The Forest King's Daughter HeroQuest



Send comments and/or criticism to Simon E. Phipp
Created On 2 January 2001
Last Updated On 2 January 2001
Copyright (c) Simon E. Phipp 2001

This HeroQuest is performed in the lands of Saird, anywhere from Balazar to Western Peloria, Tarsh to Imther. As with many HeroQuests of the region, the original HeroQuestors are unknown and forgotten, but the HeroQuest lives on.

Mythos

The Mythos of the HeroQuest can be found in the story of the Forest King's Daughter.

The HeroQuest

Stations Overview

The Descent

The Journey Under the Hill The Flight The Return

Stations Detail

The Descent

This is where the HeroQuestor enters the Underworld.

Entering the Pool

He must travel to a Pool connected to the Underworld. This must be a still, dark pool and is usually well known and at magical sites.

The HeroQuest Ritual must be performed here, otherwise the HeroQuestor will merely get wet when he enters the pool.

The HeroQuestor must jump into the pool and, if the HeroQuest Ritual was successful he will fall through the water and end up in the Underworld. If the HeroQuest Ritual failed or he did not perform the HeroQuest Ritual, he will merely find himself in the water and must swim to the shore.

This Station may be used to enter the Underworld from a still, dark pool. It can be used as an alternative entry-point to the Underworld.

Meet the Fairy

The HeroQuestor will meet a Fairy woman, a type of Underworld Spirit or Pixie. She is very small but comely. She will greet the HeroQuestor and tell him of the Forest King's Daughter and will say "Hello, young Prince, if you want to marry the Forest King's Daughter you must travel to his Palace under the Hill. Take this carrot and this jar of honey, for they will help you in your journey."

She will give the HeroQuestor a carrot and a jar of honey. If the HeroQuestor is kind and polite (roll against Polite Trait) the Fairy will tell him not to eat the gifts.

She will show the HeroQuestor the way to continue by pointing out a path through the forest.

If the HeroQuestor attacks her or tries to make advances to her, she will giggle and disappear.

The Journey

This is the journey to the Palace Under the Hill.

The HeroQuestor will travel through the forest, travelling along an easily visible path with no dangers.

The Ass

The HeroQuestor will travel along the path until he becomes weary and feels he cannot travel any further.

He will meet an ass who, if he has not already eaten his carrot, will offer to carry him some of the way in return for the carrot. However, if he has performed the HeroQuest before and has previously eaten the carrot, the Ass will not offer to help.

If he agrees to the offer, the HeroQuestor can mount the Ass and ride in comfort to the River.

He must roll his Selfish Trait and if he is Selfish he will eat the carrot without giving it to the Ass. Of course, he can choose to eat the carrot even if not Selfish. If he eats the carrot, he gains the following benefits:

  1. He can see in Darkness as if in Daylight for the rest of the HeroQuest
  2. He may gain this power permanently by sacrificing POW:

The HeroQuestor will be asked for the carrot at the end of the ride. If he has eaten the carrot or does not give the carrot to the Ass, it will leave.

This Station may be used to persuade a beast to carry the Questor, if Invoked it helps the Questor to persuade the beast to carry him but allows whoever is pursuing him to catch up.

The Ferry

The HeroQuestor walks for a short way and reaches a wide river. On the opposite bank, he sees a wooden ferry crewed by two bears.

If the Questor still has the jar of honey, the bears will offer to take him across the river, with the jar of honey as payment. If he has performed the Quest previously and eaten the jar of honey, the bears will not make the offer. If he accepts, they will bring the ferry across the river and will allow him to board, taking him across the river.

The Questor must roll against his Selfish Trait and if he is Selfish, he must eat the jar of honey. He may choose to eat the honey, even if he is not selfish.

If he eats the honey, he gains the following benefits:

His words are of honey for the rest of the HeroQuest, he will be believed whatever he says He may gain this power permanently by sacrificing POW:

If the bears ferry him across the river, he may continue the journey. Otherwise, he must find another way to cross.

This Station may be used to persuade a ferryman to carry the Questor across a river, if Invoked it helps the Questor to persuade the ferryman to carry him but allows whoever is pursuing him to catch up.

