If absolute power corrupts absolutely, Matron Maelora best beware; her plans for total domination of the Underworld are already close to satisfactory completion, while attacks on the Upperworld have become increasingly successful. The other power-hungry drow families of Holoth may despise her but they know a true leader when they see one, and House Gullion has been revealed as the family to lead them all on the path to glory. With the entire Underworld in chaos and the Spider Goddess regularly communing with her chosen Matron, far greater dreams than mere regional conquest are within the grasp of the drow, as Maelora prepares her grand dark elf army for victory! With other mystical allies standing firm with the Matron, other Underworld races beneath her heel or cowering behind fortified walls, and every drow ready to play their part when she gives the word, what could possibly stop her from achieving her final triumph and fulfilling her destiny? But even the greatest of plans has a flaw if you look hard enough, and a party of stout heart and strong resolve can make a difference. At first, such a party may well believe it is on a smaller adventure, perhaps to win a few baubles or some small acclaim by rescuing a few kidnapped villagers. Soon, however, those adventurers will realise that much more is at stake, and that they are the ones who will need to make moves against the evil Matron Maelora and her increasing dominance if both the entire Underworld and Upperworld are to be saved. But how will they go about it? Can they ensure their own success when an entire city is standing against them? Only they have the chance to halt the Rise of the Drow!
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 day has been long and hard and, as night falls, you gratefully surrender to the soft, silent blackness of well-earned sleep. Then the dream comes. You are seated on a throne in a cavern where the sun has never shone; where no voice has ever spoken. Yet you are not alone. Through the darkness, silent figures are moving. Blacker than black... formless yet menacing... advancing towards you from every side... You fell their touch; icy claws plucking at your skin and hair, lifting the throne and carrying you helpless on a journey from darkness into further darkness, from silence into deeper silence. You scream, and a million anguished, reedy voices answer your call. Suddenly you awake... ... and the dream is real. A module printed exclusively in the United Kingdom by TSR UK. Using the 1986 National Garden Festival as its theme, this module was sold both at that festival, and at the 1986 Games Day RPG convention at the Royal Horticultural Society Hall in London (hosted by Games Workshop that Saturday, September 27th). It was briefly mentioned in White Dwarf magazine 82, page 49.
For centuries, rumors regarding a ghostly ship have persisted throughout the lands of Thunder Rift. Generally the sightings (or rumors thereof) coincide with stormy, rainy weather or near bodies of water. Strangely enough, the craft has been sighted in locations like Wizardspire where large bodies of water are non-existent. The player characters unwittingly stumble upon this legend when they discover a magical astrolabe and have an opportunity to solve this sinister mystery.
In the canyon of Thunder Rift, in the village of Kleine, goblins have always been a nuisance, but the natives have dealt with them and continued an otherwise peaceful existence. Now, a valuable magical item, called the scepter of truth, has disappeared! The ingenuity of the crime bears the mark of the goblins' leader, the Master Thief Raven. The scepter must be recovered, but there is no one in Kleine with the strength and courage to penetrate Raven's trap-laden hide-out, deep in goblin territory. A party of stout adventurers might survive the mission, but they will have to be quick, smart, and especially careful.
Temple of the Gleaming Sands is a short adventure for four 5th-level characters that features monsters, spells, and items from the newly released Sandstorm book. You can use this scenario to introduce the new material on deserts and arid wastelands into your campaign, or you can just use it as a site-based adventure in a desert area. The scenario is set in a remote area of the desert that very few humanoid travelers visit. The temple from which the adventure takes its name has lain forgotten for centuries and is now inhabited only by monsters who use it as a base. The area around the temple should be inhospitable enough to discourage humanoid settlement.
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.
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.
The companions find adventure outside Lake-town and are given the chance to discover why even the hardiest of adventurers shun the forest of Mirkwood and its depths. In the process, they go and see Elves, meet a crazed hermit, and stumble into a wood of ancient and angry trees.
Nightmare of Blood! The village of Karvolia has paid its annual tribute of blood to the Red Goddess—but this year, none of the donors returned. Now the priestess commands the village elders to send another dozen young men and women to the edifice of stone that looms on the cliffs overlooking the village: the dreaded Blood Vaults. The terrified elders are willing to pay adventurers handsomely to find a way to make this second tribute pass them by. Unfortunately, the latest set of donors has already entered the Blood Vaults, and are being prepared for the donation process…
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?
