Saturday, May 25, 2024

Red Tree Hollow

Bryce Canyon Hoodos USA Tree; Anemone123
Click HERE for a PDF version of this adventure!

Suitable for 1st Level

C - Traders & Tree

A winding, narrow trail ascends a sheer mountainside: leveling off and proceeding into what at first appears to be a nook in the wall, carved out by eons and eons of runoff. However: after a short distance, the walled valley opens up into almost a caldera: with several caves visible descending into the rock.

Scale: 10 ft

In the center of the clearing is a scraggly but large tree - its gnarled boughs wreathed by crimson plumage - red leaves budding like so many flowers from the rough, knotted wood. Beneath the tree rest three Traders (B43), sheltering for a while alongside their mule: presently unladen.

W - West

The ceilings are vaulted, supported by arched stone throughout. Roots and other intrusions have made their way through, leaving debris haphazardly strewn across the floor: to be kicked into piles by repetitious passage of feet.

W1 - Atrium

Columns rise to support a vaulted ceiling, the bases thereof resting atop carvings of figures in archaic armor. They are shorter than men, but taller than dwarves - their features, otherwise, have been obscured: as roots and cracks have taken a toll.

W2 - Crushing Corridor

Arches continue to line this corridor - however, concealed halfway through is a tripwire which - if activated - will cause the upward part of one of the central supports to fall: striking anyone in the same marching rank as the character triggering the trap.

An attack is made against any eligible target - THAC0 18 - for 1d10 damage. The falling block is supported by a chain which, a few moments after falling, will retract itself: re-tightening the tripwire and resetting the trap.

W3 - Treasury

In the south wall, three recessed spaces house two aged wooden boxes. One box contains specie amounting to 10 gold and 500 silver pieces. Four Giant Shrew (B42) are nosing about in the northern half of the space.

W4 - Refuse Chute

The walls of this chamber are lined with six stone cubes - 3 by 3 feet each. They will open - either up or down - along the top: which may surprise a character sitting or standing on one. If the character is surprised and falls through, they will fall a short distance, slide along a scree mound, and find themselves deposited near the base of the path leading to section C.

W5 - Beetle Chamber

Plate 43, Animalia Rationalia et Insecta; Joris Hoefnagel
Blank walls face inward - remnants of thread can be found by the discerning eye about the floor. The room is ringed by a narrow ridge - just barely too small to be seating, but of appropriate height from the floor - above which, near where the arches vault into the ceiling, a wooden rod rings all walls except south: broken in places, but still hanging.

The room is occupied by 8 Fire Beetles (B31).

N - North

The walls are cut stone and the ceiling is arched: supported at interval by columns, appearing to likewise be decoratively cut from the rock. Cracks are forming with age - and in places, roots can be seen dangling through them.

N1 - Dry Fountain

Semi-circular fonts - long dry, but bowled and with a thin pipe leading into the walls above each of them - adorn the corners of this space. A mosaic is inlaid in the floor - but it has been scratched and damaged: the image has been lost.

N2 - Idol's Barracks

Wooden bunks line the north and south sides of the room. They are fragile with age. In the center of the west wall is a female statue, hands held in opposition: one up, one out and down. The is carved to be wearing a diadem, an amulet, and a ring on both fingers. Inlaid in the diadem is an opal worth 50 gold pieces; inlaid in the amulet is a single pearl - 10 gold piece value - and what appear to be sockets where others might have been. On each of the ring fingers is a diamond: small, but flawlessly cut - each worth 500 gold pieces.

Beneath one of the bunks on the north side is a foot locker containing 200 silver pieces. It is locked, but it is also decrepit and can be opened somewhat easily with a bladed weapon or sufficient force.

Skeleton of a Man with a Bow; Teodoro Filippo di Liagno

N3 - Skeleton Guard Room

Arrayed against the walls in silent vigil are 10 Skeletons (B42). They will attack on sight - and if a party opens the door to N2, they will, after 1d4 turns, walk down to investigate. One of the skeletons wears a medallion and helmet. The medallion is of electrum, worth 10 gold pieces.