The Tunnel

This is filled with Darkness and it takes a Bravery roll to enter. Each time the roll is attempted and failed, the Questor will lose 1 POW. If the Questor has eaten the carrot he does not require a Bravery roll to enter the tunnel. At any time, he may return the way he came, with no penalty.

If the Questor enters the tunnel and cannot see through the Darkness, he walks through without mishap. However, if he has eaten the carrot he must make a Bravery roll (half chance), if he fails he loses 1 POW and runs headlong through the tunnel in terror.

This Station may be used to pass through an otherwise impassable tunnel with penalties as described above.

Under the Hill

This is the realm of the Forest King, a lord of one of the Halls of the Underworld. Here the Questor must prove himself and escape otherwise he will be slain.

Passing the Guards

The Questor must persuade the guards to let him pass. If he has eaten the honey he will automatically succeed, otherwise he must convince them to let him pass with a Fats Talk, Orate or similar roll. If he failed a Bravery roll in the tunnel, his chance of success is halved.

If he fails, the guards will attack him. He must fight his way out and return as to continue would mean fighting the guards and the Forest King and his Daughter. If he succeeds in defeating these guards, he must leave, pursued by a large contingent of Guards.

If he succeeds in persuading the guards, he is escorted into the Throne Room.

This Station may be used to evade guards, if Invoked it allows him to persuade the Guards to let him pass.

The Test

The Questor must claim his right to the hand of the Forest King's Daughter, but he must first accept her test. The daughter will change form and becomes a flock of birds, normally six, and challenges the Questor to decide which is the true Princess.

If he chooses the Princess, all other birds will vanish and she will appear in front of him in her normal form. If he chooses a bird, that bird will vanish.

To randomly choose a bird, he has a 1 in N chance of choosing the Princess, where N is the number of birds, so he has a 1 in 6, then 1 in 5, then 1 in 4, then 1 in 3, then 1 in 2 chance. If there are only two birds remaining he will be warned that if he chooses incorrectly he will forfeit his life.

If the Princess falls in love with him (Roll (APP - 10) x 10%, APP vs INT, use Love Magic or whatever the GM decides) then the Questor must simply spot the Love Light in her eyes in order to choose the Princess (Roll INTx5%, POWx5% or whatever roll the GM decides appropriate). If he fails to spot the Love Light the he has the normal chance of spotting the Princess. If he chooses a bird, he can repeat the process of trying to spot the Love Light and choosing the Princess each round until he chooses the Princess or chooses all the birds.

If the Questor fails to choose the Princess his life is forfeit and he will be executed. The Forest King's Champion will bring a Copper Axe and will strike off his head unless another Questor helps him. Even Honeyed Words will not help him here. However, if the Princess has fallen in love with him, she will persuade the Forest King to wait a while and she will try to assist him in the Escape.

If this is used as part of the Greedy King's Son Quest and the Questor is the King's Son, then this is the point where the Woodcutter's Son will come and help him. In fact, part of this Station is to force someone to come and help him, even if it is a person in the court who will ask the Forest King to wait a while. Only a really unlucky or stupid Questor will actually be slain here, although it is possible.

If the Questor succeeds in choosing the Princess, she will cling to him and kiss him, saying that she is so happy to be leaving her Father's Domain and returning with the Questor to his own world. This will anger the Forest King as he does not want his Daughter to leave and he will imprison the Questor.

This Station may be Invoked to persuade a woman to fall in love with him or to be his if he passes her test.

The Escape

The Questor will be held in a locked room, either because the Princess wants to leave with him or because he is to be executed later. If he has the Honeyed Words or the Princess has fallen in love with him, he will automatically get the Princess' help, otherwise he must ask for it (Roll Orate, Fast Talk, APP vs INT, Persuasion Magic or whatever seems appropriate). If he succeeds, the Princess will agree to help him escape.

If the Princess has offered to help, later that night, the Princes will come to him in the form of a mouse crawling through a hole in the wall. She will resume her normal form and, if she loves him, will embrace him. If she loves him and the Questor wishes it, she will make love to him, although this will mean that they will be discovered and he will be executed in the morning. The Son that results from this deed will be returned to the normal world and will grow to be magically powerful and an Earth Shaman or Hero.

