Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Griffon Roosts

These Griffon Roosts are set toward the east end of the Goduanil, though this location can be placed into your world wherever griffons roost. They are intended to range from EL 7-9, depending on which is needed for your adventure.

The Goduanil is a region filled with rocky hills, where along the valley floors flows purple ooze in streams that run all the way to the sea. This roost is set in a valley off one of the main streams of ooze. The difficult terrain adds a +1 to the CR of this encounter.

1 Approach through the valley

A steep 100' deep gorge devoid of a river branches off from the main valley, leading off in a direction clearly away from the central valley that runs with purple ooze. Stands of leafless birch saplings cling to the cliffsides in this otherwise barren landscape.

The characters hear the occasional flapping of wings as the wind gusts. Occasional rocks will break loose and tumble from the cliffsides. The party is not in danger of these small rocks, but they are an indication of something being afoot. When the party returns to the main valley, they will need to find a creative way around or over the rivers of ooze.

2 Bend in the rocks

The valley makes a turn to the left here, cutting a rocky path through the mountains. The bend obscures the view of the valley. Boulders cling to the ledges of the hillsides.

The characters see a shadow make its way across the valley floor. By the time they look up, whatever it was that caused the shadows has passed them over and is out of sight.

3 Hoodoos

Three sandstone hoodoos rise like towers from the valley floor, the result of years of extreme erosion in this valley. The scattered skeletal remains of large quadrupeds dot the valley floor. A few large feathers are blown about by the gusts of wind across the landscape, drawing attention to the tufts of hair clumped in small, regular dips in the ground.

In actuality, it is more the doing of the ooze that has caused the erosion and thus the hoodoos, areas of hardness where the erosion has not run its course on the rock. The skeletons and tufts of hair are those of horses, picked up from the lands to the north and east of the Goduanil and flown in to feed the griffons and their offspring. If the characters collect reagents or materials for fine brushes, they will recognize the horsehair and can collect a few horses worth, though not before they encounter the following.

Four griffons protect this valley floor, while the others hunt. They attack the party upon their entering this area. Resolve this encounter immediately after reading the above text.

Creatures: Griffons (4): MM page 139.

If the characters search the edges of the floor, they will find a broken staff and a torn red and white flag. This provides evidence that one of the horses belonged to a local knight.

4 View of Nests

From this vantage, it is clear that atop the hoodoos, large sticks frame 20'x20' bowls filled with oversized, brown and white eggs.

The mound of rocks that form the vantage point have been affected by many years of erosion and the ooze begin to slip out from under the party's feet, revealing a few pockets of a purple ooze that seep up to ground level, its acidic discharge spewing plumes of steam into the air.

Creature: Purple Ooze (see tomorrow's post on CCB!)

5 Nests

The sticks and straw are bound together to make a nest. The sticks have been chewed at the ends by sharp beaks. In the center of the nest is a pair of speckled eggs.

Two griffon eggs are in each nest. The eggs are nearing the time to hatch, and when the characters arrive in this location, there is a 50% chance per egg that it will be hatching.

Development: As the characters explore the first of the nests, the four remaining elder griffons (14 HD) swoop in and attack, with the tactic of lifting them off of the floor of the nests and dropping them from the sky onto the valley floor. They will attack relentlessly until one side is vanquished. After the battle, in one of the nests, the party finds a mace +1 and a helm of alacrity +2 among some shredded metal that once was a suit of plate mail.

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