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Author: Marko Picek
System: D&D Forgotten Realms
Requirements: 1st level party composed of 3-6 characters
Party has just arrived in Shadowdale. It is located on crossroads, in front of great stone pillar which serves as bulletin board.
Graphic: Map 1
Graphic: Map 2
It takes place in Shadowdale after the Times of Troubles. Main goal is to eliminate growing influence of thieves guild in the region. To play this module only revised Forgotten Realms boxed set (#1085) is required. All informations about Shadowdale region which are required but not mentioned in this module can be founded there. Even as this adventure is written for Forgotten Realms campaign setting and placed in Shadowdale, it can be modified easily to fit in other region of Realms, even other campaign setting.
A. New in town
Party has just arrived in Shadowdale. It is located on crossroads, in front of great stone pillar which serves as bulletin board. Party is free to browse through village. Available choices are:
Blacksmith -Village smith is Bronn Selgard. There they order any type of non-magical weapons (except missile weapons, like bow and crossbows). Prizes are little higher than average, but quality is also higher. Some weapons are finished and for sale (3 long swords, 2 short swords, 5 daggers, chain mail, banded mail).
Shop - Shopkeeper is called Weregrund the Merchant. All items that cost less than 100gp are available here. However, prices are high and shopkeeper will do everything to cheat the players selling them something for higher prize (works great with novice players :-) ). If the players try to threat the merchant, he will not report that but will lower the prize to normal.
Old Skull inn - Tavern is unusually empty for this part of year. In one corer sit a group of people in leather armors (obviously mercenaries) drinking their beers. On the bar stands a dwarf. Bartender stands behind the bar and mixes drinks. His name is Turko Breem. Party can not learn anything useful from bartender, except that there is some note on stone pillar they would want to check. If the party starts conversation with the dwarf, he greets them.
"Greetings, adventurers. My name is Yandard the Thief (check NPC1.DOC for details). At your service. He tells him he came in Shadowdale for business (he actually came to investigate rumors about newly formed thiefís guild and maybe to join them). If party asks him to join, he responses: Join your group ? Why, sure ! Iím a thief of great skill. Iím sure I could be of great help in your adventures. But, there is a prize. I want equal share of everything you find."
Pillar - On the pillar there is only one message: "Mercenaries willing to risk are needed for secret mission." Signature: Mourngrym, Lord of Shadowdale.
B. Lord of Shadowdale
Sooner or later party will come upon Twisted tower of Ashba. When they approach it, guardsmen greet the party. If party mentions the notice on the pillar, guardsman will let them in the tower and lead them into audience chamber. When they tell the lord that they are interested in mission, he begins to brief them. He speaks about a series of crimes in the region. He suspects that a thieves guild is working in Shadowdale and asks party to investigate the matter. He wants that party locates their headquarters and destroys it, if it can. As a prize, he offer them 30% of money founded in headquarters and majority of items. He directs them to the old mill where most recent crime occurred.
C. On a way to old mill
The way to old mill passes near the Morningdawn Hall, temple of Lanthader. When they pass by, an altar boy stops them and asks them to enter the temple. He tells that high priest of the temple needs them. In the temple they meet a High Dawnlord Munro Cassimar (high priest) who greets them with words: "Welcome to Morningdawm, young ones. May the Lanthader always light your path". He asks them to investigate an unknown source of evil which disturbs their praying. The center of evil aura is somewhere in or near Sylueneís hut. He also offers the party two potions of healing of they try to investigate the evil (he sends altar boy to fetch potions for him. He returns quickly with them).
D. Mirrorman's Mill
On the entrance of Mirrorman's Mill , party meets two Mourngymís guards. They are familiar with partyís mission and are willing to help. They let the party to investigate the mill. If asked, they also tell party about sabotage which occurred here. Last night some farmer noticed strange light on the south. He went here to investigate and found out that mill is in fire. He rushed for help and thanks to good luck the mill did not burn to the ground. They think the damage which is done can be repaired. The party enters the mill and sees that the place is damaged and partially burnedl. However, mill mechanism seems almost untouched. Upon closer examination they notice a small pieces of leafs and soil in the mill. Obviously, someone came in from the nearby forest. When they exit the mill, one guard asks the party to check Syluneís Hut, because it is somehow suspicious to him.