If they do not make love, the Princess will turn them both into birds and they will fly through the chimney and through the tunnel.

If the Princess does not help the Questor, he must try to escape on his own. If he fails then he will be executed in the morning.

This Station may be Invoked to persuade a woman to help him to escape from a prison or cell.

The Execution

If the Questor has failed to choose the Princess, has failed to escape from the Palace Under the Hill or has been captured during the Flight then he will be executed in the morning.

The Forest King's Executioner will bring a Copper Axe and will strike off his head with one blow. The Questor will be killed, his spirit will join the Forest King's servants and his goods will become part of the Forest King's treasure. This is where the Quest ends.

Unless the Questor is a powerful HeroQuestor, he will be lost. However, if he has magic to protect him form Death in the Underworld and he uses it, he may start a new Quest here, but that is outside the scope of this Quest.

This Station is used to force the Questor to be executed. Obviously, it is rarely Invoked.

The Flight

If the Princess and Questor have escaped together, they will fly through the tunnel and will resume normal form at the other end of the tunnel. Otherwise, the Questor must somehow evade or defeat the tunnel guards, enter the tunnel (with the same penalties as before) and reach the Forest.

The Questor and the Princess, if she is helping, must run along the path, pursued by the Forest King's Guards. If they are caught, he must defeat the Forest King's Guards by himself as the Princess' magic will not work against them. If he is defeated then he will be captured and executed.

The Ferry

As the Questor reaches the river, he must persuade the bears to ferry him across. If he did not eat the Honey and the bears ferried him across before, they will automatically help him and let him jump aboard.

If he ate the honey on the Journey he will not be allowed to cross on the ferry.

If he was not offered a ride on the ferry or if he refused the offer on the Journey, he may attempt to persuade the bears to help him across. If he succeeds, they will bring the ferry across to him, but he will be caught by the Guards. He must defeat them, or at least hold them off until the ferry arrives. If he has the chance to jump on the ferry then he will be ferried across as normal.

If he cannot persuade the bears to help him, he must try to cross the river on his own. The Princess will not swim or fly across the river. If he has not attempted to persuade the bears, he can swim across without the Guards catching up, otherwise the Guards will catch him before he attempts to cross and he must fight them before crossing. If he crosses the river, he will be attacked as on the Journey in.

If he fails to cross the River he will meet more and more guards until he is captured and executed. There is no way out other than across the River.

This Station may be used to persuade a ferryman to carry the Questor across a river, if Invoked it helps the Questor to persuade the ferryman to carry him but allows whoever is pursuing him to catch up.

The Ass

The Questor, and the Princess if she is helping, must run along the path, pursued by the Guards who will almost catch them up. When they become exhausted, the Ass will come running to them.

If the Questor gave the Ass the carrot, he can jump on its back and be carried to the Clearing in safety, outrunning the Guards.

If the Questor did not ride the Ass but did not eat the carrot, he may persuade the Ass to help him. If the Ass agrees, he can climb aboard and continue, but he must first fight of the Guards who have just caught him.

If the Ass does not help, the Guards will catch him here and he must fight them and defeat them otherwise he is captured and executed.

This Station may be used to persuade a beast to carry the Questor, if Invoked it helps the Questor to persuade the beast to carry him but allows whoever is pursuing him to catch up.

The Climb

When the Questor, and the Princess if she is helping, reaches the Clearing Under the Pool, the Fairy will greet them.

If the Questor was polite to her, then she will point the way to the surface and will show them how to climb. A simple Climb roll is enough to reach the surface.

If the Questor was rude to the Fairy, she will not help and the Questor must try to find the way out. The Princess will help if she is present and will show him the way up, otherwise he must spot the way up using a Scan or similar roll. While he is searching, the Guards will appear and he must fight them off until he has found the way up.

If the Questor climbs to the surface the Guards will not follow, for that is not their realm. He has escaped with his life. If he chose the Princess or she fell in love with him then she will accompany him, otherwise she will leave him here and remain in the Underworld.

This Station may be used to escape from the Underworld, or to climb from a cave - when Invoked it allows the user to climb any surface no matter how sheer.