In the room, itself, slumped against the south-west corner is a knapsack in which 40 gold pieces, 30 feet of rope, and 4 unspent torches can be found.

N4 - Dry Pool

An ellipsoid space, shallow and concave with a drain clogged by dust and rock at the bottom occupies the northern portion of this space. An elaborate face is carved into the wall with pouting lips: almost as though it was designed to spout water into the basin.

N5 - Illusionary Stairs

In the center of the room is a spiral stair leading upwards. It seems to continue up and up - but doesn't truly ascend anywhere. In general, 1d4 turns will pass expiring before a party will suspect foul play: but no matter how long they spent on the stair, only one turn is required to return to the chamber.

Four thin, tall structures hold four silver figurines in the non-cardinal corners of the central square: an owl, a frog, a fox, and a bison. These are worth 5 gold pieces each.

N6 - Treasure Hive

Broken wooden furniture is piled in parallel lines, north to south, in the center of the room. On the south-west side, there is a hive of Killer Bees (B37). In addition to the queen, 9 bees float around the space.

In addition to the healing honey, 20 gold pieces, 6 platinum pieces, and a ring with a mood stone worth 20 gold pieces can be found if a party disassembles the hive.

E - East

These caves are square - no vaulting - and the carvings are more utilitarian: square lintels holding up the ceilings, very little adornment on the walls. However the walls are in good shape - with very little debris and no obvious cracking.

E1 - Den

Five Wolves (B44) are resting in the space. Beneath their mess, the floor is tiled, with a mosaic resemblant of the tree outside - albeit in a much larger, fuller state. Among the folderol in the space is a pouch containing 100 silver pieces.

E2 - Dwarfish Watcher

In the two south corners sit two braziers - unlit, but not dirty either. In the center of the north wall, a carving in the likeness of a dwarf guards the way. If a party passes, it will address them, speaking slowly and in a low tone. The statue is lonely - but cannot be removed: its purpose being to guard this place and its magic bound to it. For Lawful parties, or for parties with Dwarves in them, a +2 bonus to the Reaction Roll should be applied. For positive results, the statue will be friendly and helpful; for negative ones, it may be flippant or sarcastic with them - perhaps to their detriment.

It is not aware of the secret doors - but has seen the gnomes in room E3 moving out from behind the south-east brazier inexplicably. It and they do not see eye to eye.

Gnome Petting Cat; Robert Anning Bell

E3 - Gnome Zone

Relatively new wooden chairs and a small table have been set in this space. Sitting at these tables are 4 Gnomes (B35) of stout character. They have 100 silver pieces between them and are of gruff, unfriendly - albeit not expressly combative - demeanor.

E4 - Inner Foyer

This chamber is nondescript - however the north door, when opened, has a 2-in-6 chance to jam: preventing any from passing east-west along the narrow corridor.

E5 - North Gem Chamber

The floor of the room is obscured entirely and the view into the room is milky as a strange, acrid-smelling fog cloaks the space. It is clammy, with a brief thrill to the touch - but is otherwise harmless.

Along both walls are what appear to be stone sarcophagus - six in total, arranged north to south - with the westernmost two being smaller than the others. If the north-west sarcophagus is pried open, inside can be found 200 silver pieces, two cat's eyes worth 20 gp each, and three small emeralds with 60 gp total.

E6 - South Gem Chamber

Like E5, a faux fog mysteriously hangs in this room. Also like E5, the fog is largely harmless.

In the nook to the south-west are three amphora - in one, ashes; in one, 30 gold pieces; in one, a pouch of several small aquamarine: worth 200 gp together.

Gold Crystal Jewelry Jewler; multanka

Public domain and open licensed artwork retrieved from Pixabay,, and from the National Gallery of Art and adapted for thematic use. Attribution in alt text.

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Red Tree Hollow

Click HERE for a PDF version of this adventure! ...