The Hammerdrier campaign arc
The Beaver dam
You continue down the stream bed and soon you begin to notice that some of the trees have been chopped down, not with an axe but it looks like they were gnawed on by a large animal. As you continue more and more trees are missing, their sharpened stumps sticking up all along the stream bed. Quite suddenly you come upon the source of the problem, a large beaver dam. The dam was created by a mated pair of dire beavers and their 2 kits. The dam is 150’ wide, 25’ wide and 10’ tall. Their lodge is 75’ away in the flooded section behind the dam, it is axp. 50’ across and 25’ tall, and they are still working on it. Busy at work on the top of the dam is a beaver the size of a small black bear. Its teeth are over 6" in length and its huge flat tail is over a foot across. As you approach it stands on its hind legs and looks at you. It quickly turns and loudly slaps its tail on the surface of the water several times before diving in.
It is the PC’s job to get the stream flowing but not to kill the beavers. Breaking the dam will require some ingenuity. Burning the dam down can be achieved by spreading lamp oil over the top of the dam and lighting it. Doing so risks setting the whole forest on fire (45% chance) and will only destroy the top 35% of the dam before the water pours over and puts it out, it will not however put out the forest fire. Pulling the dam apart manually will require a large amount of time (8 hours/3.5 hours for 40%) and Bill Axeman only has about 4 hours. PC’s with knowledge (engineering) can make a DC:20 check to discover the dams weakness and pull 3 main support logs to have 45% of the dam collapse. Removing the support logs will require 15 minuets per log and a successful strength check DC:16 and a dex check DC:16 to get out of the way as the dam breaks.
Messing around with the dam in any way will draw the male out to protect it. The female will only attack to defend her kits. Some cheeky PC”s may try befriending the beavers. This requires the PC’s to make a knowledge nature DC:11 to discover their favorite foods (young aspen branches) a search to find the right tree DC:10, and a wild empathy DC:15 (30 if you want to get them to do anything more than leave you alone) Naturally spells work well, you can even take a dire beaver as an animal companion if you want to take the time to do the ritual. However they manage it they only need to break 40% of the dam to get enough flow to Bill to save him.