Random Encounters
The Shadow Glade
By Jesse Decker

Scouts of the Shadow Glade

Cursed to sink slowly into the Plane of Shadow, the elusive, dangerous fey known as the shadar-kai seek to shake the pain and despair of the doom that they brought upon themselves. When humankind and its allies were making the first steps along the paths to civilization, the shadar-kai, already greatly skilled in shadow magic, sought to cast the world into an endless twilight. To do this, they made a powerful pact with a great power from the Plane of Shadow. Whether through their own misstep or through the intervention of others, the shadar-kai's great experiment went awry, and the gray-skinned fey were left bound to the Plane of Shadow, cursed to lose their souls in its dark depths.

Many of the shadar-kai have fallen to the shadow curse and no longer dare to set foot upon the Material Plane. However, a few -- especially powerful spellcasters -- still seek to rid themselves, if not their race, from the curse. Unable to counter the curse directly, a group of demented shadar-kai wizards have hit on a new stratagem for shaking the effects of the curse: Much like the plan of the original shadar-kai spellcasters, they planned to bind a portion of the Plane of Shadow to the Material Plane. This plan, although far less grand in scope than the one that brought about the shadow curse, has in part already succeeded. With the aid of a powerful ritual, shadar-kai wizards have bound essence of the Plane of Shadow to the heart of an ancient forest. This mighty ritual has ameliorated the effects of the shadow curse within a small region, freeing the shadar-kai from their self-made doom. What once was merely an ancient and foreboding forest is now a dark and twisted landscape known as the Shadow Glade.

Knowing that someone is sure to notice their growing power, the shadar-kai have sent scouts and snipers to the edges of the forest. These scouts strike from hiding, making no distinction between those seeking passage through the forest and those opposed to the spread of the corrupting darkness at the heart of the Shadow Glade.

Shadow Glade Scout: Male shadar-kai Ranger1; CR 2; Medium fey (extraplanar); HD 3d6+3 plus 1d8+1; hp 18; Init +3; Spd 30 ft.; AC 16, touch 13, flat-footed 13; Base Atk +2; Grp +2; Atk +5 melee (2d4, spiked chain) or +6 ranged (1d8/x3, masterwork longbow); Full Atk +5 melee (2d4, spiked chain) or +6 ranged (1d8/x3, masterwork longbow); SA sneak attack +1d6; SQ favored enemy (humans +2), hide in plain sight, shadow curse, superior low-light vision, wild empathy; AL NE; SV Fort +5, Ref +9, Will +4; Str 10, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 11, Wis 10, Cha 9.

Skills and Feats: Hide +10, Listen +9, Move Silently +10, Search +7, Spot +9, Survival+7; Alertness, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (spiked chain), Track, Weapon Finesse.

Favored Enemy (Ex): The shadow glade scout has selected humans as a favored enemy. He gains a +2 bonus on his Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against humans. He gets the same bonus on weapon damage rolls against humans.

Hide in Plain Sight (Su): A shadow glade scout can use the Hide skill even while being observed. As long as he is not illuminated by natural daylight, the daylight spell, or a similar magical light, he can hide himself from view in the open without having anything to actually hide behind.

Shadow Curse (Su): While within the limits of the Shadow Glade, a shadow glade scout does not suffer the effects of the shadow curse. See the Fiend Folio for more information on the shadow curse.

Superior Low-Light Vision (Ex): A shadow glade scout has extraordinary vision in low-light conditions. He can see four times as far as a human in low-light conditions.

Wild Empathy (Ex): The shadow glade scout can improve the attitude of an animal in the same way a Diplomacy check can improve the attitude of a sentient being. He rolls 1d20, or 1d20-4 if attempting to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, for the check.

Skills: *A shadow glade scout has a +10 racial bonus on Hide checks made in dark or shadowy conditions (anything other than daylight or the area of a daylight spell).

Possessions: Masterwork studded leather armor, spiked chain, masterwork longbow, 20 normal arrows, 5 cold iron masterwork arrows, 5 silvered masterwork arrows, potion of cure light wounds, potion of spider climb, gal-ralan +1, blackstone rune (2 uses left).

