Dragon Quest, the Grandwood Edition
Date: Sun, July 14, 2019
Topic: Adventures & Modules

In the heart of the Grandwood Forest lie mostly creatures and beings of good inclination. From the great tree fortresses of the Grugach to the lowly mounds of rabbit holes, the Grandwood is a sanctuary for many seeking refuge from the surrounding evil and oppression of the country that it lie within. There is however, one locale that houses a great evil – Spikerift, an evil that has lied dormant for centuries. The denizens of the Grandwood are wise to avoid it and only the ranger, Fiona Goldhand and her companion Auruma dare patrol the rift. They have informed Queen Sera of the Grugach that this evil is awakening. The Grandwood is in need of heroes indeed!

Dragon Quest, the Grandwood Edition


In the heart of the Grandwood Forest lie mostly creatures and beings of good inclination. From the great tree fortresses of the Grugach to the lowly mounds of rabbit holes, the Grandwood is a sanctuary for many seeking refuge from the surrounding evil and oppression of the country that it lie within. There is however, one locale that houses a great evil – Spikerift, an evil that has lied dormant for centuries. The denizens of the Grandwood are wise to avoid it and only the ranger, Fiona Goldhand and her companion Auruma dare patrol the rift. They have informed Queen Sera of the Grugach that this evil is awakening. The Grandwood is in need of heroes indeed!

The adventure begins when the characters come upon, in their travels or adventures, a marble cube and a map of the Grandwood. The cube has an inscription one side, the number 1, in elvish. This combination should get the players heading in the right direction – To the Grandwood.

A map of the Grandwood can be found in either the unpublished Ivid the Undying by the great Carl Sargent or you can also find one in my Spikerift article here on Canonfire! Linked below;


The cube is one of nine and part of a puzzle the players will have to solve later in the adventure to gain access to the final encounter. The graphic below can be printed and each “cube” cut out and used for game props. Each of the cubes is numbered 1-9 in order. The final one is the number 15 which is to be used later and is not a cube. The accompanying puzzle solution shows that when the numbers 1-9 are configured in a particular manner any three cubes in any direction, including diagonally, add up to 15 which will later be above an impassable portal until a puzzle is solved. To the side of the portal will be nine square alcoves laid in a 3x3 grid that radiate magic. Also note that the order of the numbers can be rotated 90 degrees in any number of increments and also solve the puzzle.

The cubes are actually portal stones and radiate both magic and good as they were created long ago by Moon Mages from the Grandwood.

Cube and Puzzle Solution

Once the characters have reached the Grandwood, the adventure begins and the Dungeon Master need simply have the characters engage in the sequence of encounters within this adventure, collecting the cubes as they go. It is important to note that if the characters are having difficulty collecting a cube, it may be easier to obtain if they find themselves moving on to the next encounter which may provide a useful tool and then backtracking. Many of the rewards for obtaining a portal stone will enhance the characters ability to breathe underwater and resist acid which should clue the players on to what they are about to be in for. The adventure has been formatted for 2nd Edition and the final encounter may need to be tweaked down or possibly up depending on the relative levels of the characters.  

The encounters are as follows;

#1 The First Stone

#2 Ankheg Den

#3 Center of Stone Gazebo on a Pedestal

#4 Swamp Trolls at Spike Keep

#5 Center Stone of a Bridge over a Brook

#6 Basilisk Cave

#7 Garden of Ehlonna atop a Monolith

#8 Thri-Kreen Burrows

#9 Everleaf, Grugach Fortress

#15 Sabastith, Elder Black Dragon of Spikerift



#1: The First Stone


The players acquire this portal stone along with a map of the Grandwood Forest that should get them heading in that direction.


#2: Ankheg Den


The characters come upon a cave in a rocky bluff side. The portal stone is in the very back of a 300’ diameter cave surrounded by hundreds of large eggs. The Ankhegs will be burrowed underground. The characters will notice slight tremors as they advance through the Den. The Ankhegs will surprise the characters with their acid streams.


