BSO Ragnarök 1.25 — Ominous Signs Before the Breach Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of the Deep Dark of Svartalfheim adventure — Ominous Signs Before the Breach! This is the second module provided for the larger BSO Ragnarök campaign. Here, the PCs continue their journey as unlikely heroes in the BSO Ragnarök setting.

To make Ominous Signs… less cumbersome as a blog post, it has been broken into two parts. Part 1 is available here. It deals with major events as the campaign opens. Part 2, below, provides optional quests the players may wish or need to undertake.

I am running Battlestorm Ragnarök as a live campaign. Play is live-streamed on Twitch Saturday Nights about once every three weeks at Ted Burgess’s Twitch page. Afterward, videos of these live games along with character profiles are provided here in the Battlestorm Ragnarök Campaign Archive. In addition, I’m providing walk-throughs of these published modules about once every two weeks every Sunday Night on my Twitch page.

Below is the continuation of our unofficial, unaffiliated Open Gaming License Dungeons and Dragons adventure module Ominous Signs Before the Breach. Enjoy it here for free.

(Warning: if you are a player in the Battlestorm Online Ragnarok campaign setting STOP READING NOW.)


After meeting with the new PC Quest Giver, RubyNight, the players have been alerted to the fact that safe zones in Mio Elysse are shrinking (see The Shrinking Safe Zone Quest below). They may undertake Shrinking Safe Zones before going on to Event 3 (detailed in Part 1). However, if the PCs do not decide to then help Thalia Winterclaw or fail to complete the adventure in Event 3, they cannot unlock future quests. Once the PCs clear Event 3, read the following to them after they complete their first long rest:

Troubled by strange events of recent days — a new star blooming in the sky, rumors of missing persons, and shrinking safe zones — you decided to undertake your first quest. You realized, too clearly, that real people just like you were in danger. Thalia Winterclaw had lost her mother Raven Blackhorn — who mysteriously disappeared. You decided to step up to help. Your newfound heroism vaulted you into an investigation that ended in a dungeon filled with deadly monsters. Thankfully, you survived. Raven is rescued. Thalia is safe, reunited with her beloved mother.

In your adventure, you uncovered terrifying knowledge of new dangers facing all trapped in Battlestorm Online. You’ve learned about the previously hidden dungeon realm of Svartalfheim. A level ruled by despotic Duergar and plotting Dark Elves. You’ve discovered that Yggdrasil’s roots have somehow bridged the shadowed gap between Midgard, where the players reside, and the dark dungeons of Svartalfheim. In the process, this bridge has formed at least one node — an in-between space. The murderous Duergar Flinderflick, his Drow compatriot Benderfleck, and their enslaved goblins used this node as a base for raids into Mio Elysse’s Dim Alley. Last of all, you discovered Deep Shard crystals — a material remnant left when players die near Yggdrasil’s roots. This cursed material can be forged into weapons that enable players from Midgard to venture into Svartalfheim, that allow monsters from Svartalfheim to invade Midgard. Worst of all, a player who possesses Deep Shard for too long can no longer access the life-saving shelter of a safe zone.

Despite your elation at your achievements, you’re left reeling with new questions and an emergent dread. You shuffle off to the Driftglobe for a well-earned rest. Your virtual feet — oddly fatigued. You awake from your fugue at the Driftglobe refreshed, your in-game powers recharged. As your party gathers at the Inn’s tavern, perhaps enjoying one of the game’s many magical and colorful beverages, you receive a new alert from your game menu. It reads: NEW QUESTS AVAILABLE!! MEET WITH QUEST-GIVER RUBYNIGHT TO RECIEVE!! Apparently there is little rest to be had in this virtual death trap.

If the players use their Game Menu to find the location of RubyNight or send her a direct message (DM), they discover they can meet her in the Guild Hall during the day or at Thunder Ale Tavern (see Part 1) during the night. In either case, Ruby is happy to meet them. She conveys her relief that adventurers are finally taking the threats she uncovered seriously. She also expresses deep gratitude for them undertaking the dangerous quest to help Thalia and to free Raven from Duergar bondage. That said, she is mortified when she learns about Deep Shard, Svartalfheim, and the action of Yggrasil’s Roots. In return, RubyNight now has two new Quests to give the players — The Missing Monsters and The Strange Star Quests in addition to the already available Shrinking Safe Zone Quest.

Quest — The Shrinking Safe Zone

The PKer Guild Kill4LULZ has discovered a number of areas in and around Mio Elysse where Safe Zones fail at certain times of day. They are witnessing the effects of Yggrasil’s roots burrowing up through the dark void of the Ginnungagap between Svartalfheim and Midgard, then running just below Mio Elysse’s streets and buildings. Though they don’t know why these pockets of safe zone failures are forming, the Pkers and PvPers are happy to take advantage of safe zone failures to stage ambushes and raids.

Quest Alert

Make a copy of the following green highlighted text to give to the players when they receive this Quest from RubyNight:

Situation: The safe zone in Mio Elysse has developed holes. Each hole is surrounded by a faint, wavering red border. Holes appear at random, last for minutes-to-hours, then disappear. A group of low level PvPers and PKers have started to take advantage of these holes. Lately, they’ve been ambushing newbies sheltering in the safe zone for loot and lulz. Some of these encounters have gotten seriously ugly and resulted in player deaths.

Objective: Stop the PvPers and PKers in Mio Elysse. Capture and confinement in jail is preferred. But lethal force is authorized to prevent player death by pvp.

Objective: If possible, find out what is causing the safe zone to develop these holes.

Reward: 150 gold (50 gold awarded by each of the major guilds).

Initial Investigation — SuperCreep01 attacked by Kills4LULZ in a Failed Safe Zone

RubyNight has received the above information from newbies who’ve approached her to complain about looting and murder by fellow players in Mio Elysse. Her main contact is with SuperCreep01. She is happy to share SuperCreep’s present location with the adventurers. He’s presently hiding out at the Hot Perks Coffee House (see more about Hot Perks in Part 1) after his recent traumatic experiences.

