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.
A Maze of Tragedy and Mystery A Family Affair is a d20 adventure for 4-6 PCs of level 8 or higher. While investigating a mysteriously abandoned mansion, the adventurers stumble into a tangled web of kidnapping, theft and murder. From a mansion with a deadly secret to the blood-stained waves of the high seas and an ancient, cursed citadel, the adventurers face a succession of deadlier and deadlier foes, with the rescue of innocents and the recovery of fabulous treasure as their ultimate rewards. A Family Affair includes a fully-developed town setting, numerous unique NPCs and a wide range of challenging opponents.
For decades, Theatre Infernalis offered shocking and frightful entertainment to customers who entered its gaping demonic facade and saw a frightful portrait of the eternal torments that await all sinners. Now rumours tell of the aging and supposedly-cursed proprietor's deteriorating health and the theatre's impending sale, and the Artist's Quarter has been abuzz with those seeking one final fright with a walk through the crucible-licked walls of the infernal house of the macabre before its final curtain call. But are the theatre's smoke-and-mirrors and cheap scares hiding a truly wicked secret? What is the nature of the curse and illness that afflict the owner? And did foul and profane rites once take place between its walls that outside forces now seek to exploit? What happens when the spookshow's fun and games transform into a terrifying reality, threatening to spill forth an infernal malevolence onto the streets of the Blight?
Irtep’s Dish is an adventure for characters from 6th to 8th level. This adventure requires the skills of a rogue or some other expert at traps, a cleric or character that can heal allies and offer beneficial bonuses to the team, a wizard or other master of the arcane arts, and a fighter to take care of “the heavy lifting.”
People in the Blight begin to awaken at night burning with an all-too-real fire. Most of them die horribly, spouses or lovers staring in shocked horror at their sudden death throes in the grip of consuming flames. A few of the truly unlucky actually manage to survive -- if living in such a state can be called survival. There seems to be no rhyme or reason in the victims of these incinerating dreams, as those among the high and low fall victim to its touch, and the locals each pray that he or she will not be next. Now no one dares to sleep. By renowned author and creator of the Blight, Richard Pett, The Crucible is a 7th-level stand-alone adventure of urban horror set in his own crooked city of the Blight. This adventure may not be suitable for children below the age of 13.
Sewers of the Underguild is an adventure designed for characters of at least 11th level, and characters up to 15th level will find plenty of challenges. Hidden within these narrow passages and filth-filled channels is a guild of vampiric rogues, led by their master Sangre and his aide, a nycaloth called Ankoz. Deadly traps abound, so a skillful rogue will be a lifesaver. Because of the high likelihood of desperate combat with numerous vampiric and monstrous opponents, it is suggested that a cleric and at least two fighters be prepared to beat back the many watchdog monsters the guild employs. You can hide the locales in Sewers of the Underguild in any ruin or location that fits your campaign purposes. A thriving metropolis that just happens to have a large crime and vampire problem would fit the bill nicely. In the Lost Lands campaign setting of Frog God Games, the Underguild is located in the sewers beneath the ruins of Curgantium, the ancient imperial capital of lost Hyperboria. Located at the edge of the modern Kingdom of Foere, the Underguild still finds itself located centrally enough to pull the strings of its weblike network running throughout the former lands of the Hyperborian Empire.
An embattled outpost at the edge of the wilderness has finally been overthrown. Strange creatures patrol the land. A local hamlet is in ruins. But just who-or what-has taken over this once mighty fortress?
Rogues in Remballo is a city adventure set in Frog God Games' Lost Lands campaign world. As an introduction to adventuring in the Borderland Provinces, the City of Remballo immediately gets first-level characters embroiled in strange plots, sinister intrigue, and fierce battles. Is the thieves’ guild of Manas encroaching on the territory of the Remballo guild? What is hidden in the sanctuary-courtyard known as the Four Corners? How is the powerful banking house of Borgandy involved with all of it? What starts as a straightforward mission actually involves a host of complications — some of which can be deadly if the characters don’t play their cards right.
Ra’s Evil Grin challenges adventurers of at least 11th level who are seeking a powerful magic item—the globe of Arden. If a different item suits your campaign better, another appropriate powerful item can be substituted as the final objective. This dungeon culminates in a battle with Dendorandra, a lesser marilith known as a dark daughter. As a lead-in to this adventure, the GM may use a map from another treasure hoard showing the location of the globe (detailed more fully in “The Legend of the Globe of Arden,” below) or a priestly tome describing Arden, the long-dead avatar of Ra, and the wondrous powers of an unknown artifact called the globe of Arden. Such a tome might mention that the globe emits rays as intense as those of the sun, destroying all they touch. In any event, characters should need to consult with sages and oracles to determine the location and history of the globe and dungeon. A sage could also provide a map to the dungeon’s location, referenced in the “The Legend of the Globe of Arden,” below. We set the dungeon on a small, remote island far across the sea, but you can relocate it to suit your campaign. This dungeon provides numerous puzzles, a few traps, and only two monsters. Those monsters, though few in number, should challenge and threaten even the most combat-hardened party—particularly after the party encounters all the vicious creatures that inhabit the Island of the Globe.
