In Heart of Nightfang Spire, the player characters are drawn to investigate Nightfang Spire, a lonely stone tower in a barren land. The vampire lord Gulthias, servant of the great dragon Ashardalon, has returned to the tower which was once the main cult temple of Ashardalon. The vampire prepares for the dragon's return by awakening the other cultists who had preserved themselves as undead creatures. Gulthias is a vampire and a level 13 wizard.
The Cult of the Dragon leads the charge in an unholy crusade to bring Tiamat back to the Realms, and the situation grows more perilous for good people with each passing moment. The battle becomes increasingly political as opportunities to gather allies and gain advantage present themselves, all centered in Waterdeep. Continuation of Hoard of the Dragon Queen. Adventure for around 4 PCs, spanning levels 8-15.
Something lurks in the shadows inside the caverns under the hill called Brin Brenin. Ancient enemies of mankind have returned for revenge, starting with the tomb of a long-forgotten hero. Somewhere inside are answers to forgotten questions, deadly monsters, and hidden treasures.
Dromar is a figure of power all over the realm. He is known as a legendary fighter from centuries ago. He was buried in a tomb along with an artifact of great power. Those who built his tomb were afraid of grave robbers, and so his tomb was created in the frigid, ice-coated lands at the base of a a mountain. The secret of this tomb's location has been passed among a select few people as the years have gone on. Most of the general public do not even believe it exists, but now the ancient relic buried alongside Dromar is needed once again.
The Legend of the Black Monastery Two centuries have passed since the terrible events associated with the hideous cult known as the Black Brotherhood. Only scholars and story-tellers remember now how the kingdom was nearly laid to waste and the Black Monastery rose to grandeur and fell into haunted ruins. The Brothers first appeared as an order of benevolent priests and humble monks in black robes who followed a creed of kindness to the poor and service to the kingdom. Their rules called for humility and self denial. Other religious orders had no quarrel with their theology or their behavior. Their ranks grew as many commoners and nobles were drawn to the order by its good reputation. The first headquarters for the order was a campsite, located in a forest near the edge of the realm. The Brothers said that their poverty and dedication to service allowed them no resources for more grand accommodations. Members of the Black Brotherhood built chapels in caves or constructed small temples on common land near villages. They said that these rustic shrines allowed them to be near the people they served. Services held by the Brothers at these locations attracted large numbers of common people, who supported the Black Brotherhood with alms. Within 50 years of their first appearance, the Black Brotherhood had a number of larger temples and abbeys around the kingdom. Wealthy patrons endowed them with lands and buildings in order to buy favor and further the work of the Brothers. The lands they gained were slowly expanded as the order’s influence grew. Many merchants willed part of their fortunes to the Black Brotherhood, allowing the order to expand their work even further. The Brothers became bankers, loaning money and becoming partners in trade throughout the kingdom. Within 200 years of their founding, the order was wealthy and influential, with chapters throughout the kingdom and spreading into nearby realms. With their order well-established, the Black Brotherhood received royal permission to build a grand monastery in the hill country north of the kingdom’s center. Their abbot, a cousin of the king, asked for the royal grant of a specific hilltop called the Hill of Mornay. This hill was already crowned by ancient ruins that the monks proposed to clear away. Because it was land not wanted for agriculture, the king was happy to grant the request. He even donated money to build the monastery and encouraged others to contribute. With funds from around the realm, the Brothers completed their new monastery within a decade. It was a grand, sprawling edifice built of black stone and called the Black Monastery. From the very beginning, there were some who said that the Black Brotherhood was not what it seemed. There were always hints of corruption and moral lapses among the Brothers, but no more than any other religious order. There were some who told stories of greed, gluttony and depravity among the monks, but these tales did not weaken the order’s reputation during their early years. All of that changed with the construction of the Black Monastery. Within two decades of the Black Monastery’s completion, locals began to speak of troubling events there. Sometimes, Brothers made strange demands. They began to cheat farmers of their crops. They loaned money at ruinous rates, taking the property of anyone who could not pay. They pressured or even threatened wealthy patrons, extorting money in larger and larger amounts. Everywhere, the Black Brotherhood grew stronger, prouder and more aggressive. And there was more… People began to disappear. The farmers who worked the monastery lands reported that some people who went out at night, or who went off by themselves, did not return. It started with individuals…people without influential families…but soon the terror and loss spread to even