(6) Black Ankhegs

#AT: 1, TH: 13, DMG: 3d6 + 1d4/rd per

SPC: 30’ Acid Stream 8d4+1d4/rd per (1x/6hr) – save vs. poison for half

AC: 2, HD: 8, HP: 64, 64, 64, 64, 64, 64

Size: H 20’, MV: 12, Br 6, Int: 1, ML: 9 MR: 0% XP: 975 each


Ankheg Treasure: 3312cp, 2x Carapace Armor – AC:4, +2 save vs. poison, acid, & fire based. (Armorer Required) Potion of Underwater Breathing x4


#3: Center of a Stone Gazebo on a Pedestal


The trail opens up to a clearing in the forest where the ground has been stone laid and in the middle rests a stone gazebo. The stone flooring where the Gazebo rests is 60’ in diameter and the cube lies in the center of the gazebo on a pedestal. When the portal stone is removed the entire area caves in for a 50’ drop 5d6 fall damage and boulders and stonework fall atop any in range for an additional 3d6 with a 3 dexterity checks allowed to avoid each 1d6 of damage.


#4: Swamp Trolls at Spike Keep


This location is at Spikerift. A huge tear in the earth itself filled with a nasty bog that emanates a permanent gaseous vapor which has the effects of a Stinking Cloud spell. Within the bog itself are dangerous creatures such as giant eels and man sized leeches.


There is a keep on the northern edge of the rock-face built into the side of the rift itself. This is also where the portal lies at which point the characters will encounter the puzzle for the first time and most likely decipher that they need nine portal stones.


The keep has a small stairway that leads up to the first level of an open courtyard that contains an archway with a shimmering portal of green and purple hues. Above the portal in the head stone is the number 15, in elvish. To the right of the portal are nine alcoves arranged in a 3x3 grid that radiate the same magic and good that the portal stones themselves radiate. This is the puzzle and if the nine portal stones are placed correctly per the puzzle solution, the shimmering inside the archway dissipates, allowing access beyond.


From that level there are also another set of stairs that lead up to a 40’ tower with a large iron bound door and a window above the door 20’ from the base. This is actually a Daern’s Instant Fortress.


The portal stone inside the fortress is guarded by trolls. Two of the trolls will ambush the characters by throwing stones from the circle window above the entryway while the remaining trolls lie in wait down below.


Two-Headed Troll Chieftain

#AT: 4, TH: 11, DMG: 1d4+4, 1d4+4, 1d8+4

SPC:       Regeneration 6hp/rd

Fire & Acid to kill

Ring of Fire Resistance

AC: 4, HD: 10, HP: 80

Size: L 10’, MV: 12, sw12, Int: 10, ML: 16 MR: 0% XP: 3000


(4) Trolls

#AT: 3, TH: 13, DMG: 1d4+4, 1d4+4, 1d12, 1d12

SPC:       Regeneration 3hp/rd

Throw Stones 60’ 1d8dmg

Fire & Acid to kill

AC: 4, HD: 6+6, HP: 54, 54, 54, 54

Size: L 9’, MV: 12, sw12, Int: 10, ML: 14 MR: 0% XP: 1400 each


Troll Treasure: Longsword +1, 64pp, 237gp, 3x Emerald 1000gp, Spade of Colossal Excavation (to retrieve Portal Stone #3 if it was lost in a collapse), Scroll of Neutralize Poison x2, Potion of Acid Resistance x2, Ring of Fire Resistance (worn by the Chieftain)


#5 Center Stone of a Bridge over a Brook


The characters come across a rolling brook with a stone bridge continuing the path on the other side. The center stone on the bridge is quite worn from foot and hoof traffic but it is the 5th portal stone. A successful Wisdom Check -4 (1/day allowed) is required for a character to notice the stone and a Blacksmithing proficiency check or similar is required to remove the stone as well as the appropriate tools.


#6 Basilisk Cave


The characters come across another cave and just inside are three perfectly carved elven statues all sculpted in a manner that depicts them in battle.


The statues are actually a few members of a Grugach patrol that fell to the gaze of the Basilisk within.


The portal stone is guarded by a Greater Basilisk which will come out of the darkness with its gaze attack and follow up by maneuvering to melee range in a manner that positions itself to affect the most characters possible with its breath.


