A gnomish settlement is plagued by inexplicable earthquakes, the wrath of an Earth Elemental. Can the heroes save the gnomes? Do the greedy gnomes deserve to be saved?
"Valanche's Eye" was inspired by a desire to write an adventure which blurs the line of who the bad guy actually is, or indeed whether or not there's a really tangible villain. It takes the "patron hires adventurers to clear dungeon" trope and twists it – the patron turns out to be a pretty rotten bastard, and the monsters in the dungeon are just trying to live their lives.
It starts when gnome gem-miners strike the mother lode of emeralds and sapphires, only to find themselves run off their claim. First they accidentally broke through to the Elemental Planes of Earth and Fire, and mephits burst out to annoy them. When they were just about done dealing with the mephits, they disturbed an earth elemental who just wants to be left alone, and emeralds are its favorite snack. The mine boss hires the adventurers to come kill all the elementals.
But should they?
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