E. Syluneís hut
On the entrance, there is a clear, fresh track left by human foot. There are no tracks in the hut. Hut is covered with dust and spider-webs. There is nothing of value there. Small wooden chest is located in one corner. If someone searches for secret door, trapdoor are founded just in front of chest. Trapdoor is not firmly closed, and will open if someone steps on it. The wooden chest is empty (except spider webs and dust).
F. Under the earth
If party does not find entrance and someone approaches the chest, he will fall through trapdoor in a space beneath. Under the trapdoor there is a tunnel. It is pitch dark in there. Walls are made of soil and there are support beams which supports a ceiling (like in mines). On closer examination of the wall (soil), party notices that it is dig recently. The ceiling is 2.2 meters high. The tunnel is 3 meter broad. On the end of the tunnel there is a wooden locked door. The door can be forced normally, smashed (40hp, -2hp for sword, +5hp for axe). Lock can be picked by thief (+15% on attempt).
Places of interest in underground (see map 1.)
- Guarding spot - This middle-size room contains two brigands guarding the headquarters. There is a small oil lantern on the wall which lights the room. Lantern can not be taken but can be distinguished normally.
Encounter: Brigands (2); Int Average; hp 6,12;AC 8 (leather armors);THAC0 20;Dmg 1d6 (spears); Mov 12; XP 15; Treasure: 20cp, weapons, armor.
Description: Party sees two brigands wearing leather armors and armed with spears. They are on guard and prepared for fight. They will not throw their spears under normal circumstances.
- Armory - This is also a middle-sized room. Party can find various useful items here. However, armory is closed with a wooden door which must be opened (forced, smashed or lock-picked).
Treasure: 3 spears, long sword, short sword, 2 hand crossbows, 50 crossbow bolts, 2 picks, 2 shovels, 3 quivers.
- Common area - Party enters a 10x10 meters large room near the west wall there is a long table and chairs. There are remains of a recent feast on the table. Large hanging lamp with nine candles is attached on the ceiling and lights the room. In one corner a small shelf can be seen. In east passage there is alarm trap on the floor. When someone steps there, a small bell rings in sleeping room and wakes up brigands. Trap can be located and disarmed normally. It causes no damage. Further in the corridor there is a secret passage on northern wall (to open it character must find a small concealed button). Behind the secret door there is a staircase which leads out of underground. It is emergency exit and exits somewhere in the forest behind Syluene's hut.
Encounter: See 6.
- The cavern - The tunnel finishes in small tunnel-like cavern. Walls and ceiling are made of granite. Tunnel is natural, not built by humans. After about 10 meters, tunnel is sealed with great amount of soil. Soil is fresh and passage can be dig through with proper tool(s). On the end of a cave is closed by iron door. The door is locked. There is a keyhole on the door but the lock can not be picked and the door can not be forced.
- A way below -As a party passes through iron door, there is a small hallway and a doormat on the end of it. Walls are made of carved stone as it is ceiling and floor. Behind the doormat there are stairs which lead to darkness of deeper level. Doormat has strange carvings on it. Party can see a carving of a spider and rune text. Text is not written on any modern language. Character with ancient languages proficiencies can attempt to read the text (proficiency check with +2 modifier). "Temple of Spider Poison" is written on the doormat.
- Sleeping room - Big room with eight beds. Bets are unfixed (someone slept in them recently). If party didnít ring the alarm or make noise, there will be eight brigands sleeping in beds.
Encounter: Brigands (8); Int Average to Low; HD 1; AC 10; THAC0 20; Dmg 1d4(3),1d2,1d6; Mov 12; XP 15; Treasure: 3 daggers, club.
Description: Brigands are sleeping and if a bell or something else wake them up, they will be quite surprised. They will grab any weapons they can (daggers, club) and fight best they can. Some will even fight unarmed.
