The Case of the Kidnapped Cartographer A dear friend of the party has gone missing; Boddyknock the gnome cartographer, supplier of maps and charting equipment. Can the party solve the mystery of his disappearance? Do they have the bravery to delve deep to recover their lost ally? What horrors will they uncover in the cavernous expanse beneath their feet?
The Free City: a shining gem in the crown of cultured civilization. Beneath the surface of this bustling metropolis is a rot, festering in the darkness, manipulating the lives of those unaware of its presence. Now a small adventuring band from out of town may be in over their heads. Their actions in Diamond Lake have attracted the wrath of one of the city’s hidden masters. A gang of infiltrators and an enigmatic mastermind plot their destruction, and only tracing the rot to the root can stop the onslaught. An Age of Worms Adventure Path adventure for 7th-level characters.
CM9 is part of a series, CM1-CM9, from 1984-1987, for upper-level ("Companion" tier) PCs. 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. Your cousin Rolph is dead - and while there is cause for sadness, there is also cause for celebration. As his heir, you were willed his dominion: Fenhold. Of course, the Deep Swamp is threatening to engulf all of your new holding. People are seeing ghosts and disappearing mysteriously. Animals die without reason, and crops are suddenly blighted. The farmers don't like the swampdwellers, the swampdwellers don't like the farmers, and no one likes the halflings. The entire civil service of the dominion seems to have either worked for the failure of the dominion or resigned due to actions of the others. It's going to be tough task to make all this ship-shape once again, but you're 15th level now. Isn't it about time you settled down? TSR: #9210, published 1987
A hundred miles off the Chelish coast lies the remote island of Deepmar, where the House of Thrune sends prisoners to work in crystal mines, wresting valuable spell components from the depths of the earth. A month ago, all contact with the penal colony ceased, and now someone must discover what mysterious fate has befallen the prisoners and guards of this isolated mining operation.
Beneath the jungle-covered ruins of an ancient human temple lies a small outpost of grell that have taken to hunting the nearby area by night. Sangkon Bhet is a fairly typical example of a small grell outpost; the monsters occupy convenient ruins or caverns for a time as they search out new places to move a colony that has over hunted its previous locale.
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 brilliant (if somewhat eccentric) detective Viktor Saint-Demain has put more criminal masterminds behind bars than any three other inqusitives. But when the master sleuth fails to get the recogintion he deserves, he sets out to prove to Sharn that they can’t live without him. A EBERRON adventure for 5th-level characters.
The Red Plumes have increased patrols in the region surrounding Hillsfar, and a string of disappearances has followed in their wake. Naturally, this has roused the suspicion of the factions. Join your factions and find out the truth behind the missing farmers. A four-hour adventure for 1st-4th level characters.
Ten years ago, zombies arose from the foamy sea to take vengeance against the inhabitants of Firewatch Island. Now, they have risen again, just in time to welcome the visiting player characters! Will your heroes manage to escape the island with their lives (to say nothing of their delicious brains)? The PCs have to clear the island and learn its secrets, then defend it against an undead attack and then travel to the bottom of the ocean to seal Dagon's Maw!
This is an Adventure in the Al-Qadim Setting of Forgotten Realms. Blurb Once, the Tribe of Altair roamed the sands, free as the great eagle on hte wind. Now, caged by an evil mage, these desert riders yearn for their lost freedom. But fate takes a hand as a noble djinn seeks to fulfill an ancient wish... DM Notes Each chapter features the unique journey the men, women & children of the Altair Tribe must make to escape from there imprisonment and return to the safety of there ancestral oasis. This is not really an adventure you get at a tavern but could be a good start to a desert campaign or you can use a different chapter each time your players are imprisoned or captured.
This adventure is for beginning characters, with a bias toward fighters. Player characters should start Deep in the Vale at 1st level with zero experience points. As they complete each encounter, give them the experience points they earned immediately instead of waiting until the adventure is over. Ideally, characters should gain a level or two (and the hit points and other benefits those levels add) before the characters wrap up the adventure. All of the player characters should have been raised in the Vale. The pleasant valley is a peaceful place where few problems bother the inhabitants. Twenty to thirty years ago, there were wars against orcs and goblins; oldsters of the village still tell stories about those times. But now, life is easy for the people of the Vale—or it was. That is about to change. This adventure is not about acquiring gold and magical treasure. Deep in the Vale presents many situations where fighting is the characters’ best option, but there are many others where characters will be smart to do some roleplaying before resorting to their weapons. At all times, reinforce the idea that the characters’ decisions are affecting the story and that what they do is affecting the lives of people in the Vale. Events of Deep in the Vale should be spread across many days or even weeks. The villains of this adventure aren’t launching an all-out offensive against the Vale; they are raiding, seizing opportunities, and acting on impulse rather than following some master plan. Give players time to think about and discuss the situation between encounters and to make plans for how they should meet the threat. Since days may be passing between encounters, you don’t need to put time pressure on players. Keep the game moving, but don’t push players to make rapid decisions or rash judgments unless the immediate situation calls for it. Between encounters, let players enjoy the usually idyllic life of the Vale. The blacksmith is going to make horseshoes, shields, weapons, and tools. Hunters are going to track deer in the woods to the north. The rhythms of life should continue in the Vale, no matter what problems come to the villagers. At the end of all of these encounters, the Baron over this territory could summon the characters to his castle (in the nearest large town, about 20 miles away) to receive a reward and to be offered a new quest dealing with a problem the Baron is having in another part of his barony.