If the players got to Hot Perks and approach SuperCreep01, they find he’s initially shy. A success on a Persuasion skill check (DC 15), will assure him that he PCs mean him no harm. If they mention RubyNight as part of their Persuasion check, they receive advantage on the roll. If they attempt to Intimidate SuperCreep01 into talking, he flees by activating his Teleportation Crystal and going to the Guild Hall. He’ll return to Hot Perks after an hour. But any subsequent attempts at persuasion are at disadvantage no matter what the PCs say. If the players succeed in persuading SuperCreep01 to talk, read the following:

So I’m kinda new at D&D. My friends and I played Fortnight mostly before BSO. But we were really excited when we scored a copy of the Beta. Then it turned into a death trap. We’re all mostly noobs. So we were real cautious venturing out at first. Recently, we started to have successes. We scored some loot from a kobold camp north of here and were coming back to trade it at Roc Talon Traders. There’s this NPC Bishop Jessen who owns the place. He likes to help noobs with good deals. Anyway, while walking in the streets, my team comes up on this red line on the ground. It surrounds some kind of blob of shadow. We think it’s a glitch, but we’re caught in it. Suddenly, we’re all getting warnings that the safe zone’s been shut down. That’s when we’re attacked. From out of the darkness, some players from this guild Kills4LULZ, attacks us. Immediately they drop two in my party to 0 HP and threaten to coupe de grass them unless we give up the loot we just earned. In a panic, we give them the loot. Now, they keep messaging us with various threats if we don’t give them more.

SuperCreep01 is a level 1 Forest Gnome Hunter Ranger who’s still getting his legs as an adventurer and has only undertaken a couple of quests. After scoring some modest loot from a kobold camp in Midgard’s heartlands, SuperCreep01 and his party returned to Mio Elysse for a long rest. They were about to go trade their new loot with the NPC proprietor of Roc Talon Traders — Bishop Jessen — when they accidentally stumbled through a flashing red border. Within the border, the safe zone was shut down and SuperCreep01’s party was ambushed by members of Kills4LULZ. If the players question SuperCreep01 further, they can learn that:

  1. The attack happened at 6 PM (Investigation 15 or direct question about the time the event occurred).
  2. The names of the attackers from Kills4LULZ were 1wikEDrayGER, 0Gold0Healz, and THaSHoCKER.
  3. These Kills4LULZ members have weird weapons made of dark crystal (Deep Shard).
  4. Bishop Jesson says other players have been victimized by Kills4LULZ and recommended SuperCreep01 contact RubyNight.

After uncovering clues by meeting with SuperCreep01, the players learn about the Safe Zone failure near Roc Talon Traders. Here they can question Bishop Jesson to find more clues. They can also investigate the streets near Roc Talon to try to find the failing Safe Zone and possibly

Bishop Jessen and Roc Talon Traders

Bishop Jessen is a middle aged Tiefling Warpriest NPC who famously lost an eye in a battle with a Roc. He retired from adventuring as an AI Beta Tester in Battlestorm to help players by trading gear for reasonable prices. Establishing Roc Talon Traders, he now lives a relatively comfortable AI life in Mio Elysse. He seems extraordinarily sympathetic to the fears of players trapped in the harsh world of Battlestorm Online (Insight 12). He works particularly hard to help noobs. If approached by the players, Bishop immediately expresses his concern:

Indeed, I’ve witnessed horrible player-on-player violence just outside in the streets in front of that cursed old Ramshackle Building. If you’ve just spoken with SuperCreep01, he’s one of the lucky ones. Those red players have killed out there. They’re mining some kind of crystal from the player deaths. But they’re also bullying players into paying them in game loot for not attacking them. A kind of perverse protection racket. It doesn’t help that the size of the safe zone failures are somewhat variable. And it’s not just here. There are other places in Mio Elysse where shadows spring up and safe zones go down. The red players take advantage of it all.

An Insight 15 skill check reveals that Bishop Jessen seems to be genuinely afraid for players venturing out into the streets of Mio Elysse. If asked about his fear, he seems reticent to elaborate. A Persuasion 15 check made by a comforting PC assures Bishop enough to continue:

I was once a Beta tester adventurer. As an NPC, death is not supposed to be a possibility. But for those of us who were testers, well, we modeled players. Including death. After my brush with the Roc, I lost my eye and my will to continue to risk everything. I hid here from the moderators. Now I help those I can. The Pkers… what is wrong with them? Why do they do such terrible things?

After Bishop reveals his previous status as an AI Beta Tester, have the PCs make a party Insight check. If more PCs roll above a 15 than below a 15, tell them that Bishop has developed a phobia. He is desperately afraid of dying. His fear is clearly sympathetic and he’s motivated to do all he can outside of combat to save players and other AIs from actual death. However, the PCs now know that he will flee from combat.

Roc Talon Traders Interior Map. Image source: Inkarnate.

Bishop knows the safe zone fails at around 6 PM each day. At that time, the Ramshackle Building (see below) seems to pulse with darkness. This darkness spreads out into the streets. When this happens, Bishop hides behind his counter, peaking out fearfully to observe any tragedy. He is happy to tell the players when the ambushes occur and to point them toward the Ramshackle Building and its general area of safe zone failure. He does not, however, venture out of his shop for any reason.

In Front of The Ramshackle Building

Venturing out into the street outside Roc Talon Traders, the PCs can now clearly see an old, ugly Ramshackle Building. For some reason, they didn’t notice it before. But after Bishop Jessen mentions it, what was only a blurry and plain street front before now resolves into a dark and horrific façade.

Dark water-stained wood, rotting planks, and peeling gilding cover an old Ramshackle Building facing the streets of Mio Elysse. An opening blocked only by a swinging door gapes like a mouth onto a covered front porch. Shadows spill from windows. Inside, an inky darkness devours all light. Tendrils of this darkness seem to reach out toward unwitting passersby. Suddenly noticing its startling appearance, you’re surprised you walked by this building before — oblivious to its horrific appearance.

