We did end up doing this a while ago, sort of wrapping up the whole adventure. The details are a little fuzzy; I should have documented it sooner afterwards.
In any event, it went more or less like I planned. The ended up getting trapped in a pit with one of the miners and using the magic acorns to grow a tree to get out. Since we were underground, I had the tree grow much more slowly than usual, meaning if they wanted to wait all night for it, they would need to lose some of their food, which they did. It was really the first time I’ve made food a factor. I think it’s kind of assumed most places they can forage and whatnot and I’ve never charged them for eating at the tavern or anything. Ultimately, it’s not that much fun to manage such things. Food is generally suggested to be used as “monster bait” in the rulebook. But I think it worked pretty well here, along with a sensible narrative reason to limit the power of their magic acorns.
I used my underground cave tiles, drawing the mine cart tracks in wet erase on them. I was delighted to find that when I used a + intersection, drawing tracks on only three of the sides, they essentially ignored the other path. This allowed for a great moment where the realized that “un-tracked” path led down to the underground lake where the ship was docked. They boated across, then fought off some water beasts who tried to knock them off their boats. Eventually, they made it onto the ship, which was eerily quiet above deck but had the sounds of an organ below. A little bit of Captain Nemo/Davy Jones going on there as Captain Flynn turns from his organ playing to converse with them. He makes it clear he wants is acorns back and kind of explains that it’s all he was ever really after. Kira and Kai were all about handing them over. Erin, not so much. Partly perhaps because it was her item, but maybe it’s just that contrary element adults have of going against what the GM clearly desires to occur. In my head I found this frustrating, since this was essentially the way in which the adventures of the kids would come to an end, which was the whole point. They wanted new characters, so we needed to resolve the loose ends here (at least I thought so at the time). We did end up having a bit of combat actually because of this, but eventually they yielded the acorns, freeing Captain Flynn from his curse as he promises never to return. The heroes having saved Rivenshore from the overarching “big bad”, they excitedly picked out some new characters.
This was an obstacle I hadn’t really faced before. Yes, I was railroading them, but it was basically because they asked me to. I’d have had no problem with a combat where he again de-materializes, only to show up again later. Or even with him capturing and enslaving them on his ship. But like, the whole point was to wrap it up. It had been established he was immortal due to the cursed acorns. So, now what? We worked through it, but I felt like it wasn’t very satisfying for Erin at least.
But now we get to move on. Characters are picked, new PC minis have arrived, and we are ready to jump into something new.