So, we've got a lot of new faces here, and I was told by nevvur quite a while ago that this story should be reposted here. So, I am reposting.
The situation: I wrote myself into a corner (with the players' help). All my PCs found themselves perched at the pinnacle of a giant tree on a far distant island and locked in a heated battle with Giants who had climbed the tree attempting to steal some fruit, which is rumored to be a panacea. In the course of the battle, the branch the players stand on (which bears the fruit they find themselves defending) is burned/chopped off (PCs started the fire, Giants did the chopping), releasing the ancient green dragon that was imprisoned within the tree. The tree immediately began to collapse.
That was the end of a session. I was freaking out. These guys are stranded at the top of a tree taller than a skyscraper, and the tree is now split open at the top, and rotting in fast forward from the inside out.
How the heck am I going to make it clear that they are all very likely to die this day, yet not just kill them outright? As a DM, how could I allow them avenues of survival without hand waving and while still maintaining the intensity that should be present at a time like this?
Where does a DM go with such questions? Why, to the Dungeon Master's Block Forums!