure, they suffer one level of corruption. At the end of each short or long rest in the area, each adventurer makes another Constitution saving throw, suffering an additional level of corruption on a failure.

Dousing Light. The bizarre energies of this place cause light sources to be less effective. Torches, lanterns, and spells that provide light have their ranges reduced by half.

Hurry Through. If the party chooses to travel at a fast pace, they may traverse the corrupted area without contracting any additional levels of corruption from environmental factors—at the risk of their own safety. The party’s next combat encounter or exploration challenge has an encounter element (see Table: Encounter Element Challenge Ratings in Chapter 3: Encounter Design of Trials & Treasures) determined by the Narrator.

Well-Informed. A successful Arcana check reveals that the forces necessary to corrupt such a large swath of land would need to be incredibly powerful, and that traces of that power likely still linger. An adventurer who makes a successful History check reveals that this was the site of a mighty battle, and that the history books write of a powerful artifact that was said to be lost here. Parties with this knowledge gain an expertise die on ability checks made against this challenge. Adventurers may decided to seek out the source of this corruption, which may be as straightforward as defeating a night hag guarding a foul magic item or a quest all its own.

What Was That? Strange shapes move through the mists, though they’re only glimpsed out of the corner of the eye. Perception checks made in this area are made at disadvantage .

Possible Solutions

The party must minimize their exposure to the evil that pervades the area. Each adventurer decides for themselves how to best do so as part of a group check.

  • A Nature or Survival check reveals that some areas of the battlefield appear to be more withered and desiccated than others.
  • A Religion check allows an adventurer to properly chant an appropriate hymn or use a divine focus or similar item to ward off the corruption.

Critical Failure. The corruptive energies of this place are overwhelming. While in the area, the party can only travel at a slow pace, and the amount of time it takes them to traverse the area is doubled. While in the region, Constitution saving throws against corruption are made at disadvantage .

Failure. The corruptive energies here are stifling. While in the region, Constitution saving throws against corruption are made at disadvantage .

Success. The group avoids the worst of the foul energies. While in the region, adventurers gain an expertise die on Constitution saving throws against corruption.

Critical Success. The adventurers deftly avoid the bulk of the area’s corruption, and along the way find a less fortunate creature on the battlefield. Roll on the Boons and Discoveries table. Constitution saving throws against corruption are made at advantage while in the region.

Leave it Be

Adventurers may choose to go around the area, though doing so costs an extra 2 days of travel time and they gain no experience from the exploration challenge.