The outer edges of this forest is much as one would expect with tall lush trees, birds singing beautifully throughout the land, and many gorgeous flowers most travelers probably haven't seen before. Those who travel deeper into the forest tend to have the uneasy feeling of being watched, and may catch glimpses of movement out of the corner of their eyes. The yellow musk creepers (see below) from the maze have been spreading through the forest, travelers may encounter ones of these mass of vines or may happen upon some musk zombies (see below) wandering through the forest.
The Verdant Maze Edit
In the depths of the forest lies a hedge maze of labyrinthine thickets mixed with thick vines sprouting many yellow flowers with purple centers. Those who have traversed and found their way back out swear to all the gods that they saw the maze change before their vary eyes. This strange effect is not a magical illusion but one created from the mind-affecting spores the musk creepers puff out to living creatures.
The hedge maze's thickets are 10ft high and 10ft thick and block line of sight, the paths in the maze are 10ft wide as well. Creatures moving through the thickets must spend 4 feet of movement for every 1 foot they wish to move and discover that elevation above the thicket is impossible, requiring creatures to attempt to navigate the maze. A creature in the thickets must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw once each round it's in contact with the thickets or take 3 (1d6) piercing damage from the thorns. Each 10-foot-cube of thickets has AC 5, 30 hit points, resistance to bludgeoning and piercing damage, vulnerability to fire damage, and immunity to psychic and thunder damage. Successfully navigating the maze requires three DC 15 Wisdom (Survival) checks, failing three checks before succeeding three means the character's mind becomes muddled from the creeper's spores and either become lost within the maze (loosing all successes and requiring an additional one success to find their way) or find themselves back at the entrance to the maze (loosing all successes and must start over). Each attempt at a survival check takes one hour.
Interwoven with the thickets are many yellow musk creepers, and musk zombies, all of which lie within the thickets, the zombies requiring a DC 20 Wisdom (Perception) check to spot while immobile, and both requiring a DC 20 Intelligence (Nature) check to identify. For each hour the characters spend in the maze the characters have a 30% chance to get attacked by 1d2 yellow musk creepers and 1d6+1 musk zombies.
Moss Cave Edit
At the center of the maze lies a moss covered cave entrance, this cave system is warm and damp with the distant sounds of running water becoming more audible as one progresses along the tunnel, which eventually leads to a small chamber featuring an underground river. Swimming with the current would lead someone down a winding tunnel, eventually feeding into the bottom of the nearby lake. Fighting against the current for a half-mile leads to a small room with a single feature. Embedded in an arch in the wall opposite of the river lie a set of five emeralds carved with draconic runes that lie dormant.
The 20ft wide, 30ft tall cave tunnel snakes into the ground, descending for about 200ft before leading to the river. Swimming against the current requires a DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check and the ability to hold their breath or breath water during the travel. The small room is about 25ft wide, long, and tall. The emeralds are focus points for a portal to the feywild, each one requires knowing draconic and a DC 15 Intelligence (Arcana) check to determine their function and the required component for activation. The required components must be cast or physically applied to the emerald in question and (from left to right) are any enchantment spell of 4th level or higher, 20 points of damage or more worth of blood, 20 points of poison damage, a healing spell of 4th level or higher, and any illusion spell of 4th level or higher (any 1st level spell cast using a 4th level slot is sufficient to activate the runes). When each component is successfully applied the rune and emerald they glow with a deep purple light for 1 minute before becoming dormant again. When all five emeralds are glowing the light coalesces into a a 20ft wide portal that lasts for 1 full minute before closing, the portal is opaque and deep purple in color.
Vizarius' Retreat Edit
Stepping through the portal creatures find themselves in a similar cave with identical emeralds embedded in the stone walls. A waterfall can be heard coming from the room's only exit. The exit only continues for a few steps before emerging from a cliff-side to a beautiful glade, a waterfall tumbling to the left that splashes down into a small lake. The cave entrance is about halfway up the cliff and no path down, characters will have to climb down, fly, or jump into the lake. Though it may not be apparent this is the lair of Vizarius (see below), an ancient green dragon born in the feywild that splits his time between his home plane and the prime material. While in his lair the soothing sounds of a harp can be heard throughout the glade. Vizarius spends his time here relaxing in the lake or tending to his garden of musk creepers and various other, more exotic, plants.
