“Off to the side of the road, a low hill rises from the forest edge with a few old grave stones scattered about. Low grass and clover covers the ground and appears to be tended periodically. A small set of rough stone steps rise up to an old stone flat-topped altar. On top of the alter it looks like an offering has been placed.”
The graveyard and the altar are cared for by some local forest druids who are not nearby at the time of the encounter. The altar is for offerings to a fallen ranger long passed who cared for the graves of ancient warriors, who were once protectors of this forest. On top of the altar are a small bunch of local flowers tied with a tiny piece of vine and 2 gold coins.
“As you approach, you can see a small bunch of flowers and 2 single gold coins resting in the center. There does not appear to be anyone nearby and by the looks of the flowers, they have been here for at least a week and maybe of the leaves and pedals have already been scattered from the light breeze.”
The altar is protected by a powerful sleep spell. If anyone touches the altar or disturbs the flowers, the sleep spell is released and anyone who fails a saving throw in a 10’ radius of the altar will be rendered unconscious for 1d6+4 rounds. About 30’ away, beyond the altar are 3 kobolds lying in wait for those for fall to the trap. (modify monsters for your party’s strength and level) The creatures will immediately attack if most of the party are incapacitated.
The kobold will not see anyone further down the hill on the stairs because of the height of the hill and the altar. Their goal is to steal something of value and run back into the forest. They will not chance a fair fight and will run at any sign of trouble. If the entire party is rendered unconscious from the spell, the kobolds will quickly grab 1 item or a few coins from each player and make a break for it.
In the event that the party tracks the kobolds through the forest, they will have a small cave under a giant old tree stump and will also have 2 or 3 more kobolds there and can mount a defense there.
Encounter by Matt Rouse & Gifts of Gods. Not for commercial reproduction. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like permission to use in print.