The Ramshackle Building is an in-game quest object that can only be noticed if the players unlock it by speaking with Bishop Jessen. Once they do, they are free to investigate it and the nearby street. They may uncover the following clues:

  1. The cobble stones of the street in front of the Ramshackle Building are slightly deformed. An Investigation or Perception check (15) discovers this deformity. An Investigation or Perception check (18) discovers that a Yggdrasil root is just beneath the street.
  2. PCs cannot yet enter the Ramshackle Building. If they attempt to do so, the following alert message appears in their displays: YOU MUST BE LEVEL 2 TO UNLOCK RAMSHACKLE BUILDING. They can, however, venture onto the porch or climb up onto the rooftop balcony.
  3. A pocket of shadow occupies the space beneath the porch. Inside is a Deep Shard where a PC was killed by an AOE after going there to hide. Kill4LULZ never found this player death remnant. A player searching the underside of the porch and rolling a 15 on a Perception or Investigation can discovered the Deep Shard object.

Ambushing the Ambushers — Confronting Kill4LULZ

Regardless of what other actions the players take, nothing else can be discovered until 6:00 PM game time. At that point, a shroud of darkness envelops the porch, the balcony and the nearby street.

Ramshackle Building Battle Map. Made with Inkarnate.

This shroud extends for approximately 60 feet in front of the Ramshackle Building and is indicated on the map provided below. The darkness reduces light by one level in its zone. Because it is evening, all areas except for those within 10 feet of a light source are considered to be dark. Darkvision can pierce this magical darkness. A light spell’s area of bright light is instead considered to be dim light. Anyone in this area or entering it on a turn receives the following alert in their head’s up display: WARNING LEAVING SAFE ZONE!!

At the same time, 1wikEDrayGER, 0Gold0Healz, and THaSHoCKER emerge from the Ramshackle Building (see Appendix for game statistics).

1wikEDrayGER, a level 2 Half Orc Barbarian, walks out of the front gate. He is carrying a serrated greatsword made of Deep Shard that he’s named Death Blade (a minor Deep Shard weapon). He is plainly visible to anyone with darkvision. He immediately activates his rage and attacks any PC he can see with abandon. He shouts phrases like “hahaha! You’re goin’ down noob!” or “face stabbed by the Death Blade!”

As 1wikEDrayGER advances to attack PCs, 0Gold0Healz, a level 2 Dwarf Order Domain Cleric, jumps out of the window and down onto the porch to provide support. He immediately activates Order’s Demand to attempt to get any PCs within 30 feet to drop their weapons. He uses Healing Word to keep 1wikEDrayGER on his feet and to give him extra attacks. 0Gold0Healz wields a Deep Shard Morning Star (a minor Deep Shard weapon) which he uses to attack in melee to back up 1wikEDrayGER.

THaSHoCKER exits onto The Ramshackle Building’s porch to lob destruction down onto the street below. A level 2 Half Elf Storm Sorcerer, THaSHoCKER uses Thunderwave to blast nearby clusters of foes. If the PCs are far away, he lobs magic missiles at them instead. He tries to stay on his balcony and well away from combat. If faced with melee, he uses Shocking Grasp or his Storm Sorcerer Tempestuous Magic ability to fleet.

If the PCs go down easy, these three members of Kill4LULZ will try to extort them of loot. If they put up a decent fight, they’ll try to kill them instead. 1wikEDrayGER will fight to the death. 0Gold0Healz and THaSHoCKER try to flee back into The Ramshackle Building if the fight goes against them.

Treasure: Players cannot loot other players. However, Bishop is so relieved that he gives them a magic item as a gift from his shop. The players can choose one of the following — a Stone of Good Luck, Boots of Elvenkind, a quiver with 20 +1 arrows.

Special hidden end quest award: In addition, Bishop grants the players a 10 percent discount off of one item available in the Player’s Handbook from Roc Talon Traders if they’ve defeated 1wikEDrayGER, 0Gold0Healz, and THaSHoCKER. If they’ve apprehended any of these ambushers from Kill4LULZ, this discount increases to 15 percent.

Follow-on Events: If the players capture any members of Kills4LULZ, RubyNight works with Abigail Barnwallow to establish a make-shift jail in the basement of Thunder Ale Tavern. Abigail uses one of three empty store rooms to confine members of the Pker Guild. Initially, these Pkers are unwilling to talk and the players can’t glean any more information. That said, if 1wikEDrayGER has been captured, he gives the following threat repeatedly while laughing maniacally — “You’re all finished! There’s no game win! Just killers and dead! You’ll see!”

Unlocked level 2 Quest: Those completing this Quest unlock a new quest once they reach level 2. This Quest is — The Ramshackle Building. When the players complete this Quest, they receive an alert: QUEST GOAL ACHIEVED! NEW QUEST TO UNLOCK AT LEVEL 2!!

Quest — The Missing Monsters

Essential reading for Game Masters: In this Quest, players uncover clues hinting at the nature of the new trouble that plagues them, Midgard, and all those trapped in BSO. The Quest text also provides the Game Master with essential background for the larger arc of Battlestorm Ragnarok’s campaign. Regardless of whether the players undertake this quest, this background material is necessary to understand key story elements of this campaign.

Yggdrasil’s Roots Grow — Bridges to Disaster

Yggdrasil’s trunk springs up through the layers of Valhalla. Adventurers who cleared the dungeon at its base, defeating the mighty boss Drakefang, have opened a new realm in Valhalla — Alfheim. If they clear Alfheim, its boss and the bosses in the three layers above it, they will win the game.

Unbeknownst to these front-line adventurers, when they defeated Drakefang, they also triggered a game event. A disaster that threatens all residing in the virtual world of Battlestorm Online. Hidden below Yggdrasil, great roots plunge into the void beneath. This void is the Ginnungagap — the dark substance from which the world was created. Drifting within Ginnungagap are the detached worlds of Svartalfheim, Hel, Jotunheim, and Muspell. When Drakefang was defeated, Yggdrasil’s roots, which are always growing outward through Ginnungagap, began to entangle Svartalfheim. These roots created a bridge between this dark, dungeon realm and Midgard. The bridge is yet weak. But its strength grows.

