D&D Puzzle – The Hag’s Tea – Wild Beyond the Witchlight

Our adventuring party has been sent to investigate Bogkettle’s Tea Shop. The shop has been closed for a few days and citizens fear something may have happened to the owner, a goblin by the name of Bogkettle. What’s worse, the townsfolk are afraid to find out for themselves due to rumors of a green hag that may be lurking within the building.

Entering the tea shop, the adventurers will find that the rumors are true. A green hag can be found in a delightful mood stirring a kettle of her own homebrew tea. Bogkettle is also present, but the hag has him under the effect of a modified Geas spell. If the goblin were to try and leave or escape, the geas would take effect and the amount of psychic damage endured would kill him outright.

Now, of course, the hag is willing to work with the adventurers in return for freeing Bogkettle. In fact, her demands are simple. She would like to sit and chat with them over a mug of her hot tea.

The Puzzle

If they agree to sit and drink tea then the hag smiles and her goblin servant brings out three mugs. One made of silver, one of wood, and one of a skull. He places them on the table The hag then says:

Here you see these vessels three.
One of these is poison-free.

Pick a mug and drink the tea.
Only truths have you heard from me.

At this point Bogkettle approaches again, this time with a small kettle and a ladle. He stands next to the table, waiting to pour the tea.

If the characters refuse, then, the hag will go about her business and say:

You gave me hope, so that’s a shame,
Come the morrow you’ll feel the same

Now, being adventurers, I’m sure the players may contemplate attacking the hag. She will be insightful and if she feels that they may be contemplating such an action, she will let them know that her two sisters are upstairs sleeping. It would be best for them if they don’t get them involved, for her sisters aren’t as nice as she is. But, are more hags really present or is she being deceptive? Well, that is up to you, the GM to decide.

The Hag’s Tea D&D Puzzle Encounter

The Solution

All three of the mugs are poisonous. The only safe way to drink the tea is to drink it from the ladle or the kettle. The poison that is laced into the mugs is called Midnight Tears. At midnight, the creature will take 9d6 poison damage unless they make a DC17 Constitution Saving throw, in which case they will only take half of the damage.

Regardless, the green hag keeps her word freeing Bogkettle, turning invisible, and fleeing the establishment. Perhaps her sisters too? Or, were they really even there?

Alternative Puzzle Scenario

Throughout the article we have identified a social encounter between the player characters and a green hag. As heroes, they are tasked with investigating the changes of Bogkettle’s Tea Shop and finding out what happened to the owner of the establishment. However, is a different way to run the puzzle if you want to ensure that the adventurers must interact with the hag and her tea.

The Tea House is in a Pocket Dimension. The characters may have been able to enter the Tea House with no issues whatsoever, but trying to leave is a different story altogether. In this scenario, going out the front door brings them back through the back door. Going out the back door, magically places them at the threshold of the front door. Basically, they are trapped in this cursed house (perhaps a feywild or pocket dimension experience) and need the hag’s help to escape. Of course, the hag would like a bit of company and for them to have some of her brewed tea before agreeing to terms. The “tea”, is magical and provides the necessary planar travelling recipe to get them out of this enchanted place (regardless of whether or not they are poisoned).

Wild Beyond the Witchlight Puzzle

Another scenario is the one that will be used by the puzzle’s designer, Thorn. In his Wild Beyond the Witchlight game, Thorn’s players are attacking the BBEG night hag’s citadel. The green hag in this puzzle, Granny Nightshade, has already betrayed and stolen the powers of her coven sisters and placed them in her soul bag, but the bonds between worlds are weak here, allowing them to manifest for short periods. The dead hags want help to escape their imprisonment while also seeking revenge on their sister. The players are in a hostile area and could use all the help they can get

Bogkettle’s Tea Shop: Swirling gray mist flows between forest green curtains – a sign posted just above the waterline declares this to be Bogkettle’s Tea Shoppe. The inside is dimly lit by dozens of fireflies. On enter: the translucent image of a toad-like crone squats behind a floating table with three empty vessels upon it: a silver chalice, a wooden cup, and an overturned stag skull.

Adding in the following:

“You’ll not need blades while I persuade,
For ‘Lyn and I were both betrayed:

We’re both caught between life and death
Before I help I’ll need a test

Bavlorna Blightstraw was the name,
A truth for each lie, that’s my game:

(If the players agree: The image of the hag smiles as a goblin servant bearing a kettle walks in unsteadily from the back room and stands next to the table, waiting)

Here you see these vessels three.
One of these is poison-free.

Pick a mug and drink the tea.
Only truths have you heard from me.

(A young goblin servant carrying a kettle waits for the choice to be made to pour the tea.)

The solution is to drink from the kettle, but if you’re feeling generous, the skull could work since the tea drips right out. On a failure, the poison is Midnight Tears (at Midnight the creature must pass a DC17 Con saving throw vs 9d6 poison damage on a failed save or half as much on a success).

On failure or refusal, she speaks thusly and disappears, freeing Bogkettle from his possession, if he’s alive:

You gave me hope, so that’s a shame,
Come the morrow you’ll feel the same

On pass, she speaks thusly and disappears, freeing Bogkettle from his possession:

Only here in the swirling mists
Can our souls form to give you hints

If seek ye help with the old hag
You must lay waste to her soul bag

Seek out my sister Endelyn
To see your future and the end.

Thank you to Thorn for sharing his puzzle idea with us, The Hag’s Tea. Be sure to join our TTRPG / D&D Puzzle communities to share more puzzle stories, ideas and advice. You can find us on Reddit r/DndPuzzlesAndTraps or the Wally DM Discord.

on to the next!

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