009. Druid's Temple

The stags walk through the forest as easily as a fish swims through water.  It takes them only a day to reach the clearing that reveals an ancient druid temple, carved in the stump of a giant, long-dead tree.

They enter the large oaken doors of the temple, carved with figures of stags and elven druids.  The walls, floors, and ceiling are a smooth wood, with no seams in the structure to be seen.  Twisting passages lead to long-abandoned rooms, with centuries-old evidence of the rituals that druids once performance there.

Now, they find lizardmen and other evil creatures have taken it over.  They even find a young poison dragon, which they manage to kill (and take its claws).  

The center of the temple holds the statue of a druidic demi-god, who conceals the hidden entrance to the sapling.  Speaking the name of his one true love (after some research from the party) opens the hidden door, and reveals a room with a floor of thick, dark soil.  A single beam of sunlight shines down upon a small, green sapling.

When they approach the sapling, a carved face in the back wall comes to life and commands the intruders to stop what they are doing!  The party draws their swords, ready to fight what comes, when the face suddently changes expressions...

"The oldest father!  The one who makes the trees grow!  You have returned!"  The party turns to D'Understanding, looking at him quizzically.  The face continues, "you must take the sapling and protect it.  The druidic hierarchy is corrupted by the queen.  Please, please protect it with your life."

The carefully dig out the sapling and put it in a sack.  They leave the temple and waiting for them is Presto, atop a black stag, surrounded by a score of spear wielding lizardmen. Just as the party thinks they are going to be skewered, the white stags bound out of the woods and allow the party to hop aboard.  The stags fly through the forest at an astonishing pace, hardly making a sound.  The stags stop just short of the wooded boundary, where they let the party get off.  The party leaves the sacred woods, not knowing where they are…

Map of the Druid Temple