The first 2015 fall weekend of Cottington Woods ran two weeks ago; this event had a Hansel and Gretel theme.
I actually personally saw very little of the Hansel and Gretel based stuff; I was kept busy with everything else going on in the Woods. We fought shades escaping into our realm from the City of Crawling Shadows, performed exorcisms, chatted with ghosts in the kitchen, faced our darkest fears in rituals to fortify us against creatures of Nightmare, and I’m proud to say I solved a few difficult riddles and puzzles in various modules. The Slenderman made a scary reappearance — I suspect he’ll be a menace at the next Cottington weekend.
One particular highlight, for me, was a reappearance of elements from Wonderland back into our realm. One of my favorite Cottington Woods weekends started with us falling down the rabbit hole and ended with victory over the Jabberwock, so I was very happy when a few of the denizens of Wonderland came back through the Looking Glass to make more mischief. All of the PCs who had been inducted into the Black Court found themselves compelled to battle against their friends. The local boffer community shies away from PvP, but I find if used sparingly, it can make for very dynamic, exciting battles thanks to the diversity of abilities and fighting styles. After the fight, we had a tea party with the Caterpillar (very enjoyable — I was so glad to see this character because I’d missed him at the Wonderland weekend.)
Also, at the Summer Fair, there was a contest of many parts that ran throughout the day. First prize was a golden gnome, second prize was a magical necklace of armor, and third place was a flower with healing properties. I won second place, but when the first place winner expressed preference for the necklace, I traded for the golden gnome.
It was suggested the gnome would bring luck to its owner, especially if presented with offerings of treats. So I spent an evening making foam cookie props (they can legally serve as thrown weapons… hey, you never know when you need to improvise in a surprise attack and want to throw food at someone!)
Biggest bummer of the weekend? I heard there was a witch’s garden that needed defending from shambling hordes of undead, and the PCs took on the roles of a variety of plants to fend them off. Yes, there was a Plants vs. Zombies inspired module, and I missed it. I requested they run another module like it in the future. Finger’s crossed!
The last event of the year (which was originally going to be the last event of the campaign, before it was extended) is already a mere three weeks away, and I’m so excited to get back to the Woods for the two nights of the year when the woods are most full of things that go bump in the night.