Otis Bramble, the hedge wizard, looked across the field at the pack of worgs. There were five of them, big ones. The wizard stroked his beard for a moment and set his burlap sack down. He had four nice-sized trout, freshly caught, and he wasn’t in any mood to share.
Raising his gnarled staff over his head, he paused a moment and then spoke the incantation. He started out softly, but the incantation grew to a sharp crescendo. All was quiet for a moment. The worgs loped towards him, black tongues hanging lazily in their slavering jaws. Then it happened.
Suddenly the air around Otis Bramble was filled with a rush of black feathers, cawing, Cawing, CAWING cries of countless crows. The murder of crows seemed to swirl forever. The yelp of startled worgs was the only other sound. When the crows flew away, two dead worgs lay at the wizard’s feet. Three more were running back into the dark woods. Otis Bramble bent down, picked up his burlap sack and headed on his way, happy to be dining alone this evening.
CROW summons a flock of murderous crows centered on the caster. Any creature not touching the caster will take 1 hp damage per round while within a 30’ radius of the caster. All attacks within this area will be -2 to hit for the duration of the spell. Duration is 1d6. The caster adds +1 round per 3 levels gained.
Broggna stared at the goblin, squinting her left eye fiercely. The goblin laughed, holding up his crossed fingers in warding, “Your evil eye does no harm to me, witch!”
But he swallowed hard when he saw the old woman casually pull a witchblade from her sleeve and gingerly test the sharp edge against her bony thumb. He decided to reconsider breaking his deal with Broggna the Witch.
Notes on Witchblades
Some blades take on aspects of their users. The witchblade is one.
Witchblades are spiteful weapons for spiteful people. They are small but wickedly sharp and carry a hex forged into the very metal. A person cut by this blade will suffer the effects of a Jinx spell (as per Pits & Perils rules) causing them to suffer a -1 to all actions and saves but for the next round only. Due to their small size, witchblades can only cause one point of damage maximum regardless of attack roll.
On the edge of Bree, past the stream and through a tangled copse of birch trees, you will find a small hut. No woodcutter lives here. That is evident by the surrounding trees with their branches draped in all manner of witch charms and wards.
The smell coming from this hut will vary according to the wind direction and the day. All residents of Bree know that this place belongs to Brannog the Witch. Immediately on entering the small clearing, one hears cackling. Not the kind you are thinking of! A flock of hens strut about the clearing, catching bugs and an occasional worm.
Be warned! Brannog is not the most welcoming of hosts. People who seek her help yet show disrespect, will often leave filled with regret. It is rumored that the hens in her yard were once very rude people.
Brannog is a wise woman, a healer, and a brewer of potions. She will easily take offense but is a hard bargainer. Her remedies can often come at a dear price. Bring plenty of silver or the willingness enter into a pact.
Notes on brewing of potions
Some spells can be distilled into potion form. It requires a recipe that must either be created or found. Creating a recipe can take 1d6 months, 1d6 x 100 silver pieces, AND one special ingredient (i.e. the hairs from a giant spider). [note-in my Bree campaign, silver replaces gold as the standard currency]
After this research is complete (money spent, time used) a saving throw is made adding a +1 for Wisdom ability. If successful, a working recipe is crafted and the brewer has made one dose of the potion.
Additional potions may be brewed using this recipe at the cost of one week’s time, 100 silver pieces, and a pinch of whatever special ingredient was originally used. At the end of the brewing, the brewer must make a saving throw (Wis adds +1). A 7 or better means the potion is good. If the caster fails, she has made a bad brew with possible ill effects. This bad potion may still be usable, but with a risk. For each point the caster missed her brewing roll, the potion will have a -1 save. For example, if Brannog needs a 7 to succeed on her brewing roll, but rolls a 4, the potion is bad and will have a -3 modifier to the imbiber’s save. (7-4=3)
The imbiber of a bad potion must make a saving throw when drinking it. A 7+ means the potion works as intended. A 6 or less means some temporary side effect will occur (DM’s choice, but the side effect should be minor and somehow relate to the potion. I.e. if the potion is flying, the imbiber grows bee antennae or buzzes instead of talking.) The side effects should only last for a short while (perhaps 1d6 hours). A score of 2 or less means something bad and permanent should happen. If a natural 12 is rolled, something unexpectedly good and permanent might occur.
Some typical potions (and ingredients) that may be brewed…
Flight of the Bumblebee (giant bumblebee hairs or fairy dust)
Spectral Brew (invisibility, hair from a leprechaun)
Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing (change appearance to that of a specific person, hair of the person)
Wolf’s Brew (animal form, hair or feather of specific animal wolf, owl, possum, etc.)
Lover’s Brew (victim must drink the potion, effect will be +2 to reaction of first person the target sees)
Warrior’s Brew (add 2d6 hit points for one hour)
Fortune’s Brew (add 1d6 Luck Points for the day)
Fool’s Brew (ventriloquism, hobbit or leprechaun hair)