Many hunters choose to try their mettle against the Timberway lion -- a native of the Timberway Forest whose pelt brings top coin in the surrounding frontier towns. Those who make extended trips into the forest often use Bluerock Lodge, a retreat built just for hunters, as their base. But this season, Timberway lions have become quite rare. Why the sudden drop in population? Have they simply been overhunted, or is something more sinister afoot? Drop the latest miniadventure for D&D v.3.5 by James Jacobs into any cold region of your campaign world that features a large forested area. Suitable for four 3rd-level characters.
Despite the bitter cold that reigns here nine months of the year, the Timberway Forest has long been a source of prosperity for civilized folk who live nearby. Many trappers and hunters spend the better part of the year within its borders, stockpiling furs and meat to trade in the frontier towns to the south, where they spend their winters. Most feel that the value of these commodities makes braving the Timberway Forest worth the risk.
Recently, though, a small group of trappers and hunters has awakened a terrible new menace in the forest. Based in a remote hunter's abode called the Bluerock Lodge, they hunted the animals of the woods more out of a deep-seated desire to be cruel than a need to feed themselves. In particular, they focused their hateful attention on the local Timberway lion population. Timberway lions are rather small (more like leopards), but they are known for being lithe and wary. Still, the trappers had the advantage of intelligence and tools, and before long they had slaughtered the entire pride save for its leader. As the winter worsened and game grew ever more scarce, this last surviving lion began to starve. At that point, the darker forces of nature took notice, and the Timberway Forest gained a predator like no other.
About the Authors
James Jacobs works at Paizo Publishing as the associate editor for Dungeon Magazine. He's written several adventures and articles for both Dungeon and Dragon and has contributed to several Wizards of the Coast publications, including Monster Manual II, Races of Faerūn, Fiend Folio, and an upcoming book in which the horribly hungry wendigo would feel right at home. He also writes the monthly "Far Corners of the World" column for the Wizards of the Coast website.
When he's not scrambling to finish freelance projects, James spends his time watching DVDs, playing in one of seven (soon to be eight) ongoing d20 campaigns, and looking for Bigfoot.