to noble households. Some said that the people who disappeared had been taken into the Black Monastery, and the place slowly gained an evil reputation. Tenant farmers began moving away from the region, seeking safety at the loss of their fields. Slowly, even the king began to sense that the night was full of new terrors. Across the kingdom, reports began to come in telling of hauntings and the depredations of monsters. Flocks of dead birds fell from clear skies, onto villages and city streets. Fish died by thousands in their streams. Citizens reported stillborn babies and monstrous births. Crops failed. Fields were full of stunted plants. Crimes of all types grew common as incidents of madness spread everywhere. Word spread that the center of these dark portents was the Black Monastery, where many said the brothers practiced necromancy and human sacrifice. It was feared that the Black Brotherhood no longer worshipped gods of light and had turned to the service of the Dark God. These terrors came to a head when the Black Brotherhood dared to threaten the king himself. Realizing his peril, the king moved to dispossess and disband the Black Brother hood. He ordered their shrines, abbeys and lands seized. He had Brothers arrested for real and imagined crimes. He also ordered investigations into the Black Monastery and the order’s highest ranking members. The Black Brotherhood did not go quietly. Conflict between the order and the crown broke into violence when the Brothers incited their followers to riot across the kingdom. There were disturbances everywhere, including several attempts to assassinate the king by blades and by dark sorcery. It became clear to everyone that the Black Brotherhood was far more than just another religious order. Once knives were drawn, the conflict grew into open war between the crown and the Brothers. The Black Brotherhood had exceeded their grasp. Their followers were crushed in the streets by mounted knights. Brothers were rounded up and arrested. Many of them were executed. Armed supporters of the Black Brotherhood, backed by arcane and divine magic, were defeated and slaughtered. The Brothers were driven back to their final hilltop fortress – the Black Monastery. They were besieged by the king’s army, trapped and waiting for the king’s forces to break in and end the war. The final assault on the Black Monastery ended in victory and disaster. The king’s army took the hilltop, driving the last of the black-robed monks into the monastery itself. The soldiers were met by more than just men. There were monsters and fiends defending the monastery. There was a terrible slaughter on both sides. In many places the dead rose up to fight again. The battle continued from afternoon into night, lit by flames and magical energy. The Black Monastery was never actually taken. The king’s forces drove the last of their foul enemies back inside the monastery gates. Battering rams and war machines were hauled up the hill to crush their way inside. But before the king’s men could take the final stronghold, the Black Brotherhood immolated themselves in magical fire. Green flames roared up from the monastery, engulfing many of the king’s men as well. As survivors watched, the Black Monastery burned away, stones, gates, towers and all. There was a lurid green flare that lit the countryside. There was a scream of torment from a thousand human voices. There was a roar of falling masonry and splitting wood. Smoke and dust obscured the hilltop. The Black Monastery collapsed in upon itself and disappeared. Only ashes drifted down where the great structure had stood. All that was left of the Black Monastery was its foundations and debris-choked dungeons cut into the stones beneath. The war was over. The Black Brotherhood was destroyed. But the Black Monastery was not gone forever. Over nearly two centuries since its destruction, the Black Monastery has returned from time to time to haunt the Hill of Mornay. Impossible as it seems, there have been at least five incidents in which witnesses have reported finding the Hill of Mornay once again crowned with black walls and slate-roofed towers. In every case, the manifestation of this revenant of the Black Monastery has been accompanied by widespread reports of madness, crime and social unrest in the kingdom. Sometimes, the monastery has appeared only for a night. The last two times, the monastery reappeared atop the hill for as long as three months…each appearance longer than the first. There are tales of adventurers daring to enter the Black Monastery. Some went to look for treasure. Others went to battle whatever evil still lived inside. There are stories of lucky and brave explorers who have survived the horrors, returning with riches from the fabled hordes of the Black Brotherhood. It is enough to drive men mad with greed – enough to lure more each time to dare to enter the Black Monastery.
The strange city of Carrion Hill has long loomed over the surrounding swamps in eastern Ustalav, yet its rulers have shifted many times through the centuries. Often enough that only a few sinister scholars and curious minds know the true nature of the hill’s original inhabitants—vile and depraved cultists of the Old Gods. Yet this morning, a dreadful recrudescence rises from the depths of buried nightmare in the vaults below Carrion Hill. A monster stalks the twisted alleys of the city, spreading panic before it and leaving destruction in its wake. Can the Carrion Hill Horror be stopped?