- Boss' guards - As party proceeds they arrive in a room with two guards ready to fight. Those guards are boss' man-at-arms, more skilled than average brigands and will do anything to protect the boss.
Encounter: Man-at-arms (2);Int Average to High;HD 1+1; AC 6 (scale mail); THAC0 20; Dmg 1d8 (long sword); Mov 12; XP 25; Treasure: 2x10 sp, steel key
- Big boss room -Party enters a big room. In the center of room there is a office table and a man sitting behind it. There are various closets and furniture located there. Most of it are files cabinets. Man is surprised when party enters but he quickly gathers himself. He asks "What are you doing here ? You are not a members of this guild." Party can attempt to negotiate with a boss or just capture/kill him. Characters can even join the guild. If party wants to join, boss asks them to perform a mission for him as a sign of trust. He wants that party investigate a ruins which band have founded. He directs the party into cavern and. If party capture/kill boss, they will find a "Log of Shadowdale Wolves". Log reads:
" I, guildmaster of this thieves guild was a member of thieves guild in Waterdeep. When lords of Waterdeep eliminated the guild I traveled here with few my companions and started a new business. We have created these halls but we came upon a cavern. On the end we founded a strange evil ruins. Ruins appeard to be abandoned. Iíve send a expedition party but they didnít returned. Then I sent another party but havenít heard from there for three days, when only one member of that party arrived, wounded and mumbling about something. He died that day. Iíve decided to seal the passage so no one dies again."
One section of northern wall is illusion (party receives saving throw vs. spell to negate). Behind illusionary wall there is a small tunnel which turns to west. On the end there is a big metal chest (locked).
Chest: 200 gp, dagger +1, silver lockpicks, topaz gem.
G. Forgotten temple
Sooner or later, party should go a level deeper down the stairs to investigate the unknown ruins (Temple of Spider Poison). The temple itself has quite interesting history. It is an ancient drow temple long forgotten and isolated from the rest of drow community as well as from surface dwellers. Isolation made temple priestess weaker and more vulnerable than average drows. However, the party can not know about that so they will think that encounters with drows of this temple are more dangerous than they really are. Second reason for the weakness of templeís drows are constant usage of various drugs and mild poisons, which are used in ceremonies. The temple isnít in fact totally isolated (there IS a way out, pretty board one), but it is forgotten and the temple drows does not wish to communicate with any other dwellers (even other drows). Only high priestess has some bonds with outside world. DM should use the map to guide the players through temple.
On the end of the stairs there is a passage. It leads through a corridor which soon turns to north. All walls in the temple are made of black marble blocks. Floor is made of same material shaped in heavier blocks. Corridor ends in a large hall. a path leads further to the north. On both sides of the path there is array of big marble pillars.
Places of interest in temple (see map 2.)
- Kitchen of poisons - A large stew dominates this small room. Air is filled with acidic smell. There is a shelf on the wall with various underground plants. A male drow (the cook) is standing in front of the stew and cooks something. Unless the party is unusually noisy, he does not notice it and party has a chance to surprise him.
Encounter: Drow (1, Poison master);Int High;HD 2-2;AC 10;THAC0 19;Dmg 1d8+1 (long sword +1);Mov 12; XP 150; Treasure: weapon, 10sp; Magic resistance 50%.
- Poison library - On one wall near the entrance of this room there is a stone plate. "Poison library" is written in ancient drowish on the plate. The room is dominated with the large shelf which occupies whole western wall. On the northern wall there is a hole, large enough that one human crawls in. If anyone come near the hole, a giant spider from the hole attacks.
Encounter: Huge spider (1);Int Animal;HD 2+2;AC 6;THAC019;Dmg 1d6 + type A poison (unless saved vs. poison); Mov 3 (web 12); XP 270; Treasure: NiL.
Treasure: There are two bottles of potion of cure poison on the shelf among the various poisons.
- Great hall - A huge spider statue dominates this room. Ceiling are supported by eight marble pillars. There is a small chest in northwest corner of the room. The room is empty. Northern passage is blocked by Wall of Force spell.