A Deadly Curse is Spreading! Morrick Mansion and the surrounding vineyards were deserted years ago when a terrible curse twisted every living thing on the property into a mockery of its prior form. Once whispered about and avoided, fear now grips the land. The curse spreads and someone needs to stop it. Can you find its source and cure it forever, or will the very curse you are investigating touch you with madness? Hatred, Death, and Danger! Morrick Mansion is a town and dungeon adventure designed for 4-6 characters of 3rd to 5th-level. Morrick Mansion challenges adventurers to battle strange, mutant creatures in an effort to solve a mystery and stop an insidious curse. Do your players dare enter the mysterious mansion and can they survive long enough to discover the source of the curse?
Designed for a party of five characters of at least 9th level, this adventure will challenge players seeking a powerful magic item of the GM’s choosing. A sphere of annihilation has been provided and is woven into several elements of the adventure, but any appropriately powerful item can be substituted if something else suits your campaign better. Though the adventure is designed to test every type of character class, a rogue who can deal with traps is essential, as is a wizard or sorcerer of at least 9th level. Larger groups will have an easier time; parties of four or fewer characters will be in for a very bad time unless you mitigate some of the tower’s more lethal traps and encounters. This adventure culminates in an encounter with devils and a sphere of annihilation. The sphere of annihilation is hidden deep within the tower-and-dungeon complex of Crane the Sorcerer. Originally set atop a high mountain in a secluded and wild part of the world, the tower and dungeon can be relocated to meet the situation in your campign. Crane, an introvert, stayed as far away from civilization as possible, as is detailed below. The tower above the dungeon doesn’t present many difficulties for a group of powerful characters or alert players. It might lull PCs into a false sense of security before they enter the areas where they’ll really be put to the test.
I am the Set Rahotep No man was more potent when I was amongst those dwelling in the land of Khemit. In death I am greater still! Do you not fear serpents? I am the Aepep Rahotep! Who does not tremble before the monsters of the Duat? I am one! Does your flesh not crawl at the sight of a terrible wyrm? I am the Deathwyrm Rahotep! Does your blood run cold before the face of a fiend? Know then that I am Rahotep the Fiend! Who shuns not demons? Shun me, for I am the demon Rahotep, the Red Devil. And which fool listens? That one is wise! Praise Set and the Set Rahotep, that one, and pity the rest! An Epic Adventure and Sourcebook Gary Gygax's Necropolis is a vast campaign scenario that sweeps the characters into an epic adventure across the magical desert kingdom of Khemit. From a hidden evil in a desert village, to the secrets of ancient tombs, Necropolis takes the characters on a dangerous mission to thwart the plans of an undying archpriest-wizard who would be a god! Necropolis is also a campaign sourcebook, detailing the lands of Khemit, new classes and prestige classes, new spells and more than 60 monsters unique to the desert lands. This book also details over 50 new gods and new cleric domains, allowing DMs to run extended campaigns in the desert kingdom.
The Children of the Harvest is a stand-alone adventure set in The Blight for 4—6 7th- to 8th level characters. The Blight is a dark place. Children disappear all the time, especially those of poor. The Harvester of Cribs, one of the city's strange local gods, is blamed for many of these disappearances. Typically , these disappearances arc random, isolated instances, and in many cases, Harvester has nothing to do with it all, merely being a convenient explanation or alibi for some other nefarious activity. This time, however, 36 children have disappeared from their homes— all in a single night—and many of them were not from the houses of the poor. Not even jaded folk of City-State of Castorhage will stand for this (especially not a prominent Justice and a guild leader who have each lost a child in this rash of disappearance). Now is the time for a call to action. Now is the time for heroes.