Vizarius is a feywild-born green dragon that spent many years learning the bardic arts from very powerful fey creatures. He grew a great fondness for magical plants, cultivating a garden of his creations, and lives his life to the fullest. He often takes the guise of a halfling man under the name Cade Whisperwind to travel the cities of mortals spending the bulk of his time in casinos, brothels, and taverns. From time to time he does take particular interest in a group of adventurers, paying them very well to collect rare plant specimens or to delve into ancient ruins in search of forgotten knowledge or trinkets. After some time if the mortals are deserving of his trust and friendship he may reveal his true from to them, adventurers are particularly good friends to make after all, in the hopes of gaining their trust and friendship in return. Those who do earn his trust are granted a small green scale that acts as a sending stone, to call upon Vizarius should they need any aid.
Vizarius’ first reaction to uninvited guests is cautious curiosity, often taking his halfling form long before his guests can see him. Vizarius questions them, often under a Zone of Truth, to determine their intentions and attempts to dissuade them if they are here to kill him or steal from him. If the guests can not be trusted his last-ditch attempt at non-violence is to use Modify Memory on them to have them believe they found nothing of import on their trip. Vizarius will fight viciously to defend himself and his home, though he would much prefer not to.
The following are the mechanical stats for the Yellow Musk Creeper, the Musk Zombies, and Visarius himself.
Yellow Musk Creeper Edit
Yellow Musk Creepers are ambush predators, waiting until its prey is close before attacking and sending its zombies after it.
Large plant, unaligned
Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 114 (12d10+48)
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
18(+4) 16(+3) 19(+4) 3(-4) 12(+1) 9(-1)
Saving Throws Con +7
Skills Perception +4
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities blinded, deafened, exhausted, poisoned, prone
Senses blindsight 30ft., passive Perception 14
Challenge 5 (1800 XP)
Regeneration. The yellow musk creeper regains 10 hit points at the start of its turn. If the yellow musk creeper takes fire damage, this trait doesn't function at the start of the yellow musk creeper's next turn. The yellow musk creeper dies only if it starts its turn with 0 hit points and doesn't regenerate.
Multiattack. The yellow musk creeper makes three vine attacks (one fewer for every creature it has grappled), or two musk puff attacks.
Vine. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 15ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6+4) bludgeoning damage and the target is grappled (escape DC 15). A yellow musk creeper can have up to 3 creatures grappled at once.
Musk Puff. Ranged Weapon Attack: One target within 20ft. must succeed a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or be charmed by the yellow musk creeper. While charmed in this way the creature must use its entire turn to move into the yellow musk creeper’s space then end its turn, doing nothing else and offering no resistance. A charmed creature may make a saving throw at the end of each of its turns and anytime it takes damage, if the charmed creature makes a saving throw as the result from taking damage the saving throw is made with advantage.
Reel. The yellow musk creeper pulls every creature it has grappled up to 15ft.
Consume Intelligence. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 0ft, targets all non-plant creatures in the yellow musk creeper’s space (this attack automatically hits any creature charmed by the yellow musk creeper). Hit: 14 (4d6) points of psychic damage. If this damage kills a creature it comes back as a musk zombie under the creeper’s control in 1 hour.
Drain. As a bonus action the yellow musk creeper can target one musk zombie within 15ft, that musk zombie immediately dies and the yellow musk creeper regains 22 (4d10) hit points.
Musk Zombies Edit
Musk Zombies are under control of the yellow musk creeper that created them, they stay with the creeper for a few weeks before wandering off for a day or two then dying.
Medium plant, unaligned
Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 39 (6d8+12)
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
16(+3) 12(+1) 14(+2) 3(-4) 12(+1) 9(-1)
Skills Athletics +5
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities blinded, deafened, exhausted, poisoned
Senses blindsight 30ft., passive Perception 11
Challenge 3 (700 XP)
Regeneration. The musk zombie regains 5 hit points at the start of its turn. If the musk zombie takes fire damage, this trait doesn't function at the start of the musk zombie's next turn. If a musk zombie is reduced to 0 hit points by anything other than fire damage the seed in its head sprouts and grows into a new yellow musk creeper in 1 hour.
