Poisonous Apple

Welcome back to Aizendore’s Periodical of Possibilities! This is where you can get a sneak peek inside Aizendore’s Vault in the run-up to our exciting upcoming Kickstarter. Aizendore’s Vault of Tragic Treasures contains lore and mechanics for nearly 300 magic items (yes, that’s with two zeros!) and in each installment we will feature a different treasure from the vault and discuss some ways that you can use it in your campaign to delight (and possibly dismay) your players! Today, you’re getting a taste of the seemingly innocuous…

Poisonous Apple

[Insert Poisonous Apple art]

Looks like a perfectly ordinary apple, doesn’t it? Shiny, ruby red… enticing. Well that’s just what they (we) want you to think! This deceptive Poisonous Apple will put the unfortunate taste-tester into a deep and everlasting slumber with just one bite. The only cure? Why, true love’s kiss, of course (did you really have to ask?). That or exceedingly powerful, reality-bending magic. And anyone who’s spent any time on a dating app knows which one is harder to find…

The roots of this classic fairytale item go back a long way and offer fertile ground for inspiration. Perfect for adventures both whimsical and grim (or Grimm, as it were), the Poisonous Apple opens up all kinds of avenues for storytelling. So gather round the campfire and let’s talk about some of the possibilities:

If you want a dramatic way to introduce a hag archenemy into your campaign, then look no further. Maybe the party wanders into a sleepy little town—a little too sleepy… like, a little too literally sleepy—and encounter an innocent old woman selling shiny red apples from a cart. With any luck they’ll notice that most of the villagers seem to be asleep, or that something is off about these apples before they take a bite but honestly, when do us players ever actually think things through before we run into a dungeon or stuff our faces? What the characters don’t know is that this “innocent old woman” is in fact a night hag in disguise. Night hags haunt sleeping creatures with dreadful nightmares and siphon away their souls, which makes coma-inducing apples the perfect tool for their wicked shenanigans.

With a party member or some other ally falling prey to a Poisonous Apple, could embark on a quest to find their long lost love to wake them. Or if the poor slumberer has been unlucky in love, the party may be forced to seek out a genie to trade favour for a wish, adding to the storybook nature of the adventure even further. But it could just as easily be a bargain with a devil that saves the day, or any number of similarly powerful entities. And if you want a shorter path to success, maybe all the party needs to do is slay the night hag and maybe her coven to break the curse. This option might be best if it is the whole town which has been put to sleep. Because otherwise, that’s a lot of kisses and wishes.

And of course what good is a magic item if the players don’t get to use it? I’m sure the party has many enemies that they’d like to send a “conciliatory” fruit basket to…

Let us know what ideas the Poisonous Apple inspires at your table! You can share your ideas with us on Facebook, Discord, Reddit, Twitch and Youtube.

Stay tuned for the next entry!

Have we wet your appetite for more magical delicacies? While you wait for the main course, check out our starter menu by grabbing yourself a copy of the Aizendore’s Scroll of Testing playtest document from our homepage!

Aizendore’s Vault of Tragic Treasures launches on April 8th on Kickstarter.