Guilds Town is in the middle of Dravens, a province of the realm of Shrave. 50 years ago, the neighboring dwarven province of Kiernard rebelled and tried to overthrow the green dragon Shrave who rules the realm. They failed and their province was dissolved. Dwarves who left the province mostly fled to Dravens, and are called Nards as both a racial slur and a stigma of their people’s dishonor. Guilds Town are the ones really in control of the province and are the current opposition of the Dravens nobility. In recent times, corruption and crime in the city have risen to new heights as 4 cults compete for control of the city and their citizens.
The Hidden Oasis-Temple of Thoth brings the characters to a hidden temple of Thoth, god of knowledge, magic, and travel, where they are confronted with a force of invading extra-dimensional locust creatures and the chance to get their hands on an ancient artifact. What band of heroes could resist the challenge?
In times ancient, an infamous paladin-artificer named Khaldun unearthed a cursed tome bound in the flesh of the first medusa. Driven to madness by its secrets, he used the necromantic magic contained within to call forth an army of dread warriors from the Netherworld. Though his assault was devastating, he was ultimately unsuccessful, and the mightiest crusaders of the realm banished Khaldun to the Netherworld, where he would rot for eternity at the bottom of the River Dis. Unfortunately, rather than perishing in that bleak plane, Khaldun escaped his silt grave and thrived, amassing a legion of undead followers and erecting a Tomb in which he could perfect his mechanical craft without interruption. It was not long before he shed his body and became a demilich. After several centuries of scheming, the undead warriors under the command of the ‘Iron Lich’ have burst free of the Netherworld, laying waste to not only the mortal kingdoms that exiled him, but also the exalted domains of the gods themselves. The crusaders’ quest is simple – stead the Tomb and destroy the Iron Lich.
Following the threads of a hidden conspiracy in this adventure, the PCs find themselves up against insane cultists, wild chaos magic, and horrors from the primordial days of the world. The quest culminates in their attempt to stave off the Night of Dissolution: a dark time long foretold when the slumbering Galchutt will awaken in their hidden lairs deep below the city and bring catastrophe and woe to the world. The Night of Dissolution is an adventure for 4th-level player characters that most likely will take them to 9th level. The events in this book involve investigation, intrigue, action, and dungeon exploration. This adventure was written as a companion to Ptolus: Monte Cook’s City by the Spire, a d20 campaign sourcebook describing the fantasy city of Ptolus. It is designed to pick up right where the adventures in Chapter 33 of that book left off, although the story arc of The Night of Dissolution deals with a different focus. This book is a collection of six linked scenarios, each of which could be used separately.
From time immemorial, the rulers of the mortal world have been counseled and tempted by capricious primordial spirits who rule over the elements. The greatest and most sinister of these was a half-kraken medusa known as the Maelstrom Queen, who sought to supplant the mortal races with her own line of immortal tentacled monstrosities. On the verge of her ultimate triumph, when the leviathans at her command rose from the depths, a legendary assassin murdered the Maelstrom Queen in her half-submerged palace with her own weapon. But the primordial mistress refused to let something as trifling as death put an end to her designs. Every 13 years, she regenerates enough mystic power to rise again, and the world’s greatest heroes are sent to murder the Maelstrom Queen once more.
As adventurers, you may think you have seen everything: certainly your skills have brought you through unimaginable dangers. But now you suddenly find yourself in a place unlike any through which you have traveled: astounding, dangerous, and even amusing things confront you as you journey, both indoors and outdoors, through unique and wondrous realm of Dungeonland. This adventure was first conceived by E. Gary Gygax as part of the Greyhawk Castle dungeon complex and has been the source of challenge and fun for many skilled players of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game. It is finally available to all players and can be added to your existing campaign with ease. "Dungeonland" is also designed so that it may be used along with its companion scenario, EX2: "The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror." Still, "Dungeonland" may easily be played on its own, and should offer hours of excitement in its strange landscape! TSR #9072, from 1983
A group of beginning adventurers sets out to help the small town of Torlynn. This village has mysteriously fallen under a dreadful curse, a curse that has locked the area in a terrifying state of perpetual winter. The Burgomaster of Torlynn has discovered that the creature responsible is hiding in the ruins nearby, but he has been unable to do anything about it. Everyone he has sent to investigate has thus far failed to return. TSR #9342, from 1992
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.”
This Christmas themed adventure is a straightforward adventure for level one PCs. Players adventure from a town where they are attacked in their sleep by animated presents, travel up a nearby mountain and discover a hermit's house where they fight snow elementals, living trees and explore the hermit's home. Eventually they discover the evil hermit in a secret room below the home. This adventure contains a lot of help for newer DMs.