Campaign Journals

Adventures in Faerun

The Great Oak

By Cthulu Ftaghn

Read the following passage to the players as they approach the Great Oak:

The path widens then splits as you draw closer to the mighty tree known to locals as the Great Oak. Beyond the tree, a beautiful grassy field stretches forth toward the base of the mountains. A few trees dot the landscape and playful butterflies flutter about in the breeze. This seems the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon at play or meditation.

As you approach the ancient, massive tree, a noise catches your attention. Music… loud, raucous music… can be heard coming from the field. After a few more paces, you can that see a bonfire has been lit halfway between the oak and the mountain. Several figures dance and writhe obscenely near the flames.

Be careful playing out this scenario. It can quickly become too difficult for a low-level party to be able to handle. The figures dancing around the fire are satyrs, and there are five of them. They are here to celebrate the falling of the golden beehive from the Great Oak.

When satyrs come of age, they are rewarded with a golden flute that grants them magical powers over men and beasts. These flutes are made from gold secreted by goldbees, who have the ability to turn the nectar of spring flowers into liquid gold. These magical bees are very rare, and finding a hive is reason for celebration among the satyr population. Just such a hive has been discovered in the Great Oak in Kheldell.

Normally, the bees make their hives in the spring, and when autumn comes the hive falls to the ground and the swarm moves on. However, since Kheldell is held in perpetual summer by the hot springs, this hive will not fall on its own. The normally playful and mischievous satyrs are growing agitated, and their celebrating has reached almost manic proportions.

At the arrival of the adventuring party, the satyrs cease their revelry. The lead satyr, and flute player will approach the member of the party with the highest charisma and poetically explain their plight…

"We dance and sing and shout with glee
To gain the gold spun from the bees
The hive rests high up in the tree
It hangs right there, can't you see?

It will not fall down here below
So we can't take our prize and go
Climb and fetch it, if you go
Rewards for all who join the show."

The Quest: Get rid of the satyrs

The hive is protected by too many hanging branches to take down with an arrow or other projectile weapon from the ground. The tree must be climbed in order to fetch it. Naturally, it rests up high in the thin branches that are too fragile to hold the weight of a character. A combination of skill and brains must be used to win this prize.

Climbing to the highest point possible will require 4 rounds, with a Climb check (DC15) required for each round to advance 10 feet. A failed check will result in no progress, and a rain of rocks thrown from the over-anxious satyrs below. A successful hit won't do any damage, but the PC must make a Reflex check (DC 13) to avoid falling. A climb check failed by 10 or more also results in a fall.

Once the PC has completed the climb, there are some choices to make. He can try to shoot the hive down with a ranged weapon, but at a -4 penalty due to his precarious position and cover provided by leaves and branches (DC 16). In addition, a Reflex check (DC13) must be made to see if the character falls as a result of using the weapon from high in the branches…. a risky endeavor for 40 feet up.

The branch that the hive is attached to cannot be cut from the PC's position. The DM should allow the players to use their smarts and imagination to complete this task.

If the party successfully retrieves the hive and delivers it to the satyrs, they will be rewarded with a ring of the ram, held by the lead satyr. They will leave peacefully and with much flamboyant thanks.

If the group tries to make off with the hive, or if they attack the satyrs for any reason, the goatmen will fight with a vengeance. If the party on the ground coaxes the satyrs into a fight with a companion in the tree, the lead satyr will use the ring of the ram to try to knock the character to the ground. Satyrs, especially with a flute, can be tough opponents, so the adventurers should be given a chance or two to rethink their actions before launching into battle.

Medium Size Fey
Hit Dice: 5d6+5 (14, 17, 17, 20, 22 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: 40ft
AC: 15
Attacks: Gore +2 melee, dagger -3 melee, shortbow +3 ranged
Damage: Gore 1d6, dagger 1d4, shortbow 1d6
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Pipes
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +5; Will +5
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 13
Skills: Bluff +9, Hide +13, Listen +15, Move Silently +13, Perform (dance, pan pipes, plus any two others) +9, Spot +15
Feats: Alertness, Dodge, Mobility
Pipes: Satyrs can play a variety of magical tunes on their pan pipes. Only one satyr in the group has pipes. When he plays, all creatures within a 60 foot spread (except the other satyrs), must succeed at a Will save (DC14) or be affected by charm person, sleep, or fear, as the spells cast by a 10th level sorcerer. In the hands of other beings, these pipes have no special powers. A creature that successfully saves vs. a set of pipes cannot be affected by the same set of pipes that day.


Experience Points:

The work contained on this page is the property and copyright of Cthulu Ftaghn and is used by Candlekeep with permission.

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