The Return

The Marriage

If the Princess has followed him to the Surface then they will be married and the Questor has an Otherworld mate.

If they are not married here, the Princess will stay with him until their first child is born then will return to the Underworld with their child.

If they are married here and the Princess does not love him, she will stay until their second child is born and will return to the Underworld with the first child and leave the second child with the Questor.

If they are married here and the Princess loves him then she will remain for as long as he wants. If he wishes a divorce, she will take the firstborn child back to the Underworld with her.

If they are married here, when the Questor dies she will return for him and, if he wishes, will take his soul to the Underworld to stay with her Under the Hill.

If the Princess returns to the Underworld, the Questor may perform the Quest again to regain her as a wife as before.

This Station may be used to ritually marry a woman, or take a concubine, but she may leave after the birth of the first or second child if she wants. When Invoked, this allows the user to persuade the woman to be his concubine or wife with the above restrictions.

Summary

The Forest King's Daughter would suit an Orlanthi or Yelmalian HeroQuestor. It is available from both traditions and also from other traditions in the area. Even the Earth traditions teach it. Many people say that the Forest King was originally Lodril, others say it was High King Elf, Flamal or even Argan Argar. Others say it was another Underworld deity, long forgotten. In any case, the principles work for almost every Underworld deity, whether of Earth or Darkness, and some have used it to steal a bride from the Maggot King, Yelm himself.

This Quest is used for several purposes:

Stations on the Quest may be used for several purposes outside the Quest:

The Quest can be used at several power levels:

Practice Run Quest

At this level, the Questor typically uses the Quest to gain one-use Divine Magic or to get a wife from an Earth Tribe. The woman will not be exotic, but will be an Initiate or Priestess of an Earth Cult. It allows the Questor to marry her against her parents' wishes and also allows him to take her into his own clan, even if that is not normally her marriage tradition.

The guards will be normal people, either normal guards or weapon thanes and will have statistics as warriors or soldiers. Snakes and Serpents in the river will be exactly that and will pose a threat but not be too powerful.

Failure at this level often means death, but the Questor can be resurrected afterwards. Often, the woman's father will exact wergild from him instead, either payment or deeds in return for his life.

Other Place Quest

At this level, the Questor must travel to the Underworld. This may be one of the Underworld Palaces or simply to a Hill or Mountain Nymph's Halls. It allows the Questor to gain reusable Divine Magic or to gain an exotic Earth Wife. This wife will be an Earth Nymph or Spirit and she will have powers of her own. She may have Nymph powers, Fertility Powers, Earth Powers or simply be an Earth Priestess.

The guards will be demons or Otherworld spirits. They will have Earth Powers and Divine Magic and wll be of Rune Level status, perhaps even of Heroic status. Snakes and Serpents will be immense and powerful, and may include Dream Dragons or Wyrms and will pose a serious threat to non Rune Level Questors. Of course, travelling to the local Nymph's Halls will be less dangerous than entering Lodril's Halls.

Failure at this level often means death.

Other Side Quests

At this level, the Questor may make a HeroPath of his own, gaining the abilities for himself or obtaining them as part of a Spirit Cult for others to access. He may use this to ritually marry an Earth Spirit, binding himself or his culture to the Earth. His wife will be an Earth Spirit or Goddess and will have powers of her own. Normally, she will live in his Stead on the Spirit Plane, Hero Plane or God Plane.

The Guards will be Otherworld entities, either Spirits, Demons, Heroes or lesser Deities and will have abilities and skills to match. Snakes and Serpents will be Dragons or powerful Spirits, True Dragons guard the river around Lodril's Halls, for instance.

Failure at this level may mean a loss of power for the Hero or even the Hero's death.

Holy Day Ceremonies

At this level, the Questor reinforces what has happened before. He may gain one-use Divine Magic and may gain a Temple Companion. Such a Companion will stay with him for the duration of the Holy Day Ceremonies and may well produce a Son who will be sacred and will enter in the service of the Temple.

Guards will be Temple Servants, either Initiates or Rune Levels, bit they will be able to Heroically cast their Divine Magic and will be supported by their congregation. Snakes and Serpents will be as normal, but may have some extra powers.

Failure at this level means problems for the cult for the next year.

[End]