The Witch At The Crossroads
As you begin to see the Forest on the Horizon, you come to a crossroads branching in several directions. The sign is old and worn by weather and time, making the words difficult to read. Looking at your map you only see one path, moving forwards - yet the sign points down multiple old dirt roads.
As you approach, you notice an old hag sitting behind a broken down wagon. There is a single donkey tethered to it, looking defeated and somber. One of the large wheels has cracked and broken in several places. She calls out to you as you approach, "Greetings Travelers, would you have time to spare for an old woman like me?"
Mostly covered in a shabby cowl, it is obvious that she is quite poor. The wagon seems to be half full of hand-made crafts and baubles. You notice a light green tint to her skin under her hat and at the wrists, otherwise she is covered head to toe in black, with raven black hair.
"My wagon has broke down again and there isn't much I can do for it" she laments. "Is there any help you can offer?"
*Clarissa is a Fairy Godmother who frequently takes the form of a Witch. Her role is to weed out the cold-hearted and evil, in an effort to keep the Wicked Witch's army from growing any larger, and to find Champions she can recruit towards her Cause.
*If attacked she will polymorph that player into a donkey. They are largely unusable and should be considered dead.
*If slighted she will send players down a path towards a dangerous foe.
*If ignored, whichever path a player chooses will be the wrong one. After wandering for some time and falling into traps or misfortune, they will eventually be lead back to this very same crossroads, to find Clarissa again in her True Form. She will then explain that they have failed, and she will bar them from moving forwards on their quest until they complete task(s) for her as penance. These result in her unblocking their way and experience but players will not receive any form of loot, instead she will magically remove it from their persons/bag the following night when they sleep as punishment for a lesson learned too late.
*Depending on how helpful players are, they may receive optional side quests, information, experience, or loot - at the discretion of the DM.