Live play of Shrinking Safe Zones and Missing Monsters

As Yggdrasil’s roots touched Svartalfheim, they also expanded through the earth of Midgard. They rippled out to touch the surface within 1,000 feet of Yggdrasil. They reached through all of Midgard. They grew up beneath the Home Towns — seeking these zones of safety as a normal tree root might seek water. Yggdrasil’s roots brought with them the dark influence of the void realm — Ginnungagap. Where the roots appeared, shadows formed and deepened. Any players who died in the shadow were transformed into Deep Shard — a substance of void formed by player death.

Shadow now shrouds the lands close to Yggdrasil. Players who die there leave their Deep Shard remains. A game material that weakens safe zones even as it opens Midgard to invasion by monsters from Svartalfheim. Last of all, the roots and the shadows they spread have unmoored various monsters from their spawn points. The spawn points are now empty. Their monsters are missing. Missing, but not gone. These monsters now rove freely across Midgard. Some of them are gathering in great numbers in Midgard’s wilds. A new threat those living in Midgard aren’t yet aware of. Players undertaking this quest may uncover this new threat.

Quest Alert

Make a copy of the following green highlighted text to give to the players when they receive this Quest from RubyNight:

Situation: Monsters have been observed migrating away from spawn-sites near Yggdrasil. The major guilds — Stella Requiem, FatSharkYes, and Momento Mori — want to know why.

Objective: Track monsters leaving respawn-site.

Objective: Find out where the monsters are going and, if possible, why they are leaving the respawn-site.

Reward: Pick of 1 uncommon item from the three guilds’ spare inventory lists.

Reward: 300 gold (50 from each requesting guild, 150 provided as a Quest Reward by the game).

Snooping in the Shadows of Hobgoblin Hill

When the players undertake this quest, the receive a new alert from RubyNight. The alert reads:

Here is a map showing the empty spawn point. The major guilds are asking you to provide reconnaissance, to learn what has happened to the monsters, and to follow any clues where they may lead. Please take care! The environment around Yggdrasil has grown dangerous. Shadows spread and large bands of monsters have been sighted. I have provided you with a map of the empty spawn location. Use it as a navigation aid and reference point.

Hand the players the Player Quest Map provided below. A Game Master Map is also provided for your reference.

Yggdrasil Player Map. Made with Inkarnate.

The players’ journey to the empty monster spawn sight occurs without incident. As they approach Yggdrasil, shadows lengthen, mists gather in the lowlands, a chill seems to hang in the air. Lighting is reduced by one level. Daylight is merely bright light. Night is impenetrable darkness that shrinks light spells and torches to pools of dim light. Darkvision can pierce this darkness. Read the following:

Shadows lay thick and deep over the area surrounding this empty monster spawn site. Lands rise to a bald hill encircled by trees. At its crown is a ruined fort. Within the ruins, hobgoblins are known to spawn. In the past, these hobgoblins became a war-band numbering about 10-16 and attacked any adventurers approaching their hill. This spawn site was well-known among adventurers as an excellent training location with decent, low level, treasure and item drops. Called Hobgoblin Hill, the place is now eerily empty.

Players searching Hobgoblin Hill may uncover the following clues:

  1. A Survival Skill Check (DC 12) reveals numerous tracks at the hilltop.
  2. These tracks were made by Hobgoblins (Survival 15).
  3. The tracks seem to mill about on the hill and around the ruins, then head off toward the south and east (Survival DC 17).
  4. A Perception Skill Check (DC 12) reveals a large mass of Yggdrasil roots within the ruins.
  5. A Perception Skill Check (DC 20) reveals a Deep Shard hidden in the trees surrounding the hill.
  6. Ravens roost in the ruins. Their mocking chatter follows any adventurers who enter the ruins. When the adventurers leave the ruins, the ravens follow them at a distance.
  7. A Survival Skill Check (DC 18) made at the location of the ruins reveals that Hobgoblins are still spawning here. They seem to linger for a few hours before moving off.
  8. If Yggdrasil’s roots are discovered, an Arcana Skill Check (DC 17) reveals that the influence of these roots has disrupted the spawn site anchor which would typically keep monsters from moving too far away from their spawn site.
  9. If the shadows around the spawn site are examined, a Religion Skill Check (DC 17) reveals that they are made of the substance of the void surrounding Valhalla which is the Ginnungagap.
Hobgoblin Hill Battle Map. Made with Inkarnate.

A group of 3 Shadows lurks in the trees surrounding the Hill. They hide in the darkness provided by Yggdrasil’s roots, waiting for an opportunity to attack the party. So long as they stay on the ground and within a square covered in shadow, they are protected from the debilitating effects of sunlight by this darkness.

If the players find the Hobgoblin’s tracks, they may follow them. Once they discover the tracks, it requires a Survival Check (DC 15) to stay on their trail.

If the players linger at the spawn site for two hours, a group of 4 Hobgoblins spawns. If more than half the party succeeds in a DC 10 Stealth Check, they may hide from the Hobgoblins in the trees. If left unmolested, the Hobgoblins stick to the ruins for about an hour, then venture off to the southwest. They take the same path that other Hobgoblins previously followed.

Yggdrasil Game Master Map with Hobgoblin tracks to Goblin Town. Made with

The Hobgoblins are journeying to Goblin Town — a gathering place for various monsters who’ve been unmoored from their spawn locations by the influence of Yggdrasil’s roots. These monsters are now commanded by a Drow Warlord named Grimbark.

Treasure: If slain, each group of four Hobgoblins drops 1 gold, 5 silver, and 8 copper. Their equipment can be sold at half price.

Tricky Respawn: If the first group of Hobgoblins is killed near Hobgoblin Hill, another group spawns within two hours. This group is twice the size of the first group — numbering 8 Hobgoblins. In addition, 3 more Shadows emerge from the darkness of Yggdrasil’s roots. The Shadows wait for an opportunity to ambush the party, possibly while they are engaged with the Hobgoblins. The Hobgoblins will wait at a high state of alertness on the hill for 2 more hours. When another four Hobgoblins emerge, they are at last confident enough to begin the journey to Goblin town.