Treasure: 150gp, Sacrificial dagger +3
- Barracks -Party enters a room which appears to be a small solider barracks. Drow fighters here immediately attack the party. A bed is located in one corner of the room. One drugged drow is sleeping in the bed. Even the sounds of battle can not wake him up. He has a keys of the prison cells attached on his belt, but that is not visible unless he is examined by the party.
Encounter: Drows (3);Int High;HD 2;AC 5;THAC0 19;Dmg 1d6+1,1d6+2,1d6+1 (short swords);#AT 2;Mov 12;XP 650;Treasure: weapons;Magic resistance 50%.
Treasure: Prison key (on the belt of sleeping drow).
- Prison- Prison contains four small cells. In one cell there is a prisoner, elf male named Eldas (check NPC2.DOC for details). He will join the party if released. However, if he joins the party and Yanard is also in party, the thief will depart from it (he don't like the elf). Cell doors can be unlocked with a key or opened by the force (successful bend bars check). In the rest cells there is nothing except bones of some dead prisoners (necromancer might want to animate the bones).
- Priestess quarters- A long corridor with two doors on each side (north and south). If the doors are opened, priestess immediately attack the party on sight. On the end of the corridor there is an illusionary wall (save vs. spell to negate). Behind it there is a small niche with a Wand of disintegration (two charges) in it. A wand must be used to negate wall of force spell somewhere in the temple.
Encounter: Drow priestess (2 3rd-level clerics);Int Very High;HD 3;AC 5;THAC0 19;Dmg 1d6+2; #AT 1; Mov 12; XP 800; Magic resistance 55%; Commonly memorized spells: Cause light wounds, bless, hold person.
- Altar room -This is the most unholy part of temple. A large altar is placed on the north. There is a secret button somewhere in the southeast corner. This button with combination of another one opens a secret compartment in the altar.
- Dock - A wooden docks are located on one coast of the underground river. Near the docks there is a canoe, which levitates about 5 meters above ground. Levitation can not be negated with usual methods (dispel magic, etc.). Party will find two canoe-style oars in the canoe.
After the party proceeds deeper in the temple, temple entrance (stairs) vanish and a wall is placed there. There is no sign of magic of any kind. Party is trapped inside the temple. After some exploring the temple and fighting against drows there, party should find Wand of Disintegration and negate Wall of Force spell (see #3. on map). As party enters Altar room (7.) they se a high drow priestess of this temple. She says: "It was a foolish thing that you come here. Luckily for you, I don't have a time to kill you right now." and teleports herself away. Party can go downstairs to explore.
H. High priestess of the temple
When party take stairs down, they will enter High priestessí quarters. Characters are located in first hall of this level. Walls, floor and ceiling are built from same material as the rest of the temple. Ceiling itself is supported by four great pillars shaped from black marble. On the west there is a passage to another room. Party enters second room. They see a priestess turns with her back to the party. They also see a teleporter near the opposite wall and two mind flayers who enter teleporter and disappear immediately. Teleporter itself the vanishes. Priestess turns to the party and says: "It was very unwise from you to follow me here. You know too much about my temple. So be it. Itís a pity that you will not be able to release this tale in local tavern. You are going to die, NOW !". Priestess enters combat casting summon insects (spiders). Party attack first (because priestess have cast spell). Priestess tend to stay behind summoned insects (huge spiders) attacking the party with the rest of her spells. If insects are defeated, priestess will enter in melee combat against party. She will not cast any spells then.
Encounter: High priestess (5th -level priestess); Int Supra; HD 5; AC 4;THAC0 18; Dmg 1d6+3; #AT 1; Mov 12; XP 975;Magic resistance 65%; Commonly memorized spells: Summon insects (huge spiders), Cause light wounds, Hold person, Bless, Protection from Good.
When priestess is defeated, party has a chance to examine the room. There are two illusionary walls, one on the north and other on the south. Behind them there are two iron locked chests. A small concealed button is also present in room. When pressed (if other button in Altar room has also been pressed), secret compartment on Altar in Altar room will reveal itself.