Missing relics and a mysterious well. These are the things that have drawn your party to this idyllic region of the land. Why would someone take sacred objects, what do they have to do with each other…and why does the trail lead to a well in the middle of a lake?
CM3 is part of a series, CM1-CM9, from 1984-1987, for upper-level ("Companion" tier) PCs. Sabre River offers a mix of tactical encounters with challenging monsters, a region-wide mysterious curse which needs to be investigated, its cause understood, an especially interesting volcano setting for one set of encounters, and great treasure hordes. Although part of the CM series and potentially part of a campaign including PCs claiming and holding dominion over territory, the adventure itself does not include any large-scale battles or war-planning. You are the guest of the count, one of your allies and the strongest man in the region. Your sojourn has been pleasant, a nice change after weeks of battle. Suddenly the courtyard below your window is filled with the noise of galloping horses. More Guests? You yawn as you look out. But these people arriving look more like tax collectors than guests. You decide to give your attention to something more interesting, like dinner. Relax while you can, friend, because these new arrivals are about to lead you to a crimson sailor, a cozy Tower of Terror, and a river with an aching heart. Sabre River includes a complete campaign setting, new NPCs, dungeon and wilderness encounters, and a mysterious story. TSR: #9119, published 1984
Far above the village of Barovia sits Castle Ravenloft, the home and fortress of vampire lord Strahd Von Zarovich. Legends claim that Strahd flies with the bats and runs with the wolves to terrorize the countryside. Ancient tales also tell of dungeons and catacombs deep under the castle. Other stories recall the great halls, treasures, and glory of Ravenloft in centuries past. "House of Strahd" is a revision of the classic gothic horror tale I6: Ravenloft, one of the most popular adventures ever produced for the AD&D game. This version is updated for the AD&D 2nd Edition rules, and those from the Ravenloft campaign set. Count Strahd is now more powerful, and his castle is even more terrifying!
The Cult of the Dragon, along with its dragon allies and the Red Wizards of Thay, seek to bring Tiamat from her prison in the Nine Hells to Faerûn. To this end, they are sweeping from town to town, laying waste to all those who oppose them and gathering a hoard of riches for their dread queen. An adventure for around 4 PCs, spanning levels 1-8. Continued in The Rise of Tiamat.
A dwarven laboratory forgotten for many centuries has finally been rediscovered, but there is sure to be danger lurking within. It turns out some of the other machines within are still active, as are some of the traps and puzzles. Prepare your party for a blend of challenging puzzles and diverse fights in the dungeon that was home to my first player kill.
The Feystone Shards is an adventure for characters from levels 5-8, optimized for 4-6 player characters. This moderate length campaign should have 20+ hours of gaming, all focused around the Forgotten realms area of Red Larch. The Heroes are tasked to find five fragments of a shattered Orb, once worshipped by a faction of Elves. The search will take the party to a haunted Citadel, as they seek the scattered remnants of the Feystone. From a city of Stone Golems, to an alchemist's underground lair - the players will face obstacles and enemies that will challenge their very resolve. The Heroes will need to discover the secrets of the bauble's fey magic, finding the lost Elvin city where the Orb was once worshiped as a God. Join in the hunt for the Feystone Shards, and see if your characters are ready to transcend common Heroes...and become Legends.
Szass Tam, the lich lord of Thay, and his Red Wizards threaten to dominate all of the Sword Coast. The Bloodgate, an elemental node of power, must be destroyed in order to stop him. Remake of the original 4th Edition adventure.
Need to teach a newbie how to play? A young village shepherd has been telling a tale of an opening in the ground near where his flock roams. Timby Poster thinks he has found something of great importance. He has been telling everyone that there are stone stairs leading into the depths. He was going to investigate but his flock was set upon by vile humanoids that have been raiding the area more frequently. As Timby is prone to tell “tales” of monsters and his flock came back intact this may be a hoax thought up by the young boy. This adventure was designed for a beginning character with little RPG experience. Created for one player and one DM this allows a new player to understand basic concepts.