Finding Goblin Town

Players who follow the Hobgoblin tracks (DC 15 Survival) find them winding down into a valley to the east of Yggdrasil. The valley forms a canyon in which a small river emerges from a cliff face. The river spills out of a cave mouth. Two towers made of chopped wood from felled trees guard the cave. Before the players reach the cave, they are confronted by a goblin patrol. In the patrol are six Goblins. The players may avoid the goblin patrol if more than half the party succeeds on a DC 9 Stealth Check. If the players defeat the goblin patrol or evade detection, they may approach Goblin Town and observe it from a distance.

Treasure from Goblin Encounter: If the players slay the six Goblins, they gain 8 silver, 12 copper and the Goblin’s gear as loot. The Goblin gear is ill-sized and in bad repair. Players can, however, sell this gear for 25 percent of its normal value at a market in a Home Town.

Goblin Town Battle Map. Made with Inkarnate.

The Hobgoblins’ tracks continue along the river bank. Up ahead, is a clearing. In it, you can see the river spilling out of an open cave mouth. The cave is guarded by two tooth-shaped towers. Each is filled with goblins. A palisade guards the mouth. Hobgoblins and goblins enter a gate leading through this wall and into the cave. Firelight, shouts and howls echo up out of the cave. From the sound there are scores, perhaps hundreds of monsters inside. You’ve found where the monsters from the empty spawn site are going. They’ve gathered in this cave. Even worse, they seem to have met with other groups of monsters. Left unchecked, you know this Goblin Town will become a threat to all who venture near Yggdrasil.

As the players observe Goblin Town, it becomes clear that it would be extraordinarily dangerous for them to assault this place unprepared. To approach undetected requires a party Stealth check with a DC 22. The Hobgoblins have hacked down all the nearby brush and posted watches on the towers, the walls, and on the cliff. Regardless, if the players begin to approach Goblin Town, the Ravens from the ruins let out a loud ruckus, revealing their location. At which point, a force of 20 Goblins and 10 Hobgoblins led by 1 Goblin Boss issues from Goblin Town to hunt the players down. If the players flee, they may evade the Goblins and Hobgoblins by making a party Stealth Check (DC 12). The ravens do not bother them again unless they approach Goblin Town.

When the players discover Goblin Town, they receive the following alert: MISSING MONSTERS QUEST GOAL ACHIEVED! NEW QUEST TO UNLOCK AT LEVEL 2!!

Magic Item Quest Reward: When the players return and report their findings to RubyNight, they receive the following quest reward so long as they’ve discovered Goblin Town. If they’ve learned that Yggdrasil’s roots passing through the Ginnungagap are the cause of monsters being able to wander freely across Midgard, players may instead choose two magic items rather than one. Available Items: Wand of the War Mage +1 (requires the verbal component “Sizzlesplat!” to use as an arcane focus), Gem of Brightness (A player possessing this gem glows. They are at disadvantage on stealth checks, but areas within five feet are covered in dim light), Wand of Entangle, Amulet of the Devout +1 (Makes the sound of a loud tolling bell when used as a divine focus to cast a spell), Ring of Water Walking, Longsword of Warning (Shouts “Danger! Danger!” if enemies try to surprise the players), Medallion of Thoughts, Slippers of Spider Climbing (leaves a trail of cobwebs when used to walk on walls or ceilings), +1 Chain Mail (Special, allows wearer to cast Detect Magic x1 per day).

Quest — Prophecy of the Strange Star

The ancient hag Astrid has wandered the frozen lands south and east of Nidavellir spouting a prose Edda prophecy of events surrounding the Strange Star’s arrival for the past two weeks. Before the star arrived, players considered her only to be an odd element of the Battlestorm Online environment. However, since the star’s arrival, Astrid’s prophecies have risen to the attention of the player/quest giver RubyNight. Ruby thinks Astrid’s prophecy may be related to recent events. She asks the players to travel to Lake Rune Mirror and to find Astrid wandering there. She wants them to do what they can to decipher Astrid’s prophecy and to glean if there is any truth to it.

Quest Alert

Make a copy of the following green highlighted text to give to the players when they receive this Quest from RubyNight:

Situation: A strange star has come to light the Midgard night sky. The star looks like an open blue eye. This star rises in the middle afternoon and is visible even in daylight. It shines as brightly as a small moon or comet at night, casting shadows in the darker areas until it sets hours before dawn.

Objective: An old hag has appeared in the frozen lands near Nidavellir. Each day when the star rises, the hag spouts garbled prophecy about the strange star. Seek out the hag and decipher her riddles.

Objective: Find out the nature of the strange star and discover its meaning.

Reward: 200 XP

Seeking Astrid

When the players undertake this quest, they receive a new alert from RubyNight. The alert reads:

Thank goodness! Someone is finally heading off to speak with Astrid! You can find her on the shores of Lake Rune Mirror to the east of Nidavellir. Be careful! A pair of dangerous Winter Wolves — Skoll and Hati — prowl the path to its shores. But you can find safety in Astrid’s Hut. The Hut’s location is now marked on your player map. I’ve heard that Astrid can be a bit… eccentric. Do your best to humor her if you think it’ll help you learn more about the star and the new dangers confronting us. Good luck!

The players can use their Teleportation Crystals to teleport to Nidavellir. From there, it is only a short journey to Lake Rune Mirror. Snow covers the mountainous lands surrounding the dwarven stronghold. But a well-worn mountain pass has long-since been cleared of monsters by diligent adventurers. The players may journey down this pass, then enter the Winter Wood to the west of Lake Rune Mirror. Players do not encounter difficulty until they come to the Winter Wood. At this point, they must avoid being hunted down by Skoll and Hati.

Wolves Haunting the Winter Wood

Two Winter Wolves Skoll and Hati terrorize travelers through the Winter Wood. Though they are sometimes slain by adventurers, they always respawn — Skoll with the rising sun and Hati with the rising moon. Unlike other monsters, they’ve managed to learn much through each death and battle. They each now have maximum hit points (120), an Armor Class of 15, and their Breath Weapons recharge on a 4-6 rather than a 5-6. They have also learned how to use magic items by devouring them. Presently, Skoll has devoured a Ring of Fire Resistance. Hati has devoured Boots of Striding and Springing, giving her the ability to make extraordinary leaps.

Nidavellir, Winter Wood, Lake Rune Mirror and Astrid’s Hut. Made with Inkarnate.

