The Alchemist’s Tree
The Alchemist’s Tree is a non-combat encounter site that can be easily dropped into any D&D or Pathfinder campaign.
Nebkin Bronzebeaker was a gnome wizard that specialized in potions and alchemy. He traveled all over the countryside selling medicine and potions to adventurers and townsfolk alike. Many is the person with a tale of how their child or spouse was near death’s door only to be healed by a tincture from Nebkin who asked for nothing in return.
During a trip through a particularly savage valley, Nebkin was set upon by a ravenous wyvern intent on eating his ponies. The wizard fought hard to defend the horses that made his traveling business possible and served as his only friends, but try as he did, Nebkin was slain. As it ripped the ponies from their harnesses, the wyvern tipped the wagon on its side cracking open the roof. Hundreds of potions, tinctures, and tonics shattered and spilled out onto the ground. The stream of arcane fluid ran down a short embankment and soaked into the ground where a small sapling grew. The tree absorbed the magical properties of Nebkin’s potions and now sprouts magical fruit that produce random effects.
Much of the brightly colored wagon still remains, but lays broken and shattered on the ground, and the claws of weather and age have begun picking at the paint. The ground is covered with the glass remains of hundreds of bottles. Ten feet from the wreckage, a young apple tree grows (or any fruit appropriate for your setting). Even the most cursory glance (DC 5 Spot check) reveals that the apples growing on the tree are very strange. Each of the apples is a different color, and some bear dots, stripes, or intricate patterns never found on ordinary fruit.
- A DC 15 Knowledge Arcana check will reveal that tree has absorbed the contents of the shattered glass bottles that litter the ground and hold magical properties.
- A DC 15 Search check of the wreckage will uncover the skeletal body of a gnome in bright robes. Nearby the body is a spellbook, unreadable and ruined by exposure. (Note: should the PC’s bury Nebkin or perform any religious acts over his remains, he will appear as an apparition and lead them silently to his cache of treasure.) The cache holds 1,013 gp in assorted coinage, and 737 gp in gems (EL 7, feel free to increase or decrease).
- A DC 25 Search check will reveal the gnome’s cache of treasure hidden in a compartment in the floor of the wagon.
The Alchemist’s Tree has 3d4 apples on at when found. If a player casts detect magic the fruit and the tree will glow. The spell school of each fruit can be determined with an appropriate Spellcraft check, but the actual spell contained is unidentifiable until eaten.
Once picked the magic fruit will last for one week before rotting and losing its magical properties, otherwise treat the fruit like any other potion (A DC 20 Knowledge Arcana check reveals that the magical energies locked in the apples cause the fruit to decay at a much faster rate).
Any attempt to dig up or move the tree will kill it.
Roll 1d20 and ignore repeats (keep results secret)
Caster Level 5th
01 Cure Light Wounds
03 Mage Armor
04 Barkskin +2
05 Bear’s Endurance
06 Bull’s Strength
07 Fox’s Cunning
08 Eagle’s Splendor
09 Cat’s Grace
11 Owl’s Wisdom
13 Spider Climb
15 Remove Curse
16 Cure Moderate Wounds
17 Water Breathing
19 Gaseous Form