Cost: 40 gold or PCs may retrieve 2 pounds of white winter berries from the forest (1/2 day easy labor).
Details: Fin Starling has a tattered map for sale. It appears to lead into Dark Wood. Rumors persist that this particular section of the forest is haunted by malicious spirits of the Vikmordere. After meandering through the woods and stopping at a few landmarks it leads to a small cave in a hillside with an X upon it. This is suspected to be a treasure map, but only the brave will find out.
Side Quest Ideas:
Cursed Creek is a foul disease filled water source which gurgles its way out of Dark Wood. Infected by devil spawn, the water is not safe to drink. If one consumes any of the water from "Cursed Creek" they will suffer the effects of poison, disease, and a horrible curse (all effects up to the GM).
A halfling named "Garnid" (N Halfling Rogue 3, AC 15, hp 14, Shortsword+2, Backstab, Dodge, Bluff+7, Sleight of Hand +5) has been tricking travelers at Little Crags Pass into paying a toll in order to proceed. He has strategically stacked rocks and debris upon a hill in the shape of tall men holding bows. When the sun shines just right they appear to be shadowy figures upon a distant hillside. The PCs will have to use Sense Motive or pay a hefty toll of 20 gold to pass (the halfling determines his price based on his victim's appearance. If the PCs appear well off he will up this toll to 10 gold per person in the party.)
The "Vikmordere Spirits" are actually a group of Vikmordere hunters which were violently slain within Dark Wood and have risen as undead. For these "spirits" you may use Skeletons or Ghouls. The PCs will be attacked as they pass through Dark Wood. Should the PCs enter the woodland area with great care they may be able to get a jump on the undead before they are spotted.
The Twin Spruce Trees hold no event, but if you want to make things interesting you could introduce a lost Pixie from West Wood who has a broken wing and is looking for a free lift home. (XP bonus for good characters).
The Huge Round Stone is covered in the language of the Ancestor People (runic). A wizard or historian may be interested in these runes and would be willing to pay up to 30 gold for a rough hand drawn copy. The PCs may also attempt to decipher the runes. What could they possibly reveal? The location of a burial site? Treasure? An entrance to an underground city?
The Cave in the Hillside is home to a Bugbear with a couple goblin minions, or if the party is a bit stronger a Basilisk. According to the map the treasure is buried at the entrance to the cave. The PCs may have to put up with one of the above creatures before they are able to locate and dig up the treasure.
The treasure chest which was buried here contains 600 gp, a silver and gold necklace (100 gp value), 2 small rubies (30 gp each), and a Wand of Magic Missiles (30 charges).