Greater Basilisk

#AT: 3, TH: 11, DMG: 1d6(+5)/1d6+(5)/2d8

SPC:       Claw Poison: save vs poison+4 or (+damage of claws)

Breath: 5’ radius (constant) save vs poison+2 or die

Gaze: Save vs Petrification or be turned to stone

AC: 2, HD: 10, HP: 80

Size: L 12’, MV: 6, Int: 7, ML: 16 MR: 0% XP: 7000


Basilisk Treasure: 10,312 sp, Amber 3000gp, Longbow+1, (60) +1 arrows, Dagger of Venom, Potion of Underwater Breathing x2, Scroll of Cure Light x3, Robe of Quall (AC:7 and Targets = -10% MR), Mace +2, Helm of Free Action, Rope of Climbing (perhaps to aid in retrieving portal stone #7)


#7 Garden of Ehlonna atop a 200’ Monolith


The Forest opens up to reveal what is known as the Garden of Ehlonna. The garden is an expanse of huge monoliths that are reaching for the clouds. The largest is at the center 200’ high and the portal stone rests upon it.


Obviously this will present a challenge to the characters in using their skills and abilities if they do not have a means of flying. Dexterity checks are required every 10’ of climbing with modifiers applied for using skills and gear appropriate to such a task. Fall damage is 1d6 per 10’.


#8 Thri-Kreen Burrows


The characters will come upon very large mounds surrounded by trees in this area of the forest with large holes in the sides of them leading into the depths below the forest.


The burrows are maze-like and are filled numerous Thri-Kreen, each of which has a 15% chance of carrying the portal stone. 1d6 Thri-Kreen will be encountered once per hour while navigating within the lair.


(X) Thri-Kreen

#AT: 2, TH: 13 (12), DMG: 1d4+1 and venom, 1d10+7

SPC:       Bite Poison: save vs paralyzation or be paralyzed 2d8 rounds

Leap: 20’h, 50’l

Dodge Missiles: 9(20)

AC: 5, HD: 10, HP: 80

Size: L 11’, MV: 18, Int: 14, ML: 18 MR: 0% XP: 1400


Thri-Kreen Treasure: Halberds +1, 3d8 sp


#9 Everleaf – Grandwood


The Grandwood Grugach have been watching the characters collect the portal stones. Once the first eight have been acquired, a scout team is sent to the characters. The characters will hear a bunch of bird calls and more increased forest activity if a Wisdom check is successful. A scout will then shoot an arrow that has a note drawn about it and is written in Elvish.


At this point a character may learn Elvish if they have an open proficiency slot once they have more or less deciphered the note, assuming none already read/write the language.  [See note key below.] Successful Intelligence checks will reveal the meaning of a word, but each PC is only allowed one attempt to decipher each word on the note.


Note Key:


Vile beings


We have been watching you


You know not what you are doing by gathering the portal stones


You are attempting to uncage a dread being


Travel to Everleaf


We have a compromise for you and we hold the last portal stone.


Sera Wintersbane, Queen of the Grugach


A successful proficiency check in History or similar will result in the character recalling that Everleaf is a mighty tree akin to the Timeless Tree in the Vesve Forest and Oakvein in the Welkwood.


Everleaf serves as the Grugach capital in the Grandwood.


Once the characters have navigated their way to Everleaf via Tracking proficiency, Auguries, or some other means, they are closely escorted by no less than 30 Grugach rangers, druids, and moon mages to the inside of the great Everleaf tree where Queen Sera awaits on her throne of wood, bone, and vines. Auruma will be at her side in the form of a Grugach with golden eyes. He is actually a Gold Dragon and is heavily invested in protecting the Grandwood from the dangers of Lord Drax the Invulnerable of Rel Astra.


She warns the characters of the dread Sabastith and shows her enthusiasm for his demise, explaining that the Grugach would be quite content having this ever present threat removed from among the trees of the Grandwood.


She agrees to give the characters the last portal stone in exchange for a commitment to rid her forest of this great evil.


#15 Sabastith, The Elder Black Dragon of Spikerift


Once the characters return to the portal they can begin the puzzle. Once it is solved, the portal opens to a staircase leading down into the depths of the prison.


The way winds down and down farther into the depths until the characters come out and find themselves up on the western edge of a large rock shelf a mile high in a chasm, overlooking a huge underground lake below perhaps three miles wide.


