Side Trek: Arielle’s Secret Grotto

See, In the Halls of the Mage-King, Sub-level 3g. The Silver Grotto, page 28.
 

Overview

The party is compelled to swim through a submerged tunnel, requiring a full turn (or more) to traverse the entire length. By the time the adventurers emerge from the water, they find that members of the party following the tenants of law or of good (or of both) have been healed of all wounds, diseases, curses, and other harms. Other non-evil creatures will be healed of physical wounds only. Creatures following the teachings of evil will be healed of 50%, or 3d12 (whichever is the lesser) of their current physical damage.

The group emerges into a fern-draped grotto where no detection of evil can be found anywhere within detectable range. Though the party’s ability to see more than a few hundred yards due to the heavy growth of vegetation surrounding the pond, the sounds of birds and bubbling streams can be heard all around them.

In general, the party is filled with a sense of peace all about them.

Details

The infinite expanse of the sylvan setting surrounding the grotto is unbroken by anything more than and momentary ray of sunshine. The forest creatures residing herein comprise all the myriad facets of animals and beings that call such places home; centaur, dryad, brownie, nymph, elf, sprite, sylph, and more. However, the most prodigious protectors of the lands are treants of enormous size. Also, elfish knights mounted on unicorns and pegasi patrol the lands and skies in search of evil, or of any creature that would harm the flora and fauna herein.

Strong enmity will exist between the elfish guardians and any dwarfs who might be traveling with the party.

However, the peaceful lands are broken up with pockets of evil. These dark areas are filled with creatures of foul temper; giant spiders, whipping willows (see the Usherwood Adventures Expansion for OSRIC for information on whipping willows), dark elfs (see the Usherwood Adventures Expansion for OSRIC for information on darl elfs), satyrs, hydra, harpy and similar creatures abound in the dark pockets.

Antagonists

The Black Druid:  Several days’ journey from the Silver Grotto exists a clearing wherein is built an expansive tree house which is the domain of the Black Druid. This is a powerful defender of the forest, and is unforgiving when it comes to defending the creatures he sees as being under his protection. The tree house is built in the eves of an enormous animated tree (AC -5; MV 10 ft; HD 30; HP 240; #AT ½ (fist, one attack every other round); DAM 4d20), which continually wanders the infinite forest.

The Black Druid is of the 14th level of experience (Supreme Druid), and as he resides on a separate plane of existence, does not count against the campaign world’s limit of 1 such entity. The druid (who is himself chaotic neutral) maintains a small army of centaurs.

The Black Druid sees all dwarfs as inherently detrimental to the existence of all sylvan beings and plants. He will capture them for interrogation, and trial (in which he is the judge and jury). Any dwarf found to be guilty of crimes against nature will be summarily executed. Those found to be guilty of dwarfish association will be imprisoned indefinitely.

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