Despite what some may think, those in Zhentil Keep haven't forgotten about their orc troops in Phent. In public discussion in Zhentil Keep, the leaders of the Zhentilar, the military branch of Zhentil Keep, have confidently asserted that the orcs in Thesk are completely loyal to Zhentil Keep. They maintain that the orcs are just biding their time and building up trust among the citizens, until the appointed time when the word is given. In private, these same leaders are gravely concerned. The leaders didn't get to positions of command by being idiots, and they know that the orcs are treated well and accepted in Thesk, which is a rarity for them with the humans and humanoids of Faerûn in general. The leaders know that many of the orcs would be reluctant to destroy the source of this acceptance. But what if the orcs' chief god, Gruumsh, told them to? The Zhentilar turned to the Black Network and presented the problem. The Zhents knew what to do. The Zhents have dispatched a powerful cleric, a master of persuasion and deception, to pose as an orc prophet of Gruumsh and whip the orcs into a destructive frenzy. In addition, the Zhentilar have staged raids against human caravans by what look like orc warriors so that they can start antiorc sentiment among the population of Thesk. Twin Oaks is a tiny, sleepy little thorp located just within the sheltering eaves of a great forest. Home to an extended family clan of farmers and woodcutters, the community was founded within living memory and since its creation the inhabitants have known only peace and prosperity. But just as the gentle breezes of late summer can transform rapidly into the deadly storms of autumn, dark times have come suddenly to Twin Oaks, in the person of Deskryn, a vampire who finds himself on the run from deadly enemies. Just two nights ago, as the good folk of Twin Oaks prepared for the annual harvest, Deskryn’s castle home was invaded by an intrepid band of adventurers led by a noble paladin. Although the party did not achieve its goal of slaying the vampire himself, they managed to drive him from his lair and force him to flee into the night with only the barest fraction of his former resources in tow. Unfortunately for the good folk of Twin Oaks, theirs was the community onto which the 2 vampire stumbled first, and it is here that the fiends have taken refuge. The little settlement offers the displaced vampire all that he needs: shelter from the hateful light of the sun, a selection of new servants, and a supply of fresh mortal blood. Even in his current condition, Deskryn alone is more than a match for the nhabitants of the thorp; but his best hope of survival lies not in conquest, but in secrecy. He plans to hide in Twin Oaks until he believes it safe to leave; then, he can begin plotting his revenge on the hateful paladin and her compatriots who brought him to this lowly state. As for the citizens of the thorp, they are all but helpless in the face of this powerful enemy. The vampire has already slaked his unholy thirst on one of their number, and his minions have taken hostages to ensure that the inhabitants do as they are told. All the folk of Twin Oaks hope that Deskryn will take what he wants and then leave them in peace, but few of them believe that such hopes are realistic. Until Deskryn has satisfied himself that the coast is clear, Twin Oaks—and its people—belong to him.
The Sea Witch is a short adventure for four 10th-level characters. The difficulty of the adventure can be adjusted by changing the level of main antagonist (Black Molly, the sea hag pirate) or by altering the number of her ogre servants. To tailor the encounter to groups of different levels, refer to table 4-1 in Chapter 4 of the DUNGEON MASTER’S GUIDE. The adventure is set off a lightly populated coastline known as Misty Bay, but adapts easily to any coastal region in existing campaigns. The sea hag known as Black Molly is a notorious pirate who has plagued the coastal cities for the better part of a decade. A successful Knowledge (local) check (DC 15) will reveal that Molly and her ogre crew have a filthy reputation as merciless killers who delight not only in plundering vessels for their riches, but also in destroying the ships themselves and sending all hands to the bottom of the sea. Now the villain and her followers have seized control of the Old Lighthouse of Misty Bay located off a lightly populated coastline. For generations the lighthouse beacon has protected the fishermen of this region, warning them of the dangerous rocks that lurk just below the level of the high tides. Recently, the hag has put out the beacon, darkening the lighthouse; misery and destruction are sure to follow as ships start to blunder into the rocks. Blackmail is apparently Black Molly’s aim in this venture: She conveyed a message to the nearest shore community, the fishing village of Poisson, demanding the princely sum of 50,000 gp. Until she receives this ransom, she intends to hold the lighthouse and its beacon hostage. The fate of the human keepers who tend the lighthouse is unknown to the seaside communities at this time, but they fear the worst. The Sea Witch is ostensibly a rescue mission: The PCs are pitted against the evil of Black Molly and the brawn of her savage ogre crew. It is the heroes’ task to retake the lighthouse and, if possible, free its captives from the clutches of their jailer. What neither the PCs nor the shore communities yet realize is that while she 1would be pleased to have the gold, Black Molly is in fact after bigger treasure. Molly has no intention of giving up the lighthouse — at least, not until she finds what her master sent her here for. Lying on the sea floor practically at the base of the rock on which the lighthouse sits is the wreck of the war galley Flying Cloud, which according to popular legend was captained by a cleric who wore around his neck an amulet of the planes. Black Molly wants this prize, but so far she hasn’t been able to find it. She’s scoured the wreck without finding any sign of the magic item. Now she’s trying to determine where to search next, for the item might well be somewhere near the wreck. If she can’t find it, she’ll start torturing her captives to find out if they have any useful knowledge about the amulet.
A sinister demon Fledgling trying to become a mighty Nabassu lures the adventuring party to a dungeon with a cruel history. The dark walls of the dungeon holds more terrors than just scary monsters and deadly traps. Will the adventurers figure out that they are nothing more than the next meal before reaching the waiting demon of the dungeon?
"The end times approach. To everything there is a season. Every campaign has to come to an end sometime, so why not go out with a bang? The Apocalypse Stone is an epic adventure to challenge high-level characters, but beware, it will destroy your world. This adventure has it all: gods and devils, plague and pestilence, rains of fire, and world-shattering conflicts. Here is an opportunity for PCs to display undreamt-of heroism. . . or fall to ultimate defeat. The Apocalypse Stone is a tool for Dungeon Masters to present extremely challenging encounters for high-level parties, to wrap up a long-running campaign. . .or both. This adventure is a literal universe-ender. Past a certain point in the campaign, there is nothing the players can do. The world *will* end.
Bringing Diablo II to the tabletop. The legendary Diablo and Diablo II computer games come to life with the release of the tabletop Diablo II: To Hell & Back roleplaying adventure. All a player needs is the Dungeons & Dragons(r) Player's Handbook (0786915501-8/00) to accompany the Diablo II game. Every level and all 4 acts of the computer game are represented in the tabletop mega-adventure, which will also include 64 pages of monsters, information for levels 1-30, and over 60 maps!