"The screams became overpowered by the sound of the terrible falling star--a black orb of malign energy hurled from the firmament in the dead of night. In that instant, the village of Rhale was utterly destroyed, reduced to a hollow crater of flaming decay. Now, frightened talk of a dark presence descended from above has taken root, though none can put name to the faceless fear that might reside within this terrible orb." While traveling the countryside, the player characters witness an explosive event - the falling of a meteor into a distant hillside. Soon thereafter, they encounter several mercenaries menacing some refugees. From them, the PCs can learn, that a group of dragon worshippers called the Black Covenant are in the area and intend to use the fallen star for their own nefarious purposes. Upon arriving at the crater, the PCs find that the falling star is in fact a massive sphere of iron with an opening in its side. They enter the sphere to find a small complex of rooms protected by numerous traps and guardians. They also battle several members of the Black Covenant, until they make their way to the heart of the complex, where they discover the source of the Covenant's interest in the Black Egg, they try to use it to create a half-fiend red dragon. The PCs must succeed if they wish to prevent the creation of an army of fiendish dragons. Lot's of monstrous NPCs with class levels and templates for enemies (half-black dragon orc warriors level 7, for example) are used in this adventure.
The deserts of Osirion—land of pharaohs and ancient tombs—hide not just untold wonders, but also unspeakable dangers. When the vast sand dunes part to reveal the ancient pyramid of the legendary Pharaoh of Sphinxes, glory seekers from across many nations race toward it, each fighting to be the first to claim its wonders. But the storied pharaoh doesn't rest quietly within this monument, and his tomb was designed to slaughter any who would dare trespass.
This adventure takes place in the Moonsea of Faerûn. The players have been brought to Melvaunt to search for the missing scions of the city's great families. To the north, in Thar the orc tribes converge on the ruined fortress of Xul-Jarak, flocking to the banner of a charismatic warlord. There, he intends to sacrifice the scions of the great families of Melvaunt in a bloodritual to Gruumsh. The players will escape Melvaunt, search along the wilderness of Thar for the Fortress of Xul-Jarak, and then explore the dungeons of the ruined fortress and hopefully rescue the scions before they are sacrificed. There also is a Web Enhancement by Eric Cagle on the archives of wizards of the coast's website designed to scale the adventure to level 8. For example, it replaces the Owlbear with a Tyrannosaurus. This is an easy to scale adventure with much of the player's difficulty coming from intelligently avoiding problems, choosing how to approach each floor in the most tactical way, and quickly adjusting when something goes wrong. The adventure has sidebars including common orc battle cries (In Orc!), ready to use orc names, weather and random encounter table in Thar, a description of what happens if the party fails or partially succeeds, and suggested minis for each of the encounters. There is even an extended description of the bloodspear ritual, an event the party is not meant to encounter in a normal run. The appendix is detailed for all the humanoid characters including the scions and their equipment, the named villains, and variety of unnamed orcs the party will encounter. The fortress also offers an opportunity to introduce the players to the Underdark and the Zhentil Keep. There is a passage to the Underdark the players can accidentally explore, and return to later. Emissaries from Zhentil Keep have come to watch the ritual and have their own motivations. These npcs provide an opportunity for exposition and role playing at a point which otherwise might be combat heavy, acting as a valve for the first floor - helping or hurting the party with subtle magic should the difficulty be off.
Days ago, a portal to the Elemental Chaos appeared near the PCs’ home city. Since then, it has grown into an enormous sinkhole that periodically belches fire and brimstone. The rip in reality threatens to overwhelm settlements and a nearby river unless someone ventures through and closes it from the other side.
Under raging storm clouds, the vampire Count Strahd von Zarovich stands silhouetted against the ancient walls of Castle Ravenloft. Rumbling thunder pounds the castle spires. The wind’s howling increases as he turns his gaze down toward the village of Barovia. A lightning flash rips through the darkness, but Strahd is gone. Only the howling of the wind fills the midnight air. The master of Castle Ravenloft is having guests for dinner—and you are invited. Spans levels 1-10.
Stop evil cultists of the Crushing Wave. The party rescues a member of the Brotherhood of the Cloak in Mulmaster (local mage guild); Drayson Fivestar. Drayson asks them to investigate the murder of his colleague. After some urban investigation, the investigation leads to a former guard tower of the Zhentarim, now occupied by elemental cultists. The tower was submerged in mud, but recently uncovered. The party faces of with the cultists. (Large page count, but feasible as a one shot after some editing, will probably take two sessions at most)