Hexcrawl Series No. 12 – The Nymph’s Font

This adventure is part of the Brukesian Duchy Hexcrawl. Find more about it here!

Elves reigned over the Brukesian Duchy’s territory before the Dewborn’s arrival.

The Nymph’s Font was built by elves thousands of years ago. It was a shrine of meditation. The font was gradually abandoned with the coming of the Dewborn and humans until it was forgotten.

However, the elves also built a resting place for their sages here, to drive away intruders. These undead anointed elves are the eternal protectors of the font.

Lore

Thousands of years ago, a large community of elves lived in harmony with nature and beings of the forest in the land that today is known as the Brukesian Duchy.

Their society was considerably large and their communion with nature made them stronger. They were the lords of the woods and the masters of the land. During their time, they build several temples and places of worship. One of these places was called The Nymph’s Font.

Vedalia, the Nymph

Vedalia was a friend of the elves. The nymph was a cherished friend and an important member of their society.

The elves built a huge stone statue of Vedalia to honor their friendship. The immortalized stone figure of the nymph was 55 feet tall. It bathed in the crystal clear waters of a fountain in the center of the elves’ town. Alas, the beautifully crafted nymph statue didn’t last.

Evil wood hags felt jealous of the statue. They despise nymphs and envy their natural beauty and allure. The fact that the elves immortalized one of them angered them beyond their control.

In a fit of rage, they attacked the elvish town and the statue. They failed to destroy it in its entirety, but the statue fell. The hags left after the damage was done.

The elves decided to hide what was left of the statue to avoid antagonizing the hags again. They placed it underground, laying in a font inside one of their temples. Now the nymph faces upward, looking at the blank ceiling, half-submerged.

The elves are gone but the font remained. Curious adventurers often flee the place after meeting the immortal protectors of the Nymph’s Font.

General Features

After thousands of years, the Nymph’s Font is now inside an underground cave.

The woods of Barrowstream:

Dense woods (impossible for carriages and carts to traverse). Duchy’s grasp (Barrowstream keeps the area safe). Dewborn territory ( savage and territorial hunters and rangers)

The Nymph’s Shrine:

Hidden (near a cave underground). Deterioration (cracked tiles and eroded walls). Magical sconces (operational even after millennia).

D8 Random Encounters

1

2 hook horrors protecting their nest with 1d4 eggs

2

2d4 troglodytes that arrive from the underground network of tunnels, they become neutral if offered food

3

1 black pudding filters through a crack and attacks

4

2 brown bears

5

2 spider swarms, 3-in-6 chance rallied by 2 giant spiders

6

2 wraiths, their ghostly figures wear elven armor and sigils

7

1d6 giant beetles roam the caverns looking for food

8

2d4 Dewborn rangers enter the cave and claim the font as their own

D8 Random Events

1

A gust of wind blows suddenly and extinguishes exposed light sources

2

Dense mist covers the caves for 1d4 hours, the floor is not visible

3

Unnatural cold fills the underground area for 1d6 hours. Exhaling creates visible vapor and humidity

4

A splash sound comes from the font

5

A piercing scream comes from the sarcophagi area

6

Fungal growth on the wall may be harvested for one ration

7

Acidic brine falls from the ceiling. It spoils rations in a random bag pack

8

The growl of a large monster echoes through the dark tunnels

1. Barrow Woods

Grass (2-feet-high). Dewborn’s grasp (hunters patrol the area often).

  • Cavern Entrance. The side of a mountain shows a thick layer of leaves and vines that cover the entrance to the caves. Removing them reveals a 10-feet-wide dark tunnel. It leads to a series of underground passages. The verdant grass from the outside cannot grow here. Cold, packed soil replaces it.

2. Caverns

Boulders and rocks (scattered on the ground). Moss (spreading on walls).

  • Cave-in. These caverns are ancient. The passage of time has changed them. Beyond this area, a cave-in caused the southwest wall of the font’s chamber to collapse. Rubble and debris are scattered all over the floor. Under closer inspection, the cold, packed soil shows tracks of multi-legged critters.

3. Dark Tunnels

Uncharted (dark and unexplored). Goo trail (green and thick, covers the ground).

  • Tunnels. The dark tunnels go south into unexplored pitch-black darkness.
Carnivorous Ooze

Brainless (attacks until slain).

  • Ochre Jelly. The monster attacks whoever carries more food.

4. Font’s Lobby

Destroyed (debris and cave-ins).

  • Memories. The walls and ceiling of this area feature elven carvings and inscriptions. Most of them have been erased by erosion and time. Upon closer inspection, the engravings tell the story of the nymph’s statue, its sundering, and how it ended up inside this place.

5. Tunnel Network

Uncharted (dark and unexplored). Boulders and rocks (scattered on the ground, evidence of a cave-in).

  • Underground Network. These tunnels lead to places engulfed in pitch-black darkness. Brukesians have no record of these caves or their depths.
Grimlock Society

Blind (their kind adapted to life in darkness). Savage (Cannot be reasoned with).

  • Grimlock Attack. The blind dwellers of the caves attack whoever approaches these tunnels that lead to their home. Eight fighting males protect the six female and dozen children in their small community. The males flee if outnumbered while trying to cover their retreat.

6. Twin Alcoves

Jet-traps (tiny holes on the walls). Architecture (beautifully engraved walls).

  • Traps. The elves developed clever booby-traps to hinder intruders’ advances. A pressure-sensitive plate between both alcoves triggers the trap. Jets of fire burn creatures standing there. The trap resets after 10 minutes.

7. The Nymph’s Font

Clear water (clean and pure). Pillars (flanking the center of the hall). Nymph statue (facing upward).

  • Vedalia’s Statue. The elves placed what remained of the statue here, resting above the water. The stone shows signs or erosion but the magical properties of the water prevent moss from growing.
  • Secret Passage. A pushable brick reveals it in the northwest corner.
The Nymph’s Guardians

Incorporeal (ghostly wraiths of their former selves). Unresting (never-ending duty to protect the Nymph’s Font).

  • Wraiths. Four elven wraiths are tasked with the protection of the font. They continue their duty to the day.

8. Sarcophagi

Engraved lids (elven runes and inscriptions). Evil aura (feelings of despair invade the mind).

  • Elven Zealots. Four elven warriors were buried here. The elves performed a ritual to become the guardians of this place. After so many years trapped in here, their corrupted minds and bodies fell into a dark abyss. They attack all living creatures that approach the font, not because they protect it, but because they know nothing more but death.

9. Elven Altar

Locked door (old but sturdy lock). Well-preserved (granite and limestone).

  • Altar. This is where the elf guardians performed the ritual to sacrifice their lives and become undead.
  • Treasure. The altar features gold and silver inlays that are worth 200 gold pieces. A golden chalice rests on the altar’s surface. It has two rubies and two sapphires embedded in its sides, it is worth 350 gold pieces. A secret compartment under the altar contains 547 gold pieces in assorted coins and other thousands of years old valuable goods.

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