Hunt for a Legendary Treasure! Deep beneath a peaceful valley lies the vault of the legendary drow adventurer Larin Karr. Rumor has it Larin Karr has gone, but his vast treasure acquired from years of plundering hordes in the Underdark still remains. Can you find and loot the impenetrable vault? The Vault of Larin Karr details Quail Valley, its residents and monsters, and the twisting tunnels of the Underdark that stretch beneath it. The Vault of Larin Karr takes PCs from 4th to 9th level, during which time they fight dragons, find a missing statue for a band of renegade elves, save the village of Pembrose from scheming hobgoblins, and explore the Underdark and its many dungeons - including the legendary Vault itself! Contains new monsters and magic items! 2003 ENnie Award Silver Winner: Best Adventure
The Noble Rot is a location-based adventure for characters of 5th to 8th level. This adventure can be played in one or two sessions of reasonable length. It is a straightforward, haunted house-style adventure. The story revolves around Le Chateau Gluant, a vineyard and winery of repute. Vintages of its famous white (chardonnay) and red blend (cabernet sauvignon) are sought throughout the land. Some vintages can bring up to 200 gp per bottle from the right buyer. A case (twelve bottles) of the wine in pristine condition can fetch up to 1,500 gp. Unfortunately, the winery fell upon dark days and the prized wine has not flowed from its cellars for a few years. Approximately five years ago, the head winemaker, Malcolm Roth, hired Tobias Suey as an apprentice. Unfortunately for Roth, Suey was a member of the Cultus Limus (Cult of the Ooze). The Cultus Limus makes sacrifices to its demonic master Lumaszu in her faceless form. Lumaszu or “she who erases” is an ancient demoness who preys upon travelers by drinking their blood. She is the cause of nightmares, pestilence, infestation of pure water, and a bringer of disease, sickness, and death. Her worshipped form in Cultus Limus is that of a gigantic ooze. Suey turned the field hands who tended the vines against the winemaker. Then the new cult turned its attention to the Gluant family. Eventually the cult members started preying on each other. With each sacrifice to the ooze, Suey’s power grew—until there was no one left but Suey. The whim of demons is fickle. Suey was blighted and corrupted for his work. Now he deep in the cellars under the chateau as a minor ooze demon. His handiwork, however, remains. The chateau is now the abode of its former residents and workers, in undead form. Also slimes, molds, fungi, and other foulness fester in the fields, buildings, and cellars. The riches of the Gluant family remain undisturbed; would-be thieves and robbers quickly fall prey to the current residents. Besides normal valuables, cases of wine remain undisturbed and waiting to be plundered. The title The Noble Rot refers to a few factors in this adventure. The first is the rot that befell the Gluant family in the form of the Cultus Limus. Another is actual noble rot disease that may aid the PCs in overcoming the challenges posed. The phrase also refers to a real-world gray fungus, Botrytis cinerea, which in the right conditions creates world-class dessert wines such as French sauternes. In the wrong conditions, it destroys grapes and is known as gray rot.
This adventure is more of a classic dungeon crawl, themed around the accidentally terrifying dreamscape of an elven girl trapped in a nightmare of her own making. The dungeon shifts and exits move about as the party explores, making each run through the dungeon a unique experience and allowing for infinite replays of the same adventure.
The characters have finally escaped from the maze and returned to complete the mission they originally started-they must infiltrate the tower of King Ovar and end his evil reign. Will the characters discover the secrets of the missing queen and the wizard Zayene's influence? Or will they perish in dragon fire?
In ancient times, the area now known as the Dyrgalas Fens was home to a flourishing civilization of nature worshippers who wrested a living from the forest around them, built open-air temples, and generally did well. Over the centuries, a series of natural disasters (some say a series of foolish magical experiments) led to a rising water table and turned the forest into a vast swamp. As the water rose, most of the people left. Today, a few stalwart humans remain in the fens, living off the land through hunting, fishing, trapping, and even some agriculture. In addition to these honest folk, the Dyrgalas has some less savory residents, including both black and green dragons, trolls, hags, escaped criminals, and a host of lycanthropes. Most of these creatures prey on travelers foolish or unlucky enough to enter the fen, and sometimes raid both inside and outside the fen. This adventure, intended for characters of levels 6 to 8, deals with one group of raiders who make their lair in the Dyrgalas. A weretiger called Gavriil has formed a group of assorted lycanthropes into a band of cunning brigands. The lycanthropes favorite caper involves infiltrating a merchant caravan while posing as travelers, merchants, or swords for hire, then attacking it from within. Gavriil and his servants also take on kidnappings, murder for hire, and any other unsavory tasks that come their way.
The characters have escaped the maze only to find themselves in strange dimensions of fire, stone and ice, and a strange idyllic hunting ground where all is not as it appears.
Dead from Above is intended for use with four to six player characters of levels 6 to 8. It will likely take two game sessions to complete. The adventure is set in (and above) a hilly region at the outskirts of civilization, presumably one near the base of a mountain chain. With a little work, the GM can place Dead from Above wherever he or she desires in the campaign world.