20 Things to Find in a Druid’s Grove

Often hidden far away from the prying eyes of civilised folk, a druid’s grove is nature’s sanctuary. Here deep in the wilderness, the druid can commune with nature and live in peace among that which he loves.

By Maciej Zagorski (The Forge Studios)

By Maciej Zagorski (The Forge Studios)

 

However, druid’s groves are rarely well detailed as they serve as nothing more than a way station on the way to adventure or as a place of healing and succour for desperate travellers. Use this table, to generate features of minor interest the PCs may notice in such a locale.

  1. A small stream of cool, refreshing (and pure) water wends its way through the grove. In places, the stream has been partially dammed to form a series of small waterfalls and pools.
  2. Wild flowers carpet the whole grove, except for several pathways that have been worn through the area. A pleasant smell lingers in the air and many small insects flit about.
  3. At one of the grove’s boundaries stands an immense fire-blackened tree. Struck by lightning, the hollow tree is long dead. A small colony of (harmless) bats lair within.
  4. Around the grove’s bounds the various small trees and shrubs have grown together to form a barrier of sorts from intrusion.
  5. A great number of birds nest in the surrounding trees. If strangers approach the grove, they spring aloft and sing a song of warning to alert the druid to the danger.
  6. A small wooden hut stands atop a small rise. Surrounding trees grow thickly about the hut; their branches hang down over the hut’s roof casting the whole structure into shade.
  7. A large, flat-topped stone stands in the centre of the glade. A riot of wild flowers grows about the stone whose surface is crisscrossed by several faint lines suggestive of a pentagram. Weather has long since rendered the pentagram’s exact design indistinct.
  8. The wild grasses hereabouts grow tall and lush. Many small animals—voles, foxes and suchlike—dwell among them.
  9. An earthen bank forms one end of the grove. Many rabbit burrows pierce the muddy, precipitous slope facing the grove. The tracks of many small creatures are evident in the immediate environs.
  10. A simple prayer rug lies on a patch of particular verdant grass. Atop it lie a small lute, a flask of wine and a sleeping baby fox.
  11. Three beehives stand in the shadow beneath a large oak. Wild flowers carpet the surrounding area; many bees buzz about, but they ignore interlopers as long as their hives are not threatened.
  12. Thick stands of bramble bushes form the grove’s outer defences. Only one path wends its way through the brambles. Wild berries grow here in profession.
  13. Several deer graze by a small pool. A wolf—seemingly ignoring the deer—standing at the other side of the pool laps thirstily at the fresh water.
  14. A circle of small, waist high, roughly hewn stone blocks surrounds the grove and act as its boundary. Druidic runes are daubed atop each of the blocks.
  15. A wide shallow lake stands at the centre of the grove. Birds wade at its fringes and many fish swim in its clear waters. A small island stands at the heart of the lake. The druid lives in a small dressed stone hut on the island.
  16. A confused jumble of streams flows through the grove dividing the whole area up into a series of “islands”. None of the streams are particularly wide, but they have cut deep channels in the thick, fertile earth. Here and there, fallen tree trunks act as makeshift bridges.
  17. The trees grow so thickly along the grove’s bounds that they cast the ground below into deep shadows. Here, vegetation is surprisingly sparse, but a great tangle of fallen branches and deep piles of rotting leaves makes going difficult.
  18. A lofty totem pole stands at the exact centre of the grove. Decorated with exquisite carvings of woodland animals the totem is a work of art. Incongruously a single bird perches atop the pole—it seems to be almost standing guard.
  19. The tumbled stone walls of some old building stand in the lee of a hill. Within the rambling structure—that was once undoubtedly grand—stands a sturdy log cabin. Smoke drifts up from the cabin’s chimney and the smell of roasting meat is heavy on the air.
  20. A blood trails leads the party into the grove. At its end lies a large wolf; three arrows jut from its flanks and its chest rises raggedly as if it is having trouble breathing.

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This article will appear in GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things II, available in March 2017. For more, check out our Free Resources page.

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