From my understanding, the idea of a bridal party/groomsmen were to escort the bridge to the wedding. I found this through google:
"Actually the bridal party began with an Anglo-Saxon tradition. In this tradition, friends of the groom were given the role of guardians or body guards of the bride. It was their duty to make certain that the bride made it safely to the wedding and later the groom's home. She should arrive at both places with her dowry and herself intact. This is how the term bride's knights originated. It evolved into bridesmen and later into groomsmen." - http://weddings.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Wedding_Party_History
So, how cool would it be to make this an actual adventure? I ran it my by fiancee, who said that she would love to play a D&D game like this.
Synopsis: A fey ally to the party is set to married, or an ally of his is about to be. However, the betrothed needs to be escorted to the location of the wedding. The players are given the task of being the bride's knights (or groomsmen, depending on who they're leading).
Adventure Location: In my campaign world, this adventure would take place on the continent of Finyar, in the Sacred Forest. They could start in a small elven village, or perhaps the great wild elf city of Dawnscythe itself. Alternatively, the party could start in the world, and have to finish their journey in the Feywild, or from the Feywild into the world. Feel free to change the adventure to fit your needs.
Enemies: With my adventure set in the Sacred Forest, there are a variety of foes you could pit against the party. Here are my top choices.
- The Sisters of Affliction: A trio of hag slavers, the Sisters (Darkiss, Xia, and Shrei) know of the bridal parties that journey through the forest. The have a wide network through the Feywild and locations in the world heavily influenced by fey. Their personal appearance in attempting to capture a party of bride's knights would be monumental indeed, as they frequently have their minions attend to such thing. Goblins are their typical servants, and many a clan has fallen to the influence of the Sisters. Other groups of mercenaries have been known to serve them as well, for a favor or perhaps a glimpse into the future through their powers. When one of the Sisters does make an appearance, it is typically known. Shrei, a howling hag, tends to fight with a group of scarecrows. She also likes lighting things on fire. Xia, a vain bog hag, spends most of her time as a beautiful elf maiden (adventurers beware!), while Darkiss, a night hag, enjoys stealth and treachery when tracking her quarry.
|The Sisters of Affliction (from left): Shrei, Xia and Darkiss|
- The Caido: A ragtag group of half elf/vampires, this band is led by the dhampyr Trinity. She refers to herself as a half breed, and leads her group in raids against the elves of the Sacred Forest. No group is safe, whether they be high elf (eladrin), wild elf (elf), or dark elf (drow). Trinity would like nothing more than the slay every member of the bridal party, the bride included, after torturing them to the point where they beg for death. While most raiding parties are sent on by Trinity, one may be led by Celeste Veron, a conflicted young woman who could be swayed to turn against the Caido.
- Black Stars Bloodline: These vampires are mostly found in the south eastern area of the forest. They have strong connections to the Shadowfell and shadow magic. There are rumors that their dwellings within the Sacred Forest hold many shadow crossings. It is known that the the Caido have been known to deal and treat with them at times.
- Spawn: A green dragon that dwells within the Sacred Forest and the Feywild, the official title for the dragon is the Spawn of Zehir. The dragon is followed by a cult of Zehir, inhabiting ancient ruins of long lost civilizations. It is unknown where her lair lies in the Feywild, or what she uses it for. The wedding parties she captures are used in rituals dedicated to Zehir, while others are devoured.
- The City of Kwev: Rumors persist of a dark elf city built around the ancient tombs of an elven civilization. There, dark elves animate plant matter and the dead. While not entirely evil, they are a secret society who seek to avoid outsiders, unless those outsiders come to trade. Their relationship with other fey is strained at best.
|Overgrown Tomb by Rob Alexander|
Those five options provide a good deal of enemies to thwart the the plans of the characters and the bodyguards. Perhaps two of the factions collide, giving the players an opportunity to pit the enemies against one another. Perhaps they team up. Either way, feel free to adapt the enemies or use whatever other ones that you wish.
Other options to think about would be including dryads and nymphs, or any other fey influence. Such beings could make powerful allies with the party. Fey crossings and Underdark exploration could also be considered as a different way for the party to bring their target back in one piece.
The escortee should have a companion stat block for the appropriate level, but should not be allowed to fight. Marriage is a saintly event; the escortee is supposed to be protected. However, allowing them to use Healing Word twice per encounter, or having them carry some Healing Potions seems like it would be fair and would provide an extra bonus to protecting them.
If the players succeed, they should be invited to the wedding, which could lead to an interesting roleplaying evening. Create a list of guests (some should have the potential to be good benefactors), or perhaps map out a large mansion (if eladrin), or some other appropriate setting.
I threw this idea out to my fiancee as an adventure idea, and she said she would love to play a game like this as opposed to exploring a dungeon. I think interacting with the escortee could be just as interesting as trying to protect them. Leave some feedback and let me know what you think!
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