It’s Midgard Monday! Each week, we visit a corner of the wide world of Midgard. Look for standalone content you can drop into your campaign—whether it’s in Midgard or your own homebrew. Find new inspiration each Midgard Monday!
An adventure jigsaw is the pieces you need for an adventure . . . but unassembled. We provide an inciting event, a friend, an enemy, a treasure, and some parameters. You provide the players and the action that puts them all together!
The Taiga Tree Rush is an overland adventure race in the harsh cold of the Norhlands in Midgard. It runs from the dwarf hold of Wolfheim to the Argent Tree (a sapling of the World Tree) and back. The course covers 60 miles over harsh terrain of bare sharp rock, drifting snow, and treacherous ice. The midpoint is a frozen lake, where the Argent Tree grows on a rocky outcropping in the center.
The Rush begins at dawn and is not known for any sort of strict rules. Around a dozen racers try their skill each year, mostly drawn from the local hold, racing with their bred wolves. It’s unusual for outsiders to race, but not prohibited!
PCs may take part in the race, work as safety watchers, or follow as spectators. The betting on the race is lively.
Bluecorth Runkraft is the organizer who prides himself on a “safe,” “fun” race. He is a young dwarf of 60 years with thick, auburn hair braided down his back even over his race-day uniform. No one has ever died in the race on his watch, and he is proud of that. Bluecorth isn’t racing, but he does run the course with his own wolves to keep an eye on things.
Aarkin Hammerforest (use gladiator stats) is short even for a dwarf, but he says it helps his wolves run faster. His gray beard has long plaits which he says makes up for his bald head. He dresses warmly in leathers coated with fur from some unknown creature.
Aarkin spends time and money keeping his wolves sharp, fast, and just this side of feral. He wants them to intimidate, and it works for most racers. He also keeps a variety of tools in his sled to help knock out the competition. He’s not above damaging another racer’s sled . . . or a racer.
In addition, Aarkin can invoke the services of his companion beast, an intelligent wolf-like creature known as a hversu (see below).
This year’s race has an unexpected prize for the first to claim it and bring it back. The Argent Tree has grown a rare petal of the snow blossom, a treasure known to cure illness and heal the blind. The first team to reach the tree and bring the petal back across the finish line will be a new legend in Wolfheim, and perhaps beyond.
PETAL OF THE SNOW BLOSSOM
Wondrous Item, Rare (Requires Attunement)
This teardrop-shaped, concave flower petal radiates a slight chill, but remains warm to the touch. When you attune to the petal, it becomes encased in an unmelting ovoid of crystal clear ice. Thereafter, you are immune to extremes of heat or cold, and may share this benefit with a number of creatures within 30 feet of you equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum one), until the end of your next long rest.
As a bonus action, you may crush the ice, healing you for 3d6 + 3 hit points and removing a status condition. A creature sharing the petal’s benefit may either heal 2d6 hit points or removing a condition.
You may share the benefit of the petal again after a long rest.
Hversu eagerly awaits the return of his lord, Fenris, and builds an army of winter wolves in expectation.
He brings captured winter wolves to take a bite of a dead giant’s rotting flesh. Who this giant is, Hversu doesn’t know, but he does know that the flesh binds creatures to his will.
Given to ambushes and vicious attacks, Hversu is known to kill mounts and then chase victims for days across the ice.
HVERSU, FIMBULWINTER’S FRIEND
Large Beast, Neutral Evil
Armor Class 15
Hit Points 105 (14d10 + 28)
Speed 50 ft.
|17 (+3)||19 (+4)||15 (+2)||12 (+1)||16 (+3)||18 (+4)|
Saving Throws Dex +6, Con +4
Skills Perception +5, Stealth +6, Survival +5
Damage Vulnerabilities fire
Damage Immunities cold, poison
Condition Immunities exhaustion, frightened, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 15
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2
Sprawling Bite. If Hversu hits a foe with a Bite attack, that target must succeed on a DC 13 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. If a target is prone, Hversu can make a Bite attack against it as a bonus action.
Snow Camouflage. Hversu has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide in snowy terrain.
Snow Strider. Hversu can move across icy surfaces without needing to make an ability check, and difficult terrain composed of ice or snow doesn’t cost it extra movement. In addition, it leaves no traces of its passage in snowy terrain.
Multiattack. Hversu makes one Bite attack and one Claw attack or two Bite attacks.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) piercing damage plus 3 (1d6) cold damage.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d4 + 4) slashing damage plus 3 (1d6) cold damage.
Boreas’ Herald (Recharge 5–6). Hversu’s keening howl blasts ice and bitter cold in a 30-foot cone. Each creature in the area must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw. On a failure, a creature takes 21 (6d4 + 6) cold damage and is restrained until the end of its next turn as frost and snow coats its limbs. On a success, a creature takes half the damage and isn’t restrained. If a creature damaged by this attack is already restrained, it suffers an additional 7 (2d6) cold damage.
Bounding Leap. As a bonus action,Hversu teleports 60 feet to an unoccupied space it can see, along with any equipment he carries. The origin and destination spaces must contain snow.
Get into Midgard with the Midgard Worldbook! This acclaimed campaign setting is rich and deep, with a decade of support from Kobold Press. Find out about the Northlands or any other part of the wide world of Midgard!