A family-friendly Dungeons & Dragons adventure for characters of 1st to 5th level
This is an adventure suitable for any level character. It relies on investigation, exploration and role-playing to locate and protect the nests of the endangered Phoenix.
The elven council has decreed that the Mount Mono volcano is a protected phoenix nesting ground, but they need your help. There are just not enough elven rangers to find and protect all of the nests. Your reputation, and the good word of a friend, has led the council to contact you requesting aid.
You will be partnered with one of Mount Mono’s Druids. Together you will search for both nests and poachers. When you find a nest, you will place a stone of concealment in it, which will protect it from both magical and non-magical dangers. When you find poachers, you will arrest them and your guide will call for a team to pick them up.
A Rare and Beautiful Event
The Pheonix is said to die and be reborn from the ashes, but once every hundred years they return to their ancestral nesting grounds atop the ancient volcano Mount Mono to breed a new generation. Hunted to near extinction, these magnificent creatures are on the verge of disappearing forever. Over the upcoming month, the few remaining male Pheonix will arrive and begin building nests in hopes of attracting a mate. Once the female lays her eggs, the male will combust and his ashes will insulate the eggs while the female Pheonix sits on them. After 3 days, the male will be reborn from the ashes. He will spend the next month hunting to feed the female and the new hatchlings.
Danger Comes in Many Forms
Phoenixes face many enemies during their nesting season. From giant spiders that live in the jungle and climb the cliffs at night to the dragon that lives in the swamp nearby. But the most dangerous threat they face is poachers. Every part of a Pheonix from the eggshell to its feathers and even the ash it is reborn from are very valuable. From blacksmiths to wizards, there is no shortage of people that would pay handsomely for a piece of a Pheonix. A living, unhatched egg is the most valuable prize of all.
While this adventure does not need a map, you can find several good ones on the DMingDad Pinterest D&D Maps board.
For clinging the cliffs of Mount Mono, I rewrote the skill checks found in Flight of the Kipiri adventure.
Wilderness encounters and NPCs were taken from the Pseudo Dragon Roundup adventure.
If you are unfamiliar with how to run a wilderness exploration adventure, I recommend reading my post Dungeon Crawls and Exploration in D&D 5e
Locating a Nest in the Cliffs
Scaling the cliffs requires 3 out of 5 successful survival or dexterity checks (DC 15) as well as the proper equipment (rope and pitons).
Critical fail (1): the character falls. If they are secured by rope, they suffer 1d8 falling damage when they hit the wall of the cliff. 8 points of damage will also cause them to lose a piece of equipment.
Fail by 10+: the character loses grip and slides down the face of the cliff suffering 1d6 damage. 6 points of damage will also cause them to send rocks falling on PCs below for 1d4 damage each.
Fail by 5-9: loose rocks fall from above doing 2 (1d4/2) damage.
Fail by 1-4: the character loses their grip and lets out an involuntary scream/curse/yell that echos through the valley.
Arriving at the nest, roll a d6 and use the chart below.
1: The nest is intact. The mother phoenix is guarding her eggs.
2-3: The nest is empty. There are signs that a male phoenix was here, but has abandoned the nest.
4-5: The nest is empty. There are no signs that this nesting spot was used.
6: The nest is empty. Poachers got here first. There are no signs of the eggs or parents.
The poachers are unfamiliar with the dense jungle in and around the volcano. In the event that they are attacked, they will split up and retreat into the jungle. They will use their wilderness survival skills and ranger magic to elude their pursuers. The poachers have four campsites in the area. In the event they are separated, their plan is to make their way to the next campsite and wait for their companions.
The NPCs provided below are 2nd-level Rangers; however, feel free to raise the levels as needed to provide a challenge to your PCs.
Homebrew Magic Item: Stone of Concealment
These stones are made from local volcanic pumice. They have three magical effects and can be activated by speaking the activation word.
Effect 1: Nondetection per the spell with a 90-day duration.
Effect 2: Leomund’s Tiny Hut per the spell with a 90-day duration. The dome takes on the color and texture of the area, rocks, and plants surrounding it. Phoenixes are completely unaffected by the dome.
Effect 3: Immovable per the magic item Immovable Rod. Once set, the stone can’t be deactivated.
At the end of 90 days or if the stone is moved, the stone becomes a normal stone and has no magical properties.
Roll a d6. On a 6, roll a d20 to determine which random encounter the party has.
|1D20||Qty||Name||Award XP Each||Total Award XP|
|6||5||Giant Poisonous Snake||50||250|
All creatures are also taken from the basic rules and/or Monster Manual.