A Ring of Toadstools
Author(s): Oscar Rios
Artist(s): Gibel Attridge
Setting: Dark Ages
Appears in: Halloween Horror 2.
This scenario can take place almost anywhere in England, Scotland or Ireland, sometime around 960 AD during All Hallow’s Eve (also known as Oiche Samhain or Samhain Night). While the folklore and traditions do vary between these countries they are similar enough that the theme of the scenario are still appropriate. Keepers can set the scenario anywhere they wish although it may require some alteration. For our purposes the scenario takes place in the fictitious town of Sogailraugh.
Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only
Players should not read any further.
Locals in the Village of Sogailraugh, a thin spot between our world and Tir na Nog where the villagers are tormented by the Sidhe (fairies), have invited the investigators to participate in a local Samhain (Halloween) festival. The investigators get caught up in a mystic quest to travel between worlds to save four lives, Sidhe and human, while the Sidhe plot to replace village children with changelings.
Player Handouts: map of village, rumors (the dozens of rumors are not hand-outs, but could be printed/copied and used as hand-outs), fortune-teller's prophecy/quest (not a hand-out, but it's probably a good idea to print/copy it and use it as a hand-out),
Tomes and Artifacts: Four-Leaf Clover (+10% bonus to luck) or fey treasure (gold cup), shower of acorns (permanent +1 INT) or fey treasure (silver sword), enchanted apple (permanent +1 CON) or fey treasure (jeweled crown); wood cup of fey wine (immunity to detrimental aging effects, gained only if investigators give away all other fairy gifts)
Campaigns / Scenarios: (none)
The scenario includes a (computer generated?) map of the Dark Ages village and surrounding countryside, and three or four nice hand-drawn pictures of the village and fairy folk and changelings.
Setting: Dark Ages British Isles
Special Notes: There are virtually no Mythos elements to this adventure by default, and this adventure is almost purely based on folklore. Keepers wishing to tie this in more closely to traditional Call of Cthulhu elements may wish to re-cast the Tir na Nog fairy land as a Dark Ages version of the Dreamlands: it would require very little effort to simply give the descriptions of the fairy folk and their world a Dunsanian Dreamlands flavor (see "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath" for ideas: descriptions of the vivid colors of sky and hills and mountains, the textures of exotic materials, misty cities in the distance, hints of peculiar Dreamlands peoples and creatures in the background, references to Ulthar and other dream locations, etc.)
Dependence on Halloween: Somewhat heavy; the "Halloween" elements could probably be written out of the scenario, but the scenario wouldn't be the same without them: the scenario makes nice, atmospheric and apparently carefully researched use of the Dark Ages folklore of the British Isles and the pre-Halloween version of the holiday, Samhain. The Dark Ages treatment of the holiday has a unique flavor of its own, and fits right in with the mythology and plot of the story, and I think the scenario would feel incomplete without it. Even if you wanted to play all the other scenarios in this Monograph without any Halloween elements in them, I would strongly recommend playing this one with as intended.