Multiattack. The musk zombie makes two attacks, it may sacrifice one or both of these to make grapple checks.
Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5ft., one creature. Hit: 6 (1d6+3) bludgeoning damage.
Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5ft., one creature. Hit: 7 (1d8+3) slashing damage.
Gargantuan dragon, neutral good.
Armor Class 21 (natural armor)
Hit Points 385 (22d20 + 154)
Speed 40ft., fly 80ft., swim 40ft.
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
27 (+8) 12 (+1) 25 (+7) 20 (+5) 17 (+3) 26 (+8)
Saving Throws Dex +8, Con +14, Wis +10, Cha +14
Skills Arcana +12, Deception +15, Insight +10, Perception +17, Performance +15, Persuasion +15, Stealth +8
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses blindsight 60ft., darkvision 120ft., passive Perception 27
Languages Common, Draconic, Halfling, Sylvan, Elvish
Challenge 22 (30,000 XP)
Amphibious. Vizarius can breathe air and water.
Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If Vizarius fails a saving throw, he can choose to succeed instead.
Bardic Inspiration. Vizarius can inspire others through stirring words or music. To do so, he uses a bonus action on his turn to choose one creature other than himself within 60 feet who can hear him. That creature gains one Bardic Inspiration die, a d12.
Once within the next 10 minutes, the creature can roll the die and add the number rolled to one ability check, attack roll, or saving throw it makes. The creature can wait until after it rolls the d20 before deciding to use the Bardic Inspiration die, but must decide before the DM says whether the roll succeeds or fails. Once the Bardic Inspiration die is rolled, it is lost. A creature can have only one Bardic Inspiration die at a time.
Vizarius may use this eight times, and regains all uses on a short or long rest.
Jack of All Trades. Vizarius adds half of his proficiency bonus, rounded down (+3), to any ability check he makes that doesn’t already include his proficiency bonus.
Innate Spellcasting. Vizarius’ innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 23, +15 to hit will spell attacks). Vizarius can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
1/day each: Blur, Counterspell, Dominate Person, Enhance Ability, Greater Invisibility, Prismatic Spray, Slow
Spellcasting. Vizarius is a 20th-level spellcaster. His spellcasting ability is charisma (spell save DC 23, +15 to hit will spell attacks). Vizarius has the following bard spells prepared:
Cantrips (at will): Friends, Mage Hand, Prestidigitation, Vicious Mockery
1st level (4 slots): Bane, Charm Person, Detect Magic, Faerie Fire, Identify
2nd level (3 slots): Knock, Zone of Truth
3rd level (3 slots): Dispel Magic, Major Image, Sending, Tongues
4th level (3 slots): Confusion, Polymorph
5th level (3 slots): Bigby’s Hand, Modify Memory, Scrying
6th level (2 slots): Eyebite, Globe of Invulnerability
7th level (2 slots): Forcecage, Sequester, Regenerate
8th level (1 slot): Feeblemind, Mind Blank
9th level (1 slot): Foresight
Multiattack. Vizarius can use his Frightful Presence. He then makes three attacks: one with his bite and two with his claws.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (2d10+8) piercing damage plus 10 (3d6) poison damage.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 10ft., one target. Hit: 22 (4d6+8) slashing damage.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (2d8+8) bludgeoning damage.
Frightful Presence. Each creature of Vizarius' choice that is within 120 feet of him and aware of him must succeed on a DC 23 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature's saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the Vizarius’ Frightful Presence for the next 24 hours.
Poison Breath (Recharge 5-6). Vizarius exhales poisonous gas in a 90-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 22 Constitution saving throw, taking 77 (22d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Vizarius can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature's turn. Vizarius regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.
Detect. Vizarius makes a Wisdom (Perception) check.
Tail Attack. Vizarius makes a tail attack.
Wing Attack (Costs 2 Actions). Vizarius beats his wings. Each creature within 15 feet of Vizarius must succeed on a DC 23 Dexterity saving throw or take 15 (2d6 + 8) bludgeoning damage and be knocked prone. Vizarius can then fly up to half its flying speed.