Skoll and Hati are dreadful foes for first level adventurers. It is highly unlikely that your players can defeat them. If Skoll and Hati are defeated by the party, they gain fame in Nidavellir. In addition, the wolves drop their magic items as treasure when they perish. To impress upon your players how dangerous Skoll and Hati are, read the following:

As you leave the road, the Winter Wood spreads out before you. It is a place made infamous by the two Winter Wolves — Skoll and Hati — who prowl these woods. They’ve slain many adventurers here and are said to revel in terrorizing prey. Even worse, as the game continued, the wolves have grown in both skill and power, learning from each victory and defeat. For they are immortal monsters that respawn the next day after being slain by adventurers. Ruby has advised that you avoid the deadly Wolves and seek safety with Astrid who seems to have a calming influence on them.

Most parties will choose to engage in a skill challenge to avoid the Winter Wolves while making their way to Astrid’s Hut (see map above).

Hunted by Skoll and Hati

If the players attempt to avoid Skoll and Hati, a dangerous skill challenge ensues. Both Winter Wolves know the land well and seem to have a supernatural awareness of their surroundings. It takes more than three hours for the players to cross the Winter Wood. When starting this challenge, set the counter at hour 1. Then, after each skill roll, move the hour counter ahead by 1. When the counter reaches hour 4, the players come to Astrid’s Hut if they’ve succeeded in at least one skill challenge. If not, they are faced with Skoll and Hati (see tricking the wolves below). For each hour, to avoid detection, the players must succeed in a DC 20 party Stealth Check.

If more than half the players fail a stealth check, they are hunted as Skoll and Hati are alerted to their presence. Read the following:

The Winter Wood erupts in howls. The eerie noise echoes off hillsides and nearby mountains. Its sound is enough to freeze your blood. Skoll and Hati are now on your trail!

While they’re hunted the players may try to make a DC 20 party Survival or a DC 20 Deception check. If the party succeeds, they have shaken Skoll and Hati off their trail and return to making Stealth Checks. Move the hour counter ahead by 1.

If more than half the players fail their Survival or Deception checks to shake off Skoll and Hati, they are now in a foot race with wolves hot on their tracks. To beat Skoll and Hati in the foot race for one hour, each party member must succeed in a DC 13 Constitution Ability Check. If a player fails, they start to fall behind. Another player can assist the player who failed by making another Constitution Check at a 16 DC. If the assisting player succeeds, they both catch up. If the assisting player fails, they both fall behind. A player can receive assistance only once. An assisting player cannot receive assistance from another player in this way.

Cornered by Wolves!

If one or more players fails to outrun the wolves, then they are caught. Read the following:

At last, you are cornered. Two large Winter Wolves approach. One is jet black, the other is bright as the winter sun. Their slavering jaws unhinge. Then, one turns to the other and says. “Skoll, what think you? Perhaps we are not so hungry. I think if this food can tell us a good tale, then we will let it go?” The light colored wolf turns to the dark colored one. “Hati, you read my thoughts as well as ever. Yes. Perhaps a good tale will suffice. But if the tale is not good, I may want my food anyway.” Hati, the dark colored wolf, grins. “Then we shall have them lay across our jaws. If the tale is good, we shall let them escape. If not, then we shall have dinner!”

Live Play of Astrid’s Prophecy

The wolves, of course, are toying with their prey (Insight 13 determines that the wolves are lying and still intend to eat their prey). If the players agree, then they will get a good story with their meal. If not, then they will have to kill them in a fight. However, the wolves are not as clever as they think (Insight 15 — active or passive — reveals that there may still be a way out if the players delay long enough by agreeing to tell the wolves a story). Both wolves are tired after the long hunt. If the players agree to lay within their jaws and tell the wolves a decent story, there is still a way to escape. If one player succeeds on a DC 13 Performance Check they may tell a story entertaining enough to catch the wolves attention. If one player fails, another player may try to pick up the story’s thread to improve it with a DC 15 Performance Check. If both of these checks fail, the wolves decide to eat the players immediately. If the wolves are entertained and the story continues, any player with a passive Insight of 10 or higher will notice that the wolves are starting to grow drowsy. The story-telling player then need only succeed in a DC 10 Deception Check to lull the wolves to sleep with their tale. If this check fails, the player needs to again entertain the wolves by making a DC 13 Performance check. If that check fails, the wolves decide to eat the players. If it succeeds, the wolves again grow drowsy and the story telling player may try to lull them to sleep again. Failing a second time results in the wolves eating the players as their bellies grumble from hunger. If the wolves are asleep, the players may then sneak off after making a DC 10 Athletics or Acrobatics check to wriggle out of the wolves’ jaws. Failure of this check by 5 or more results in waking the wolves up and the wolves deciding to eat the party members. A regular failure means the player is still caught, but may try again to wriggle free.

If the players manage to pull off this last ditch escape, they come at last to Astrid’s Hut.

Astrid’s Hut

When the players arrive at Astrid’s Hut they are greeted by a wizened and yet hansom elderly woman. Astrid is a Valkyrie (Planetar statistics) who takes the form of an old woman. The Bullywug near her Hut have fallen under her influence and their alignment has shifted to Nuetral Good. Read the following description:

A small hut appears before you, its lights winking in the darkness like little beacons. Your hurried feet crunch up to its porch as howls from Skoll and Hati echo nearby. Covered in snow, the hut nestles on the shores of a flat, frozen lake. The ice on the lake forms a pane like that of a mirror, perfectly reflecting the sky above. Sun has long since set. The stars above light the sky with their ethereal sparks and glimmers. Hanging in the eastern sky, the strange star glows bluely, its eye-shape back-lighting odd clouds floating in the stellar void surrounding Midgard. As you approach, the front door slams open and out bursts an elderly lady. She springs with surprising spryness toward you. Under one arm is a large, steaming side of beef. She places this beef on a stone slab just outside the Hut, then turns toward you. “That’s for Skoll and Hati. They won’t bother you any more. They always grow tired after a good meal. As for you, I have stew! Come in! Warm yourselves at my fire!”

