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    Adventure Seeds: Stories of the Sheldomar II
    Posted on Fri, December 07, 2001 by Trickster
    chatdemon writes "The canopy of the great Dreadwood Forest hides many mysteries from the rest of the Sheldomar valley, can the party solve but one of these, a tale of broken hearts, ancient druid circles and a restless protector of the forest?

    Author: chatdemon



    Stories of the Sheldomar II

    by chatdemon
    chatdemon@hotmail.com
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    "Burning Leaves"
    An adventure seed for a party of 4-6 characters of levels 5-7, preferrably with a ranger or druid in the party.

    The party is travelling through the Dreadwood along the SilverAxe trail from Westkeep to Monmurg and discovers a large tract of burnt woods. Investigating, they find that the burn centers around a small glade containing a primitive Flannae stone circle, constructed to encompass a large, now burnt and dead, oak tree. An elven looking girl in burnt and tattered clothing appears to be trying to nurture the tree and is crying softly and muttering something about 'what have I done wrong? why won't you answer me anymore?' When they party approaches her, they discover to their horror that she is an undead apparition of a Dryad, apparently unaware of the damage to her grove and her anchor oak tree. Any attempts to turn or combat her, if forthcoming, are futile, and are ignored, she merely goes back to tending the dead tree until approached again.
    If the party druid or ranger offers to help her and inspects the tree, they are entitled to a DC 15 spot check to notice that a large section of the tree's bark was cut away and removed before the fire.
    Anyone in the party possessing the spellcraft skill is entitled to a DC 20 spot check to notice the remains of a circle of sulfur and guano drawn on the ground around the base of the tree, suggesting that the fire was no natural occurence, but perhaps started by some arcane caster.
    If questioned about the missing bark, the dryad, Aelyssana, informs the party that her dear friend Kafanz, a wood elf from the nearby village of Goldenbranch, visited about a week ago and asked her permission to remove a section of bark from her tree in order to craft a mask. Kafanz is a maskmaker of some reknown in this area of the forest and claimed to be seeking just the right material to construct his climactic work, saying he would retire to a life of fishing afterward. Aelyssana knows nothing about the circle of ashes and is oblivious to the fact it is even there.
    Any druid or ranger in the party should be able to realize that Aelyssana is being denied the peace of the grave by some force of nature wishing the perpetrator of the fire be brought to justice. Aelyssana, being unaware of the fact she is even dead, is of little help, but her information on the mask maker should provided enough of a clue to lead the party on their way.
    Upon finding the village of Goldenbranch, it is fairly simple to locate Kafanz the mask maker. Anyone in town (mostly wood elves, with a handful of forest gnomes and human woodsmen) can direct the party to Kafanz's small workshop. When questioned, Kafanz is horrified to hear of the fire and the fate of the dryad. He explains that when he was a small child, his parents were killed by bugbears while travelling in the woods, leaving him to wander aimless and afraid. The dryad rescued him and cared for him for a time, eventually taking him to Goldenbranch to live among his people. He claims to have been her friend ever since, and has no idea about the fire. He says he was asked by a man in town to create a mask in Aelyssana's image to serve as a gift to her, and asked the Dryad to take a bit of bark from her tree in order to create what he thought would be his opus work. The man who requested the mask, a local human mage named Averol, had given him 100 gold coins as payment, enough to let the old mask maker retire comfortably in the small village. Kafanz has little else to offer the party in terms of information, except that in his sorrow, he wishes to bring the mask back to the dryad, and thinks perhaps that might allow her to rest, since her tree would be 'whole' again.
    Going to Averol's home, the party finds it boarded up and the locals inform them that the odd mage was found dead a few days earlier, apparently by his own hand as he was hanged from a roof beam in his own home with a toppled stool nearby, wearing an odd mask which they buried him in.
    If the party asks to dig up the mage to retrieve the mask, they are refused, the locals telling them that they will not risk angering the spirits of the dead in their village. Sneaking into the burial glade is an easy matter however, as it guarded only by the folktales that speak of doom and gloom for any who would disturb the dead. After digging up the grave and retrieving the mask, the party should rebury the body, if not, they will be attacked by 2 Ghasts as they attempt to leave the burial glade.
    After returning to town, the party is welcomed by Kafanz, who offers to let them sleep in his workshop for the night before returning to the dryad with the mask. It is there that later that night they are assaulted by the following:
    Averol, Human Wizard-Necromancer 4/Revenant (see Monsters of Faerun for this template), armed with a quarterstaff +1 and possessing his full allotment of spells, which may be determined by the DM to properly challenge the party.
    2 Wraiths (standard as per Monster Manual 3e)
    Averol is angered by the theft of his mask and will focus his attention on the person who is carrying it. In his life the necromancer had fallen madly in love with the dryad during one of his forays into the woods to gather herbs for spell component use. After the dryad got bored with the human, she spurned his advances, and he commissioned the mask maker to create the mask as a gift to her, hoping to win her heart. Alas, Aelyssana rejected him once again, and brokenhearted, he uttered the following curse:

    As the dying trees shed their leaves,ever grasping toward the sky,as long as I may gaze on your grove, my love for you shall never die.

    This information may be gained by speaking with dead once the revenant is defeated, or by use of some type of communing magic. It should be obvious that by wearing the mask, the necromancer somehow fullfilled the clause about viewing the dryad's grove in his curse, and some dark power has denied her the peace of the grave because of the curse.
    Upon returning the mask to the dryad the next day, Aelyssana becomes suddenly aware of her plight, and tearfully thanks the party for helping her and bringing her dear friend Kafanz to see her one last time. She offers the party her one worldly possession, a small stone amulet carved into the crude shape of a sleeping dragon, before she replaces the mask into the area of the tree from which it was cut, and then melds into the tree and is gone.
    Upon identification, the amulet has the following powers:
    Green Dragon Friendship : Any Green Dragons encountered by the wearer will act as if under the influence of a Friends spell, according the the normal limitations of that spell (except the type and hit dice of creature affected).
    Green Dragon Cant: The wearer gains one 1 rank in the skill Language: Draconic while the amulet is worn.
    In addition, anyone wearing the amulet will be welcomed as a sort of guest of honor in most of the villages of the Dreadwood, including those of the Grugach clans, who will see the character as a friend and ally of the Great Wyrm Aramanthyn, who lairs somewhere in the Southeastern area of the forests and is worshipped as a hero-god of sorts by the forests inhabitants.
    The party will have also gained the friendship of Kafanz, who will gladly open his doors and dinner table to the party when they visit Goldenbranch in the future.



    Note: Olve, Keoland, "
     
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    Re: Adventure Seeds: Stories of the Sheldomar II (Score: 1)
    by Scottenkainen on Thu, December 13, 2001
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    This seems a peculiar dryad, making friends with woodcarvers and green dragons alike. I think my players would, upon hearing that the wizard committed suicide, assume that was that and not think to dig up the body for the mask. Perhaps Rich's players are more thorough than mine.

    Still, it is overall a well-planned scenario. I wonder if Wizards of the Coast has lifted TSR's ban on mentioning suicide...




    Re: Adventure Seeds: Stories of the Sheldomar II (Score: 1)
    by Scottenkainen on Thu, December 13, 2001
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    A conversion to 1st ed. note: the dryad is clearly now a phantom, as outlined in module A2 and the Monster Manual II.



    Re: Adventure Seeds: Stories of the Sheldomar II (Score: 1)
    by Scottenkainen on Thu, April 18, 2002
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    I just had another thought -- would the undead dryad, since she doesn't realize she's dead, try to charm one of the PCs later and lure him off for a little hanky-panky? Ewww!



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