Elite Shadow Glade Scout: Female shadar-kai Rogue 3; CR 4; Medium fey (extraplanar); HD 3d6+3 plus 3d6+3; hp 27; Init +9; Spd 30 ft.; AC 19, touch 15, flat-footed 19; Base Atk +3; Grp +5; Atk +9 melee (2d4+4, +1 spiked chain) or +9 ranged (1d6/x3, masterwork shortbow); Full Atk +9 melee (2d4+4, +1 spiked chain) or +9 ranged (1d6/x3, masterwork shortbow); SA sneak attack +3d6; SQ evasion, hide in plain sight, shadow curse, superior low-light vision, trap sense +1, trapfinding; AL NE; SV Fort +4, Ref +14, Will +5; Str 14, Dex 21, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 7.

Skills and Feats: Climb +9, Hide +13, Jump +8, Listen +11, Move Silently +13, Search +10, Spot +11, Survival+6; Alertness, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (spiked chain), Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse.

Evasion (Ex): If exposed to any effect that normally allows a character to attempt a Reflex saving throw for half damage, the elite shadow glade scout takes no damage with a successful saving throw.

Hide in Plain Sight (Su): An elite shadow glade scout can use the Hide skill even while being observed. As long as she is not illuminated by natural daylight, the daylight spell, or a similar magical light, she can hide herself from view in the open without having anything to actually hide behind.

Shadow Curse (Su): While within the limits of the Shadow Glade, an elite shadow glade scout does not suffer the effects of the shadow curse. See the Fiend Folio for more information on the shadow curse.

Superior Low-Light Vision (Ex): An elite shadow glade scout has extraordinary vision in low-light conditions. She can see four times as far as a human in low-light conditions.

Trap Sense (Ex): The elite shadow glade scout has an intuitive sense that alerts her to danger from traps, granting a +1 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks by traps.

Trapfinding (Ex): The elite shadow glade scout can use the Search skill to locate traps when the task has a DC higher than 20. Finding a nonmagical trap has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. Finding a magic trap has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it. The elite shadow glade scout can use the Disable Device skill to disarm magic traps. Disabling a magic trap generally has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it. If she beats a trap's DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check, she can generally study the trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (with her party) without disarming it.

Skills: *Shadar-kai have a +10 racial bonus on Hide checks made in dark or shadowy conditions (anything other than daylight or the area of a daylight spell).

Possessions: +1 studded leather armor,+1 spiked chain, masterwork shortbow, 20 normal arrows, 10 cold iron arrows, 10 silvered arrows, cloak of resistance +1, potions of cure light wounds (2), potion of cure moderate wounds, potion of neutralize poison, potion of nondetection, 4 vials of night extract, masterwork thieves' tools, 22 gp.

Introducing the Shadow Glade to Your Campaign

The Shadow Glade can be placed in any forested region in your campaign world, making it easy to insert into nearly any region of a campaign. Here are some additional ideas to help you bring the shadar-kai and their plans to your game.

  • Whether passing near the forest or through it, the party could be ambushed by an appropriately sized group of shadar-kai snipers and scouts.

  • Druids, friendly fey, wood elves, or even a local human settlement could have noticed the presence of the shadar-kai's dark magic beginning to corrupt the forest and ask that adventurers travel to the center of the glade to determine the source of the changes.

  • If you want to include the shadar-kai in your world on a long-term basis, they might approach the adventurers or one of their influential friends to help them. Depending on your plans for the shadow fey, they might try to trick the adventurers and bind them to the Plane of Shadow (see the shadow-bound template in Part 3) or they might simply seek to establish a haven for their kind deep in the forest.

Bringing the Parts Together

Although an encounter with shadar-kai scouts can easily occur in the midst of any journey through wooded terrain, the DM might wish to make the run in part of a linked series of encounters. As the adventurers travel deeper into the Shadow Glade, they might encounter other examples of the twisting effects of the Plane of Shadow.

Coming in Part 2 of the Shadow Glade

Learn which powerful denizens of the forest have been twisted by the taint of shadow.

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