4d4 Green Dragon's Lair
by Creighton Broadhurst
August 06, 2019
Green dragon lairs are fearsome, terrifying places into which only the bravest adventurer dare tread. A green dragon’s lair should be so much more than just a cave stuffed with treasure.
Use the tables below, to add depth and verisimilitude to the green dragon lairs in your campaign.
Green Dragon Lair Features
A green dragon’s lair is rarely nothing more than a cave stuffed full of treasure. Red dragons are wily, cunning and in-tune with the surrounding environment; their lairs should reflect their intrinsic connection with their surrounds
- A thick curtain of roots grows down through the ceiling. In places, the growths are so thick they could obscure small hiding creatures such as very young dragons.
- A root easily two-foot thick burrows through the ceiling and down into the floor. The root—the tap root of a large and ancient tree above—is so thick it could provide cover to those fighting or hiding nearby.
- The earth and mud floor is churned up as if something large and powerful has been digging here. The resultant furrows and ridges of loose, damp soil create areas of difficult terrain.
- Incongruously, a huge, albino oak tree grows in the middle of the chamber. Its lofty boughs spread wide and scrape the area’s ceiling.
Green Dragon Lair Dressing
Green dragon lairs are different to normal dungeons. Consequently, the minor pieces of dressing should highlight this difference. Signs of previous exploration—dropped and broken equipment, the splintered, burnt corpses of previous adventurers and the like—will also be visible.
- The trunk of a splintered elm tree lies against a wall. Its white bark is torn and splintered. From a distance the dirty white trunk looks like a gigantic bone.
- An owlbear’s disembowelled and partially eaten corpse lies scattered about the chamber. By the looks of things the owlbear was a particularly large specimen—but its size availed in naught when it encountered the green dragon.
- Bats roost in the cave; the dragon tolerates them as they are a good early warning system for intruders entering its lair. Slippery piles of bat guano cover the floor.
- A long length of corroded and pitted thick iron chain lies across the corridor; one end is still wrapped around a large skeletal arm, far bigger than a normal human’s arm, that appears to have been yanked from its socket.
Treasures & Trinkets
Dragons are renown for their vast treasure hoards—it’s one of the main reason adventurers seek their lairs. While much of the hoard likely comprise coinages and the like, inevitably other interesting objects—of a variety of values—are mixed in with the rest.
- A small ingot of pure adamantine fills an exquisite teak coffer. The coffer is locked, and unsurprisingly heavy. The key lies somewhere in the dragon’s hoard.
- A large tapestry depicting a mighty castle surrounded by woodland is tightly rolled up and kept off the floor by a bed of coins. The tapestry is large—10 foot by 20 foot when unfurled—and heavy.
- A ledge about 12-foot off the floor holds a small collection of books. The books comprise several diaries and travel journals along with three minor spellbooks.
- A bronze gong stands incongruously amid the other treasures; the gong’s hammer hangs from a hook on its frame. The dragon likes the sound of the gong and sometimes flicks it with one claw—thus it sports several scratches and dents.
Green dragon hoards can be immense in scope and value. Among the treasures and trinkets, however, most dragons have also accumulated objects that might not fall under the traditional heading of treasure, but which are interesting and flavoursome none-the-less.
- A smashed and dented steel conical helmet filled with coins stands upside amid the hoard. The helmet once had leather ear flaps, but only one—bloodstained and shredded—remains.
- Intricate carvings of a woodland scene replete with pixies, a unicorn and capering elves decorate this chest. If the chest wasn’t missing its bottom, it would be quite valuable.
- The stump of a brass candlestick rises from the mass of coins and other valuables in the dragon’s hoard. Elsewhere, amid the coins, lies the other part of the candlestick covered in dry melted black wax.
- Deep claw marks in the floor bare mute witness to the dragon’s scratching and sharpening of its claws. Several coins—and perhaps a few easily overlooked gems—are stubbornly wedged in the cracks.
The material in this article appears in 20 Things #40: Green Dragon’s Lair, which is available here at the Raging Swan Press shop.