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In the Heart of the Forest


An atmospheric one-shot adventure set in a dark forest for one-on-one or parties of level 5 or 6.

There are two new sidekick classes, NPCs, and leveling tables included with handouts for your player!

In this adventure, the characters gather information in the small village of Redvale on the outskirts of the Blackwoods Forest. They go into the forest in search of Adelle, a druid whose other eleven Circle members have disappeared within the last year.

Inside the forest, they discover several undead beings, including a wood woad, who guides them to Adelle. She and her Circle learned a year before of a sorceress’s plan to extend her power beyond the forest, a death sentence for the village of Redvale and the lands beyond. Adelle is the last one left.

Adelle is suspicious of the party at first, but she might help them get to the center of the forest to investigate the dark sorceress and try to put a stop to her destructive plans.

This adventure sets a mysterious woodland ambiance that lends itself to an immersive one-shot experience!

This Adventure Includes:

  • Full one-shot adventure for levels 5 or 6
  • Two sidekick characters (or DMPCs) with handouts for your player
  • Two new sidekick classes and unique leveling tables: the archer and the Circle of the Phoenix druid
  • Mechanics for running a sidekick
  • Beautiful art
  • Well-rounded NPCs
  • Two custom NPC stat blocks
  • A new custom creature and
  • Two custom magical items

Connecting to Other One-on-One Adventures

For those who have played our previous adventures, like the Crystalline Curse Trilogy, this one-shot takes a slightly darker turn, but it will still follow those three very well.

Our other new adventure, The Proving Glade, is also available on DMsGuild! While these two adventures are not necessarily connected, they both involve navigating difficult and dangerous scenarios in a forest and could naturally be strung together!

There are notes for scaling the adventure and running it as a two-person game inside so it can be easily adjusted for any table. You'll also find mechanics notes for running a sidekick character!

Please leave a review and let me know what you think!

Thank you!

My special thanks you Jeff Stevens for my scholarship to participate in the RPG Writer Workshop, which is where I created this adventure!

I'd love for you to follow me on Twitter @GroveGuardian

or on Instagram @dndduet

If you're looking for more one-on-one adventures or ideas, you can find me at or on Patreon with Grove Guardian Press :)

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Reviews (8)
Discussions (5)
Customer avatar
Andrea F May 12, 2024 6:05 pm UTC
I read the PDF now a couple of times, and don't understand or seem to miss a crucial detail: Why would Adelle need the players' help? The druid circle's plan is to turn themselves into Wood Woads, which will make it possible for them to contain Erayna. Adelle is the last one that has to complete it. Where's the problem? Why should Adelle attack Erayna and risk loosing against her? Just complete the ritual, become the last Wood Woad, done. The Adventure nowhere says that Adelle needs someone else to perform the ritual on her, and that she would adress the players to do the ritual on her.
Customer avatar
Beth B May 30, 2024 7:37 pm UTC
Ooh and for this, I'd have Adelle lean on the party a little bit, especially the PC. Are they ok with someone sacrificing themselves to contain a powerful, relatively evil sorceress if they could prevent it and see another way? And then the greater danger Erayna poses is the continued expansion of her power which, yes, for now, the druids can prevent, but how long will that last if Erayna is functionally immortal because she can continue to be reborn?

I tried to leave the choices for the PC relatively open, and I think that's where the confusion/ambiguity is coming from. I'd look at what drives your PC and tap on that.
Customer avatar
Andrea F May 12, 2024 3:52 pm UTC
Hi Beth!
From the PDF, I don't understand the difference between the 2 precise stat blocks of the Sidekicks, and the generic lvl1 Sidekick stat block plus their leveling tables. E.g. Adelle is a 9th Level Circle of the Phoenix druid. And story-wise, she is the last one. So how would I get ANOTHER Circle of the Phoenix druid on top? And: She is lvl 9, but the leveling table only goes until lvl 6. Am I still to assume that she is a druid that got to that 9th level "as if she used this leveling table"?
Customer avatar
Beth B May 30, 2024 7:34 pm UTC
Hi Andrea,
Yes, I followed the general leveling guidelines for druids in creating Adelle's stat block—I was going to make an entire class, but the druid classes aren't as popular as adventures and then the Circle of Wildfire druid came out, so it seemed a bit superfluous at that point. (It's still a subclass I think about though! It is powerful, which I know wouldn't work across the board.) At the time when I published the adventure, sidekick mechanics hadn't really extended past level 6 in the publications from Wizards of the Coast. I've since created a four whole classes and subclasses of Adventuring Companions!

The way of becoming the new phoenix druid would be taking Erayna's cloak and headdress, and then that character would control the forest. Without someone there, Redvale ceases to exist.

Customer avatar
Steve C July 26, 2022 4:15 pm UTC
Also, if you are looking for a printable paper minifig for Erayna this is phytomancer is perfect:
Customer avatar
Steve C July 26, 2022 2:06 am UTC
So I take it that we are supposed to intuit that the wraith was actually Julien based on Erayna's comment?
Customer avatar
Alexis B May 19, 2022 7:35 pm UTC
How can I extract the map for the final encounter out of the pdf ? It's for roll20 use.
Customer avatar
Beth B May 26, 2022 4:46 pm UTC
Hi Alexis,
Thanks for your question! I think the easiest way to extract the map would be to take a screenshot of the map and save it as a jpeg. I've done that before on Roll20, and it worked great.
Hope that helps!
- Beth
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File Last Updated:
September 16, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on July 31, 2019.