Chest 1: Long Sword +1 (not drow-made), 300gp, Mage scroll of continual darkness
Chest 2:Poison darts (3), 250 gp, Lolthís Holy symbol
In the secret compartment in Altar, party finds a black candle (which casts darkness when lit) and an unusual spider-shape idol. When idol is removed from altar, temple entrance (which was closed after party entered the temple) is reopened and party is free to leave the temple.
When party return to the surface and arrive to Twisted Tower of Ashba to collect prize, Mourngrym will give promised prize plus 30gp to every party member. If party enter Temple of Lanthadar, High cleric will heal them without any donation and give them bless (which lasts three days). Upon returning to tavern, each party member receives 500 XP for finished adventure. Mystical idol founded in the temple can be used in two different ways in campaign, depending on DMís wishes. It can be just an religious object of the temple whose powers are lost when party leave the temple. But it can also be a powerful artifact which must be destroyed and campaign can be based around this item.
Table of contest
A. New in town
B. Lord of Shadowdale
C. On a way to old mill
D. Mirrorman's Mill
E. Syluneís hut
F. Under the earth
G. Forgotten temple
H. High priestess of the temple
Yanard the Thief
Dwarf (1st-level Thief): Int. Very; AL CN; AC 9 (Due to dexterity); hp 7; THAC0 20; #AT 1; Dmg by weapon (1d6); Thieving skills: pp:20%, ol 25%, f/rt:25%,ms:20%,his:20%,cw:55%,rl:10%.
Ability scores: STR 11, DEX 15, CON 16, INT 12, WIS 8, CHA 7
Height: 3'11" Weight: 142 lb. Age: 65 years
Weapon proficiencies: Short sword, Short bow.
Non-weapon proficiencies: Blind-fighting, Gem cutting, Mining
Equipment: Lock picks, Short sword (1d6 dmg.).
Role-playing notes: Yanard is average size (for dwarf) strongly build dwarf male. He has great dexterity which helps him in dangerous situations. He likes attaining material wealth, especially old weapons more, even more than average dwarf. He maybe wouldn't kill someone for wealth, but stealing and robbing are acceptable ways for him. Even so, he doesn't like traitors and will never abandon his group (if the group is worthy if his help). He enjoys good beer and food. He does not have a typical dwarven behaving because he was raised by human miners (he was orphan). However, his human "parents" died before Yanard grew up so he was forced to steal to survive. He was a member of various thieves guilds but abandoned them because he don't like following orders.
Elf (2nd-level fighter); Int. Very; AL LG; AC 10; hp 16; THAC0 19; #AT 1-2;Dmg by weapon (1d8); Special abilities: 90% resistance to sleep and charm-related spells
Ability scores: STR 11,DEX 11, CON 10, INT 12, WIS 11, CHA 11
Height: 4'11" Weight: 108 lb. Age: 130 years
Weapon proficiencies: Long sword, Long bow, Short bow, Dagger
Non-weapon proficiencies: Animal handling, Fire building, Weather sense, Animal lore, Bower/Fletcher, Navigation
Role-playing notes: Eldas is high elf adventuring fighter who travels around the realms searching for noble cause to serve. His true origin is unknown, even to him. As long as he knows about himself he is traveling adventurer. That fact indicates that he has started adventuring in very young age. He likes animals very much and is very skilled in animal training. His life style is similar to rangerís and paladinís even as he is a simple fighter and does not have any special abilities of those classes. He is always willing to help anyone without thinking and the judge if they were worth of his help. In appearance, his is totally average. The term generic elf best describes his appearance. However, his unusual personality makes him different from typical elf.
Eldas was captured by drow priestess of the temple while he was on one of his adventures in the Underdark. He rowed in his canoe down the steam when he noticed a small dock. He came closer and noticed there is a drow guard on the dock. Before he managed to do anything, he was hit by sleeping dart. When he woke up, he found himself imprisoned in a dark cell where the party will find him (or maybe not).