A Question of DigestionPosted by Corwin
A Question of Digestion is a standalone encounter designed for five 7th to 9th-level adventurers. Tanglethorn Forest has been invaded by several hungry bulettes, which are devouring everything in sight and bringing a quick end to the forest’s wildlife. The players must track down the bulettes and put an end to their voracious appetite—all without becoming tonight’s main course.
Spanning countless miles and several countries, Tanglethorn Forest is home to a variety of diverse inhabitants—most of them lethal. The forest’s once inviting paths and groves have been overtaken by corrupt magic and malicious monsters, becoming a breeding ground for all manner of dangerous creatures—carnivorous frogs, drakes, and vicious apes, to name a few. Its dense foliage, fallen trees, and twisting trails provide both protection and a suitable hunting ground for the predators, which have become overabundant. The fragile balance of nature has been upset within Tanglethorn—the monsters are slowly choking the life out of the area, killing the forest and turning the verdant landmark into a grey and brittle wasteland.
Fighting back against the encroachment is a dedicated group of druids, wardens, and treants known as Nature’s Grace. Taking up residence deep within an isolated grove of Tanglethorn, they work to expel the excessive number of monsters from the forest, restoring the balance of nature and bringing life back to the surrounding wilderness. To this end, Nature’s Grace has started experimenting with several magical objects capable of driving off some of the lesser predators—enchanted forcefields, automatons, and controlling some of the sentient plantlife—but the forest’s denizens were not frightened by such things, and refused to flee.
Hoping to prey on the primal fears of the smaller animals, Nature’s Grace created a new magical object called a quakestone—an orb placed in the ground that gives off a subtle, continuous tremor similar to a hunting bulette. At first, the areas around the orbs were quickly vacated, the smaller monsters afraid of what they believed to be a hungry bulette in search of food. Unfortunately, the quakestone was so convincing that it lured several actual bulettes to the forest, and things are worse than ever. The bulettes have been devouring anything and everything in sight, including the quakestones themselves, and are quickly undoing all of the progress made by Nature’s Grace. If something isn’t done soon, Tanglethorn Forest will disappear forever—swallowed whole by its hungry inhabitants.