Astrid welcomes the players, tries to feed them, hands them woven blankets to wrap themselves up in, and allows them to rest. Spending one hour in Astrid’s Hut while wrapped in one of her blankets grants a long rest in game. Eating any of Astrid’s stew grants the benefits of a Short Rest and removes one Diseased, Blinded, Poisoned or Ability Damage related condition. Astrid is friendly to the players while they rest, but won’t speak about the Prophecy until each player has at least tried some of her stew. Once she’s satisfied that the players are cared for, she will speak to them.

Indeed, as Odin saw the Runes reflected while hanging upside down from Yggdrasil, so too have I pierced the Strange Star’s mystery. I can tell you the tale now. But to fully know it, your mind must be opened. And to do that, you’ll need the help of the Blue Bullywugs. They live on the shores of this lake — frolicking and cavorting through the summer. But as the chill winds begin to blow from out of Nidavellir and the Winter Wood, they begin to tire. So, they return to their muddy rest in the shallows. You can find them slumbering there even now, not far from my hut. If you go and lick their skin — just the blue ones — it will prepare your mind for the Prophecy. Go! Do this! Return fast enough and I will tell you the tale of Ragnarok and of the Eye in the Void!”

Venturing outside into the chill night once more, the players find that the beef has already been quietly taken from the slab. Though that is the only sign the players see of Skoll and Hati. The night is still and silent. If the players venture to the lake shore, they find a small dock from which they can easily look into the shallows.

Bullywug Licking and Ritual Combat

At the lake shore and on the docks, the players find scores of bullywugs huddled in their muddy beds, sleeping peacefully beneath the brilliant night sky. The frozen lake surface looks like a mirror from a distance. Closer, it is more like a pane of glass. Bullywugs are either green, yellow, red or blue. Each player can easily find a blue Bullywug by looking through the frozen lake surface.

Once each player has found a blue Bullywug, they must break the ice, lift the Bullywug out of the water, then lick it. Doing so requires characters to succeed in a DC 15 Athletics check. Failure means the player may try again. Failure by 5 or more means a Bullywug has woken up and the player must either succeed on an opposed grapple check with the Bullywug to pull it out of the water or move on to another Blue Bullywug. Regardless, once a Bullywug is licked, it gives a delighted “ribbit!” and wakes up.

These Bullywug are well acquainted with the licking ceremony and do their best to ensure those licking them are worthy of their gift of special sight. Once awakened, each Bullywug spends one round waking up another Bullywug. On the subsequent round, the newly awoken Bullywug wakes another of its fellows. This continues until there are at least 6 awake Bullywugs. At which point the Bullywugs begin to try to beat the players into unconsciousness as they break out in a raucous frog song. Picking up two clubs, they each toss one to a player, then begin to whale on the players with their own clubs.

Licking Bullywugs Battlemap. Made With Inkarnate.

Players with a passive Insight of 10 or more immediately realize the Bullywugs think this is all some strange game and don’t intend to do them lethal harm. If the players pick up the clubs, they may use either Strength or Dexterity while attacking with them. The players are considered proficient with the clubs which are specially magicked to only do 1d4 + ability mod non-lethal damage. The Bullywugs are quite nimble with their clubs and can make two attacks each round. If the players draw actual weapons or employ lethal force of any kind, the Bullwugs flee and their magic fails. Astrid then asks the players to leave. At which point, they may then again be hunted by Skoll and Hati as their Teleportation Crystals shut down for another four hours. If the players accept the clubs and only use magic to incapacitate rather than harm the Bullywugs, then the ritual battle is joined.

If the players render 6 Bullywugs incapacitated, the Bullywugs cheer. They each lay a crown made of dried lake grasses on the players’ heads and give a loud chorus of ribbits as they escort them to Astrid’s Hut. If the Bullywugs defeat the players, they shuffle back to the lake, giving an occasional disconcerted ribbit. If the players fail the first mock battle, they can try again the next night. If they fail a second time, they cannot try again until they reach level 2.

The Prophecy

As the players return to Astrid’s Hut, the wizened old lady beams at them. If they have failed in their test by the Bullywugs, she consoles them and offers to host them for another try tomorrow night. If they’ve passed the Bullywugs’ test, she guides them to sit down by the fire. Then, she begins to sing softly.

Something in the Bullywugs’ skin causes your senses to swoon. You know it’s just a part of the game. But why does it feel so real? The Hut’s walls bend and heave. Then, the individual beams seem to leap up, flying into the sky. All around you is the night sky. Clouds in the void swirl, seeming to open like a great pair of jaws. Within the jaws, the blue eye stares down. Astrid’s song, incomprehensible before, rises loud in your ears.

She then chants her prophecy. It is Odin’s Revelation of Ragnarok:

Whither is Odin’s Eye Hidden?

Sacrificed to take divine wisdom?

In bowels of night,

To plumb the void,

In Ginnungagap,


Surtur’s realm of fire and destruction.


Ever Yggdrasil’s roots do grow,

Crossing void,

Reaching out to four worlds,

The roots are deadly bridges.

Each world they reach a doom.

The poisons of Svartalfheim boil.

Dead clamor to rise from Hel.

Jutenhiem brings the Fimbul Winter,

When brother will turn against brother.

Muspell is the last tolling of the bell,

Surtur’s giants march,

Under a meteor-fall in fire.

When shall the jaws of Fenrir close?

Around the Eye of Odin?

Devouring all the sky?

Moon and stars in utter darkness?

Just before the serpent rises,

Devours Svartalfheim to belch forth its poisons,

One thousandfold.

Will all in Valhalla perish?

Choking, burning, freezing?

Only fodder to fill the ranks of Hel?

Is all Valhalla empty?

Are her heroes perished?

Is even Thor defeated?

Whither was Odin’s Eye hidden?

Sacrificed to gain divine wisdom.

It opens to night,

At first doom’s coming.

Piecing Ginnungagap,

Beholding Muspell,

Even as Fenrir’s jaws slaver.

Odin gave his eye,

Cast it into Lake Mímisbrunnr,

Through waters it opened upon the void,

Granting divine revelation,

So others might see Ragnarok’s coming.

