As a wilderness adventure, Eye of the Wyvern has a different pace than the Ruined Tower or Wrath of the Minotaur, since the adventure consists of discrete events in the wilderness, rather than rooms in a dungeon. That means a lot of maps detailing various encounter areas, rather than a single dungeon map to explore.
Because of the fact that there are more maps, many of which are generic wilderness maps, wilderness adventures are slightly more work to prepare for Roll 20, as you need to provide battle maps even for generic areas like campsites.
However, they are also less work, because the pace of the adventure dictates that there will be fewer, but tougher, encounters that are spaced out by time, rather than whether or not the PCs enter a room or not. As such, the GM has much more control over how and when the encounters occur, and is able to more fully dictate the pacing of the adventure.
It was great to finally be able to use the map of The Vale as an actual map that tokens were moved on, rather than just a reference of where adventures were taking place. This made making the map of The Vale seem much more useful than just a vanity project for myself as GM.
Turning Back Time
The party of Elanna, Michifer, Thaddeus, and Thordar went to explore the Tomb of Alaxus, the Minotaur Mage, having set off in the morning, starting a three day trek through the mountains. As we saw in their adventures, they would spend two days in the Tomb, before making the three day trek back with all their loot after defeating the Minotaur mage. This means that party would be away for a total of eight days.
So, with that, we returned to the party of Darkblade, Peregrine, Niles, and Sunblayze, that had elected to remain behind in case of trouble, taking time back to when the other party had left. They didn’t have to wait long for an adventure of their own – the following day the Patriarch called for them to attend his office at noon.
The remaining party members dutifully attended, and it turns out that their help was needed once more. Three merchants had returned to Haven from their regular trip to Wyvern Falls, a small farming outpost in the north of the Vale, bringing with them a request for aid from the farmers of the area. The merchants told of how the farmers were being attacked by beasts from the wilderness, and continued attacks put the farmers, their families, and their livestock in danger.
The Patriarch nodded sagely, and gave the heroes their orders. They were to prepare to leave Haven the following morning and head to Wyvern Falls, in order to help the farmers end the menace, and kill whatever beasts were attacking them. Wyvern Falls was three days journey away, along a well known trail through the Vale.
The party were then dismissed, as they seemed not in the mood to ask any questions, instead more focused on their preparations. My players seemed to be getting more used to some of the threats they would face, and thus opted to purchase some additional weapons and armour for their characters. Sian, in particular, decided that Sunblayze the Spellsword was particularly fragile, and thus elected to get her a shortbow and some ring mail for the adventure ahead.
The Journey Begins
Preparations done, the action moved to the following day, where the party were met by the Patriarch just before they departed Haven. The Patriarch wished them luck, and handed them a map of the Vale and a letter of introduction, before seeing them off on the journey to Wyvern Falls.
The fun part of any wilderness adventure has to be camping, as the party starts to establish an order for how they will rest overnight. With this, I bought out a generic campsite battle map I had found. I knew their were to be no encounters in the night, but I wanted my players to think that there might be, so I got them to decide upon guard schedules. Once they were done, I told them that there were no encounters and we returned to the map of the Vale.
During the next day, the party travelled and encountered Murri, a travelling halfling merchant who was also heading to Wyvern Falls. Murri told the party that the farmers had been attacked by poisonous creatures, which Ouro asserted were Wyverns. As such, the farmers had clubbed together to give Murri the funds to purchase some potions of healing and elixirs of health in order to help the farmers deal with the menace. Murri offered to sell these to the party, but the party declined. So, instead, Murri offered to travel with the party to Wyvern Falls.
Attack in the Night
It was getting dark just after their encounter with Murri, so the party and their halfling travelling companion opted to share the campsite that was so well known on the route. The party set their standard guard schedule, and Murri promptly went to sleep, snoring loudly.
That night, there was to be an encounter. Three creatures approached the camp around midnight, just as Darkblade was handing over to Niles and preparing to sleep. Darkblade had just removed his armour when they both heard the approach. Within moments, the three creatures emerged from the bushes and were upon the camp. Combat had started.
Niles bravely rushed to defend the camp. Darkblade emerged, unarmoured, to face the creatures as well, but not before waking Peregrine up with a swift kick to the head. Peregrine rose, and woke Sunblayze up with a swift kick to the head, before beginning to don his armour. Peregrine wore platemail, and thus it would take two turns for the paladin to be ready to fight. Sunblayze likewise donned her armour, but the much lighter ring mail would only take a round to don.
Darkblade and Niles bravely fought the beasts, and soon Sunblayze was ready to lend a hand with her shortbow. The dispatched one on the creatures, but were hard pressed against the other two. Peregrine emerged to turn the tables against the beasts, but not before one of them had managed to land Niles a grievous blow, taking him down and out of the fight.
Luckily, Peregrine was able to use his Lay on Hands ability to save Niles from certain death, and they soon got the unlucky halfling patched up and back on his feet. A nights rest, and further healing from Peregrine saw Niles soon recover some of his fighting strength.
In the morning, Murri was aghast that he had slept through the night’s excitement, and offered the party his healing items at a reduced rate, telling them that the farmers would understand. However, the party declined, and together the party and the travelling halfling merchant finished their journey and reached Wyvern Falls.
Arriving at Wyvern Falls
Whatever the party were expecting at Wyvern Falls, this wasn’t it, as the outpost was little more than a permanent wooden structure where the local farmers could meet up. They were greeted by a young boy called Bobbie, who was posted to await their arrival whilst the adults continued about their work.
Bobbie was mightily impressed with the exploits of these heroes, and Murri was all too eager to explain how he had found these heroes and they had already faced off against some of the beasts when they camped the night before. Wowed, Bobbie immediately raced off to inform his parents that the heroes had arrived, and that a meeting was to be called in Wyvern Falls that evening.
Within hours, farmers started arriving from across the region to attend the meeting at Wyvern Falls. One farmer is identified as Old John, the informal leader of the farmers. Old John calls the meeting to order, informing the attendees that the party is there from Haven to help deal with the creatures attacking their farms.
During the meeting, Old John motions for a steely-eyed old woman called Ferga to speak to the party. Ferga relates how she spotted these beasts coming from the falls nearby that the outpost of Wyvern Falls is named after. That is where the creatures’ lair will be.
Just then Bobbie returns with grave news. The creatures are attacking his farm! Old John looks at the party and states that this is where they start proving their worth as heroes. This seemed like a suitable cliffhanger upon which to end the session…