As the party is travelling, they notice the sky getting progressively darker and darker. Before long, what started as a light drizzle has now become a torrential downpour. Lightning crashes in the sky and the wind howls around them. Despite the greatly reduced visibility, the party can make out what looks like an abandoned farmhouse in the distance.
Once inside this shelter, they are safe from the elements. The walls do rattle, but at least the party is kept dry. Investigating the house will find very little of interest: a single-room farmhouse with a small kitchen, empty cupboards, a bed that is coated in a layer of dust from disuse, a chest with nothing of interest inside except for a blue gingham dress.
Suddenly, the storm picks up more severely. The entire building begins to shake. If the party attempts to stabilize the structure, they will find their efforts unsuccessful. Before they know it, the house feels as though it is lifted by the wind up off the ground and into the sky, spinning dizzily through the air, until the entire party blacks out amidst the backdrop of roaring wind and powerful rain.
Landing in a Strange Land
The party will awaken at roughly the same time. They are on the floor of the same farmhouse, but they no longer can hear or feel the wind/rain. Instead, outside the building, there appears to be a great commotion: some whispering, some yelling, even some small blurry faces peering in through dirty, water-streaked windows.
Exiting the farmhouse reveals that the party has crashed in the middle of a halfling village. The halflings are gathered around the structure, looking shocked and distressed.
A rotund halfling dressed in a fancy vest and top hat steps forward, angrily demanding to know who you are and what you want. If you bring up the storm, they will seem really confused and claim to have no idea what you’re talking about.
Other members of the halfling community will step forward and order you to pay up for the damages done to their various carts, city streets, etc. that were beneath the farmhouse when it landed.
Suddenly, there is a scream from around the backside of the house. A group of halflings runs over to investigate, and your party likely does the same. On the other side of the house, two legs stick out from beneath the structure. They are dressed in striped stockings, and the feet are wearing two shoes adorned with various semi-precious stones that sparkle in the sunlight.
To sort of play against the whole joyous “ding, dong, the witch is dead!” (from The Wizard of Oz), these halflings will be completely mortified, bursting into tears and clinging to one another for comfort. If a player tries to touch the legs in any way or claim the shoes, the halflings will rush to prevent it from happening, commanding you to “leave her alone!”
The well-dressed halfling from earlier steps forward and crouches down beside the legs. His face has completely changed, from being purpled with rage to white as a ghost.
“This is really bad,” he comments under this breath.
Turning to the party, the halfling no longer has a voice of anger but one that is pleading. He introduces himself as Mayor Mushkin (if anyone says, “like munchkin”?”, he gets offended). Gesturing down to the legs, he explains how this witch was the hired protector of their village, fending off the bizarre creatures lurking in the neighboring woods who wish them harm. Now that she’s gone, whatever barrier spells she had in place are likely lifted, and it won’t be long now before the creatures of the forest launch an offensive against them.
He asks the party, imploringly, to help defend the village by defeating the attacking monsters. If the party agrees, then they can make preparations for the coming battle. If the party disagrees, then the battle will happen anyway. Attempting to wander away from the halfling village will only cause the party members to get turned around in the thick surrounding woods and end right back at the edge of town. Similarly, all items or spells that allow players to warp/teleport will fail while in this location.
When the party is ready, a horn is sounded from one of the halfling watchtowers at the edge of the village; the creatures have been sighted, and they are advancing quickly.
Note: To fit with the Wizard of Oz connection, this whole scenario is intended to be a dream. Therefore, this encounter ends regardless of whether the party succeeds or fails. If the party falls in combat, they can simply collectively wake up back on the floor of the farmhouse (although they won’t have any rewards to show for their efforts and only a foggy memory of their time in the halfling village).
To win the battle, the party must defeat 3 monsters: a lion, a tin man (construct), and a scarecrow. Below are some images for inspiration as well as possible stat blocks.
The “Lion of Cowardice” should be very aggressive and try to attack whoever is closest to him or whoever last landed an attack against him. To play up the connection with the source material, you can make him very susceptible to being frightened, automatically giving him a failing score on any saving throws for fright.
The “Man of Tin”, like the lion, should be really susceptible to being stunned/petrified. I know that’s not typical of constructs, but it would play off the Tin Man’s being rusted and immobile in the film.
The Scarecrow, just for the sake of comedy, can literally just be a scarecrow that’s carried around by a flock of crows and flung at the party. When this happens, it deals 1d4 bludgeoning damage and that’s all. If the Scarecrow is hit with any fire-based attack, it burns up immediately, and the crows abandon it and fly away.
If you succeed in defeating these creatures, the halflings will cheer and praise you as their saviors. As a reward, and since the dead witch is clearly not using them anymore, the halflings will remove the slippers from the corpse’s feet and hand them to one of the players.
By donning these shoes and clacking the heels together, the entire halfling village will fade away, and the party will find themselves waking up on the floor of the farmhouse. Sunlight is streaming through the window and the weather has cleared.
Stepping outside the building will show that the farmhouse never lifted off at all; it’s right back in the field where the party first entered it. If you want to have a more scientific answer for their psychedelic trip, the party can investigate the area around the farmhouse (now that visibility has cleared up) and find bright red poppy-esque flowers, the pollen of which makes them sleepy and hallucinate.
Although the halfling village was all, seemingly, a hallucination, the player who donned the slippers will notice that they are still on his/her feet.
The player will now have possession of the Semiprecious Slippers. Because the stones are only “semiprecious” (e.g. amethyst, topaz, peridot) and not “precious” (e.g. ruby, sapphire, emerald), the slippers cannot be sold for much.
When worn and clicked together, the wearer, and anyone within 5’ of the wearer, will be teleported to wherever the user perceives as “home.” This definition of “home” can change, and it depends on where the user feels most like they’re “home” at that particular moment in time.
This magic item can only be used once a day. The slippers cannot teleport the group back to where they were pre-warping (unless that was “home” for somebody else who could don the shoes).