Sunday, July 8, 2018

30 Minute Dungeon Delve 3: Borlstern's Cave

Idea: Cave full of subterranean plant life, previously closed off to the world but a recent earthquake has revealed it. It was last open around 200 years ago.

Hook: A minor earthquake has caused a landslide, revealing a cave in the hillside. Rumor has it that the cave was the hiding place of a sorcerer’s gold.


1. The room is mostly empty, save for some glowing mushroom circles. (In the center of one of these circles is a mushroom covered mound, that turns out to actually be an old sack. The sack contains 1000 coins of ancient make. There are scratch marks on the walls, evidently made with human fingers. In addition, a scrawled warning written in some slightly luminous fluid reads; “Beware the wrath of Borlstern!”.)

2. There is a long dead tree in corner, and the floor is covered in rotten brown mush that used to be leaves. (Beneath this mush are small holes that one’s foot may fall into, possibly breaking the leg.)

3. A group of 5 goblins around a campfire, telling obscene stories and cackling with evil laughter. Their leader has an iron helmet, evidently stolen. (If they detect the party, they will try to gain their trust before stabbing them in the back. One goblin wears a backpack, containing 500 coins worth of stolen goods, such as silverware and jewelry.)

4. Glowing orbs dangle down from the ceiling, gently leaking phosphorescent fluid. (The orbs are connected to the root system of a tree it looks like, and appear to actually be separate organisms from the tree itself. The orbs are edible but taste awful, and appear to be some kind of mold.)

5. The room is white, covered entirely with mold. Spores drift through the air like fog. In the center of the room is a bed-like altar made from fungus. (Anyone who lays upon the altar regains all HP, though the flesh grows back vaguely luminous and fungus-like. If someone puts a dead creature on the altar, it comes back as a fungal zombie.)

6. 6 skeletal zombies animated by fungus, moaning and gurgling in apparent agony, their dry, shrivelled eyes moving in abject terror. (The zombies will attack once they sense any living animal. They used to be adventurers 200 years ago, and were parasitized by a magical fungus. If a zombie is somehow brought back to life, its mind is shattered from 200 years of being a vessel for an utterly alien fungal intelligence.)

7. A henge made from glowing, petrified wood dominates this large cavern. (Runes cover the “stones” used to make the henge, clearly in a faerie language. This place appears to have been once used to contact faeries through ritual sacrifice, though it no longer is in use.)

8. A small cottage made from a mushroom is in this room. Within the cottage is an androgynous humanoid with small antennae, pointed ears, a donkey-like tail, and a forked tongue. (It calls itself Draena, and is a faerie. It is very curious about the outside world, for it has always lived in this cave, and never left it. It doesn’t really understand tact though, and is very blunt.)

9. A tree holds up the roof, almost looking like an old man keeping the ceiling up with his hands. (The tree is actually enchanted, and if anything gets near enough to it, it animates into a humanoid form and will attempt to kill and eat the creature. The face of the tree will seem vaguely familiar to anyone who knows much magical lore, though they won’t be able to place why.)

10. A statue of an old man with ruby eyes. The statue rotates on its pedestal and fires lasers from its eyes if anyone enters the room. (The rubies are worth 1000 coins each. In addition, behind the statue is a chest containing a wand that allows the user to teleport anywhere within sight 1d6 times per day. If one is learned enough in magical lore, they may be able to tell that the statue depicts a sorcerer from 250 years ago named Borlstern, who vanished under mysterious circumstances. The tree in room 9 also resembles Borlstern, which will become obvious after seeing the statue.)

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