Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Stroll Through the Virgin Woode - Oil Slicks, Swamp Apes, Burial Mounds and Fountains

0418. Oil Slick | Trap
A portion of the woods here is covered in an oil slick. The slick covers about three acres; only thick, rugged grasses grow from beneath the slick, making the area it has blighted look like some sort of a unwholesome meadow. Those who touch the oil with their bare skin must pass a Fortitude save or be affected by a random magic oil.

0527. Skunk Ape | Monster Lair
The remains of a walled city can be found in the swamp here. The ruins consist of nothing but crumbled walls and a few towers covered with slimes, verdigris or other forms of corruption. The ruins are haunted by an especially fierce skunk ape, who brooks no intrusions on his domain, and who is clever enough to pick off intruders one at a time. A flooded vault in the ruins holds a +2 scimitar that can slice through air. This has the effect of dealing double damage on gaseous and air elemental creatures, as well as allowing one to create small sonic booms by making a special attack against an Armor Class of 20.

0624. Burial Mound | Monster Lair
An ancient skraeling burial mound can be found here. The mound is about 200 feet in diameter and 22 feet tall. One side of the hill hides an entance veiled in illusion. Beyond this entrance there is a 80-ft. long passage lined by megaliths. At the end of this passage there is a teardrop-shaped shield painted a brilliant sapphire blue. This +1 shield is Lawful (CG) in alignment, and if touched by a member of any other alignment, sparks and causes 1d6 points of electricity damage (per round, if one keeps ahold of it).

The shield is actually a door of sorts, a small passage being hidden behind it. The shield is wizard locked to the wall (by a 10th level magic-user). Beyond the shield and the small hole in the wall, there is a narrow set of stairs that lead downward through a brackish, powerful wind. At the bottom of the stairs (about 400 feet long, and sensitive folk might get the feeling they’re “not in Kansas anymore”) there is a crimson sea stretching out into a black expanse. Beyond the sea (how one crosses it is up to the players – perhaps canoes would work) there is a grey shore, a long strand of beach behind which there is a noisome jungle of scarlet foliage. A treasure has been buried on this beach by pirates of this strange dimension, a treasure of two golden tablets containing the location of the tomb of the Thief of Dreams.

What monsters might dwell in this dimension, other than the pirates, is up to the TK – have fun and use it as a chance to surprise the players and introduce some new menaces.

0716. Empty Fountain | Curiosity
A clearing in the woods here holds an empty fountain made of red granite and topped with a coiled dragon made of tarnished copper. The dragon’s head is held aloft, such that one would assume that the water of the fountain would emerge from its snout. The pipe in the snout from which the water would emerge is currently blocked by the handle of a +1 light mace.

The fountain is guarded by an astral deva called Morviel, placed here at the behest of a wizard of the ancient elves to keep the curious or wicked away from this Fountain of Holocausts. Should the magic mace be removed, the fountain would explode in a gout of blazing flame, one that would send white hot cinders flying through the air to land in the woods beyond.

Anyone within 30 feet of the fountain, if active, would suffer 3d6 points of fire damage per round. Beyond 30 feet, and up to 1 mile, one suffers 1d6 points of damage per round. Naturally, within a short time the woods will be burning, causing other problems.

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