Adventure Hook: Sleep of the Elves

A plot hook for 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons but adaptable to other systems.

By Mark-Alexander Cross

The elves has one of the best abilities in the game; the trance. The ability to gain the benefits of a full rest after only a time period of four hours instead of eight by entering a phase of meditation instead of sleep.

But why do the elves not sleep? What would happen if an elf was to sleep? Today’s hook will put a deadly spin on these questions while providing your players with a mystery to solve.

Players: 2-4  Level: 1-3  Goal: Mystery & Story

Read this aloud to your players:

“You have been summoned to the home of the elven bailiff Flanadan Noonrise, with the promise of a payment of 100 gold pieces each and a boon from the council itself to solve a mystery.

Flanadan’s youngest son Tylin is asleep in his bed but he is an elf and their people do not sleep. The elves enter a period of meditated trance in order to gain their form of a good night’s rest (a DC 15 history check will reveal that this due to their origins from the Feywild) but they can’t sleep under regular circumstances.

‘Please you have to help my son!’ Flanadan exclaims; ‘Someone or something has put my son to sleep and he must not stay asleep. He may never awaken again because of the power of dreams. It is our Fey ancestry you see, it grants us the ability to completely control our dreamscape and literally create worlds of our own!’

    The bailiff’s expression goes pale white as he recalls a painful truth of his people.

‘That is the problem when you live for over seven-hundred years, time passes slowly and years to us can mean nothing, so what do you think happens when you can create a perfect world? Why would you ever want to wake up and elven kin can not simply be shaken awake either…. In our earliest days when we still slept, there was many who died because they did not awake to eat or drink, please solve this.’

So how do you wanna do this?

The mystery is now ready to take in any direction you see fit; I primarily designed this hook to be a good introductory adventure which utilises skill checks, investigation, role-playing and a boss combat encounter against a displacer beast. As ever though allow me to offer a few alternatives or come up with an idea of your own:

  • Get some magic involved and enter the dreamscape of Tylin, maybe a really out there dungeon run with unusual monsters and Tylin himself being the final boss as he refuses to leave.
  • Want to go really crazy? Then, how about you send your players to the Feywild itself and create a story of Fey magic history over the willing loss of sleep?
  • Channel your inner Games of Thrones and create a bitter family feud as Tylin is put to sleep as a means of levage in a long play created by the father; after all he is a bailiff.

Help save this boy and make an ally or enemy out of Flanadan Noonrise, while having fun and getting into a good ol’ fashioned DnD mess along the way.

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