Gespenst Wald, forest of the ghost, at least that's what my parser keeps telling me, grieving the "st" in between.

From Middle High German gespenst, gespenste, from Old High German gispensti (“temptation, (devilish) illusion”), from spanan (“to lure, to attract”).

Maybe norman french words are just manifestations of a fungal infestation, fruiting in baileys. We are lured in by the old, true, words, sheltering in the weald.

Gespenwald is a module for use with Cairn written by Dan Sumption for the Forests of Another Name jam.

A paper triptych hosts the Gespenwald, when folded it hides behind its cover illustration and, on its back, a traditional children's rhyme:

Oh Gespen Tree, Oh Gespen Tree
Return my stolen love to me

Of course...

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
Wie treu sind deine Blätter!

As the paper construct opens, the back of the right wing reveals the Background "At the centre of the land, stands the Gespen Tree". The deployed left wing flanks it with encounters. Unfold the right wing and the triptych is revealed.

1d6 Encounters | 1d6 Terrains | 1d6 One-off Encounters

I chose this 6th encounter because it is, in my opinion, the least interesting, still, magic butter... What kind of magic butter?

Eighteen plus one entries woven in a wood. The words close and not too weird. Magic at the word level, coiling for the wald level ensemble. Every thing that belongs in there, you, outsider.

The format of this adventure / setting is compact. The fold / unfold mechanism translates in the mind of the wardens. Unfolded, it is a device, like a great photograph, the eye of the mind gathering momentum in a few loops and then released in Gespenwald tangents. Yeast does its job.


Dan Sumption blogs and writes at Peakrill Press and sometimes reads aloud on Youtube or interviews Noisms and Patrick Stuart. He first presented Gespenwald in April 2022.

Gespenwald in book and in pdf.