The Vault of Pallon the Pious is an adventure for four 2nd level PCs. A famous pirate captain came to worship a lawful god in his final years. After a lifetime of plundering, pillaging, scuttling, and murdering along the coastline, the fear-inspiring Pallon the Merciless rebranded himself as Pallon the Pious. But, a history of violence is a hard thing to reconcile, and the salty old dog slowly succumbed to madness. His most precious possession was a set of scales that reflected perfectly his own inner conflict. The Scales of Misjudgement are buried deep in the treasure room of his crazed rock-island vault.
Good news! You've inherited a castle! All you need to do to claim it is clear out the hobgoblins living in it.
The exciting artifact series concludes with AS3 – Peregrination. With a pair of control rods in hand you are guided to an ultimate prize, a Gnomish flying vessel! The rods have directed you to a crashed ship buried in the sandy beach. A check of the debris sheds light on the mystery of the artifact and a description of how to repair the intricate machine. Apparently finding the vessel is just the start!
"Deeptown lies in the shadow of mountains, a town where anything is for sale if you can only meet the price. But in the wild surrounding valleys of the Deeps, it's the bandits who make the darkest deals - and their ambition comes at a cost far greater than the contents of any wayward caravan. You and your team have just been handed a new job: disrupt a meeting between a bandit lord and his mysterious new allies. At a remote mountain villa, you will strike hard and fast and leave terror in your wake. They give you the tools. You provide the talent. Survive, and you'll be well rewarded. Fail, and you'll pay the price. You've got three days to raise some hell." This was one of the first third party adventures under the OGL for 3rd edition published by Atlas Games under the Penumbra line. The attack on the mansion is not a dungeon crawl, but feels like a commando raid aided by some unique magic items.
Alkenstar, City of Smog, is a bastion of civilization in the magic-warped region known as the Mana Wastes. Its ingenious citizens survive in the treacherous Spellscar Desert with the help of canny inventions like guns and clockwork automatons, but now their construct protectors have begun to run amok within the city. It falls to the PCs to venture beyond the city walls to find the source of their strange behavior.
A deadly storm shipwrecks the passengers and crew of the Jenivere upon infamous Smuggler’s Shiv, an island off the coast of the jungle realm of Sargava. If they’re to have any hope of escaping the notorious pirates’ graveyard, the survivors will need to band together to outwit the isle’s strange beasts and legendary menaces. But can the PCs unite the swift-to-squabble castaways, especially when several seem to have mysterious goals of their own? And does Smuggler’s Shiv hide secrets even deadlier than its desperate denizens? This is part one of the Pathfinder Adventure Path "Serpent's Skull", but can be played as a standalone adventure that lasts approximately 10 four-five hour sessions. Great for first time dungeon masters. This is not a seafaring adventure. The PCs are shipwrecked on an island for the entire duration. This adventure ends with (hopefully) the PCs finding a way off the island (reaching level 3). It is therefore a great starting adventure with a definitive conclusion. After this module, you can continue with part two or change into your own homebrew.
This adventure is an exploration in creativity for the GM as the players are invited by a stranger in the center of town to play a board game called Ij’Namuj. With a devilish smile he promises a grand reward if they can complete it successfully. Unfortunately, the game unleashes chaos onto the world around it, causing terrifying weather phenomena, death knights to appear and hunt players, or even causing all of the chickens in town to go rabid and attack. The only way to return things to as they were is to complete the game, so best get to rolling those dice!
The recent discovery of an entrance to the Underdark has set local leaders on edge. In a display of initiative, the First Lord of Hillsfar has ordered the construction of defensive structures surrounding what locals have begun to call "The Waydown." You have been charged with escorting an emissary back to his home in the Underdark without alerting the Red Plumes.
The time has come to draw your plans against the Prince of Demons! Travel to Hades, Arborea, and the depths of the Abyss to recruit allies from the eladrin court and the Abyssal realms of Shendilavri and Thanatos, and garner the support of Iggwilv, the Witch Queen herself! Yet will this unlikely alliance of demons and eladrin be enough to stop the savage tide?