The characters can see that down at the south shoreline there are torches and a number of huts (a lizard man village.) Sabastith is above the lake near the village flapping his wings, suspending himself while the beings down below are chanting and performing some ritual and a number them are dancing in a circular motion around one of the beings that is standing atop a pyramid with a flat peak.


Sabastith darts forward through the sky in one fell swoop and brings up the being atop the pyramid clenched in his jaws. A sacrifice, from the worshippers of the dragon.


If ever attacked while above the lake, Sabastith will withdraw and submerge himself in the lake, for years if necessary. There are plenty of aquatic creatures below the surface for which he can feed on for his entire life. While underwater, apply combat rules for underwater fighting and make adjustments to spells as needed.


-4 Initiative, -4 TH, -6 TH w/ missile weapons, ½ range with missile weapons, No fire based spells, MV 3 – swimming.


(37) Lizard Men, (1) Lizard Man King, (3) Lizard Man Shamans

#AT: 3, 1, 1 TH: 19, 10, 16 DMG: 1d4/1d4/1d6, 3d6+5, 1d8+2 (javelins available to throw)

SPC:       Shaman Spells (each)

               Cure light x3, Remove Fear x1, Aid x1, Hold Person x1, Prayer x1, Dispel Magic x1

AC: 4, 1, 4 HD: 2+1, 8, 6 HP: 17 x37, 64, 48

Size: L 8’, MV: 9, Sw 15, Int: 10, ML: 16 MR: 0% XP: 65, 975, 820


Lizard Man Treasure: 1020cp, Shield +1, Necklace of Protection from Disease, Spear+3, Opal 3300gp, Boots of Levitation, Scroll of Cure Light x5, Dagger +3, Javelin of Lightning x2, Skullcap of Mind Shielding, Scroll of Disintegrate, Potion of Heroism


Under the murky surface of Spike Lake is a community of Locathah also known as dragon food. There are over 200 Locathah in the community. Through a deep passage of the lake there is an aerated cavern where the Locathah community resides. The Locathah will engage the characters after they have been submerged for a time and attempt to bring them to their village where they will aid the characters in some minor way against Sabastith including minor healing. However, they will not fight the dragon.


Combat with Sabastith will open by surprising the characters with a Breath Weapon which will be huge balls of acid billowing through the water, and following up with a Darkness, and finally a Corrupt Water to ruin their potions before he engages in melee warfare. Throughout the battle Sabastith will use Improved Invisibility while he waits for his Breath Weapon to be useable again and he will also use Plant Growth to entangle the PCs.


Sabastith, Elder Black Dragon and Dread of Spikerift

#AT: 3, TH: 6, DMG: 1d6+7/1d6+7/3d6+7

SPC:       Aura of Fear: save vs. petrification or fight at -2TH

               Innate: Waterbreathing

               Breath Weapon: 16d4+8, 1/3 rds, acid 5’w x 60’ cylinder, save vs. breath weapon for ½ damage

Magic Resistance: 25%

               Casting: Wizard 5/ Priest 5 @16h level of ability

               Wizard Spells: Magic Missiles x2, Color Spray, Improved Invisibility x2, Lightning Bolt

               Priest Spells: Curse, Cure Light Wounds x2, Aid x2, Hold Person, Dispel Magic

               Innate Spell Abilities: Darkness 10’ rad 3/day, Corrupt Water 1/day (Potions =15+=ruined), Plant Growth

AC: -2, HD: 15, HP: 120

Size: H 61’, MV: 12, Fl 30, Sw 12, Int: 10, ML: 18 MR: 15% XP: 15000


Sabastith’s Treasure Hoard: 385pp, 2136gp, 9213cp, Diamond 5000gp, x3 Emerald 1000gp, Staff of Striking (43 charges), Ring of Truth, Ring of Spell Storing (5 spell levels), Ring of Protection +2, Potion of Polymorph Self, Potion of Extra Healing x4, Decanter of Endless Water, Scarab of Insanity (3 charges), x2 Hand Pistol Crossbows of Speed, (100) Bolts +2, Battle Hammer +3 - Unholy Avenger (1d8/1d8)

This article comes from Canonfire!

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