This adventure is more suitable for parties lacking both heavy magic and healing. Magic such as flight would make this one too easy, and powerful magic healing makes the reward of this adventure less desirable..
Room One: Entrance and Guardian - There needs to be a reason why your dungeon hasn’t been plundered or why your adventurers are the ones for the job.
Having found a manscript indicating that some Crystal Roses can be found in the Grove of Marcharin, the PCs have mounted an expedition to harvest the nectar of these priceless flowers, whose nectar is a powerful source of magical healing that can cure all ills. The Tree is located in a wood populated by large numbers of Black Dryads (Dryad-Demon hybrids, the result of an unholy mating) which has led to it being shunned by most people.
The Black Dryads will do their best to slay any intruders into this area, using low cunning to set up ambushes, either with themselves or any pets lent them by their queen. In addition, they will have made natural traps (generally spiked pits) to further impede intruders. Finding the tree itself is not difficult - it is a immense pine tree which can been picked out for miles.
Complication: The Black Dryads may summon aid in the form of demonic boars if the PC’s present too much of a threat
Room Two: Puzzle or Roleplaying Challenge - A trial that cannot be solved by steel alone.
The base of the tree is surrounded by a maze of dense underbrush that contains lots of dead ends and the occasional dangerous plant. To add to the difficulty is that the tree has been mutated by the Crystal Roses and now emits a fine pollen which causes distraction and discord to any nearby.
Room Three: Trick or Setback - Build tension through tricks and setbacks and give them a double-dose of gameplay such as more combat or another roleplaying challenge.
Climbing the tree is difficult - the massive branches are quite sparse - generally more then 10’ apart. The PCs will either need some means to attach themselves to the tree, or use grappling hooks or similar tools to work their way from branch to branch. The tree’s pollen with its distraction and discord effect, will likely also impede the PCs.
The tree is about 300’ high at the top, where the flowers located, requiring about 30 branch to branch transitions per PC, so dexterity, teamwork and climbing skills are essential. As for magical aids, the aura of chaos about the tree might lead to some undesirable side-effects.
Complication: The tree is occupied by giant carnivorous squirrels who will contest the climb.
Complication: The tree itself is occasionally dropping basket-sized pine-cones which might knock someone off the tree if struck.
Room Four: Climax, Big Battle or Conflict - The final combat or conflict of the dungeon.
The Guardian Owl
Mutated through the combined effects of the chaotic Trailbane Pine, and the divine nature of the Crystal Roses, an owl which had roosted here has been transformed into a powerful guardian who will not take kindly to being disturbed. It is only indirectly guarding the Crystal Rose, as it is unaware of it’s existence. It does, however, have a nest full of hatchlings which makes it highly territorial.
The owl, being able to fly, will engage in hit-and-run tactics. Its touch is electrified, causing significant extra damage and increasing the likelihood of a fall due to convulsion. Though not of the scale of a lighting bolt, the increased chance of a fall from this height is deadly.
The owl itself is now nearly 300lbs and has a huge 15’ wingspan. Its claws are razor sharp and have a crystalline appearance.
Complication: Inclement weather could start, making holding on to the tree and conducting combat that much more difficult. The Owl will be reckless due to the perceived threat to it’s brood.
Room Five: Reward, Revelation, Plot Twist - The dungeon is complete but what is it about this dungeon that made it different or memorable. What kind of mystery have they discovered, what kind of reward have they won, and what kind of information have they recovered?
Growing in the highest branches of the tree can be found a Crystal Rose, a rose-like flower with crystaline petals whose nectar provides very powerful healing. Each of its 7 flowerheads can produce 1 dose per month, and each dose will heal any wound short of death.
If the PC’s have slain the owl, they may also take the owlets as prizes as well, for they fully share their parent’s mutation and will fetch a pretty penny.
Complication: The guardian Owl’s mate, an even larger and now even more angry mutant owl can return - ideally at an awkward moment…
Complication: The Rose is not currently in bloom, but appear to be just about ready. The PC’s might have to camp out at the top of this very high tree for some time waiting for them to bloom.