Give the above poetic Edda to your characters and allow them to puzzle over its meaning. After chanting the song to them, Astrid falls silent. Her Hut reforms before their vision. The coals are dark. It is morning. Astrid is departed. Her hut is empty. Cold. Her food and blankets are gone.

If the players have witnessed Odin’s Revelation of Ragnarök, they receive the following message: PROPHECY OF THE STRANGE STAR QUEST COMPLETED!!

Quest Experience Reward: This quest contains numerous skill challenges and one mock combat. If the players evade Skoll and Hati, they gain 300 experience points. If they defeat the six Bullywugs in ritual combat, they gain another 300 experience points. In addition, they receive the quest reward of 200 experience points.

Astrid’s Boon: If the players heard Astrid chant her prophecy, they each gain a Charm of Heroism.

Next Steps: Astrid’s Prophecy provides contextual clues about the disasters that are now starting to befall the realms of Battlestorm Online. However, the players are left to their own perceptions, imaginings, and analytical skills to determine what the prophecy might mean. Unlike other game events, NPCs and OPCs are befuddled and offer little help. Likewise, Arcana, Religion, and History checks provide limited information. Arcana (DC 15) reveals that Muspell, Jutenheim, Hel and Svartalfheim are all worlds of BSO that are detached from Yggdrasil. History (DC 15) reveals that Yggdrasil is always growing and is cared for by the three Norns — Memory, Sorrow, and Fate. Religion (DC 15) reveals that the Ginnungagap is the black void surrounding the worlds of BSO.


1wikEDrayGER — 5e stats

Medium Half-Orc, chaotic evil (red player

Armor Class 16 (scale mail)
Hit Points 23
Speed 30 ft.

17 (+3)14 (+2)14 (+2)10 (0)10 (0)10 (0)

Saving Throws Con +4, Str +5
Skills  Athletics +5, Survival +2, Intimidation +2, Stealth +4
Damage Resistances Bludgeoning, Piercing and Slashing while raging
Senses passive Perception 10
Languages Common, Orcish

Magic Weapon. 1wikEDrayGER has a Minor Deep Shard Greatsword (attack stats adjusted).

Rage. 1wikEDrayGER may enter a Barbarian’s rage as a bonus action.

Danger Sense. At 2nd level, you gain an uncanny sense of when things nearby aren’t as they should be, giving you an edge when you dodge away from danger. You have advantage on Dexterity saving throws against effects that you can see, such as traps and spells. To gain this benefit, you can’t be blinded, deafened, or incapacitated.


  • Deep Shard Greatsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 feet, one target. Hit: 12 (2d6+5) magical slashing damage. Critical: +1 necrotic damage.
  • Javelin. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 30/120, one target. Hit: 8 (1d6+5) piercing damage.


1wikEDrayGER is a Half Orc clad in black scale mail and carrying a wicked serrated greatsword. His hair is died red and his tusks have three nicks in them. Each nick represents a PK.


0Gold0Healz — 5e stats

Medium Dwarf, neutral evil

Armor Class 18 (scale mail, shield)
Hit Points 19
Speed 30 ft.

14 (+2)10 (0)16 (+3)10 (0)16 (+3)10 (0)

Saving Throws Charisma +2, Wisdom +5
Skills Perception +5, Religion +2, Insight +5, Persuasion +2
Damage Resistances poison
Senses passive Perception 15
Languages Common, Dwarven

Magic Weapon. 0Gold0Healz has a Minor Deep Shard Morningstar (attack stats adjusted).

Order’s Wrath. Whenever 0Gold0Healz heals an ally, they may use their reaction to make a weapon attack.

Spellcasting. 0Gold0Healz is a 2nd-level spellcaster. His spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 13, +5 to hit with spell attacks). He has the following Cleric spells prepared:


  • Toll of the Dead Spell: +5 to hit, one creature in 60 feet, DC 13 Wisdom Save. 5 (1d8) or 7 (1d12) necrotic damage.
  • Deep Shard Morning Star. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8+3) magical piercing damage. Critical: +1 necrotic damage.
  • Order’s Demand. Channel Divinity: creatures of your choice within 30 foot radius. DC 13 Wis save. Creatures are charmed and drop their weapons. Once per short of long rest.


0Gold0Healz is a dwarf clad in chainmail wearing a shield and carrying a wicked morningstar made of Deep Shard. His hands are bedecked with fine rings that he’s extorted from those he’s healed while on the verge of death.


THaSHoCKER — 5e stats

Medium Half Elf, neutral evil

Armor Class 13 (16) (mage armor)
Hit Points 14
Speed 30 ft.

8 (-1)16 (+3)14 (+2)10 (0)10 (0)16 (+3)

Saving Throws Con +4, Cha +5
Skills Persuasion +5, Arcana +2, Insight +2, Religion +2
Senses passive Perception 10
Languages Common, Elven, Primordial

Magic Weapon. THaSHoCKER has a Minor Deep Shard Dagger (attack stats adjusted).

Font of Magic. THaSHoCKER has 2 sorcery points (See Sorcerer Class).

Spellcasting. THaSHoCKER is a 2nd-level spellcaster. His spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 13, +5 to hit with spell attacks). He has the following Sorcerer spells prepared:


  • Firebolt. Spell Attack: +5 to hit, range 120 feet, one target. Hit: 6 (1d10) fire damage.
  • Shocking Grasp. Spell Attack: +5 to hit, range 5 feet, one target. Hit: 5 (1d8) lightning damage and target cannot take reactions.
  • Deep Shard Dagger. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d4+2) magical piercing damage. Critical: +1 necrotic damage.
  • Thunderwave. Spell: creatures in a 15 foot cube. DC 13 Con save. 9 (2d8) thunder damage and knocked prone. Save for half, no prone.
  • Tempestuous Magic. Sorcerer Ability: you can use a bonus action on your turn to cause whirling gusts of elemental air to briefly surround you, immediately before or after you cast a spell of 1st level or higher. Doing so allows you to fly up to 10 feet without provoking opportunity attacks.


THaSHoCKER is a Half Elf with silver hair who wears flowing blue robes. His eyes flash with sparks when he is angry — which is often.

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