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.
She lay down her sword and wept; her tears are the water. She lay down her body and slept; her bones are the fountain. Atop the mountain, at the war’s end, a place for gods to wonder.
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?
Refugees in Mulmaster have had a fairly tough time, and that was before the disappearances. The few that return have been changed, refusing to believe that they were even missing. You have been asked by Mulmaster’s nobility to find the source of the disappearances and put an end to them. A Four-Hour Adventure for 1st-4th Level Characters, APL 4. This CCC premiered at AMERICA's Cup 2018 in New Zealand.
The End of the World Is at Hand! A hideous death cult has seized control of an ancient artifact-monument known as Tovag Baragu. The power behind the cult is the Old One himself, Iuz the Evil, demonic master of an empire. He's on an all-or-nothing quest for supremacy over the world—and the heavens beyond. To stop him, heroes must face horrors never dreamed of, journeying to a shadowed city where Death rules and the living cower. Here, Iuz will achieve his mad dream by destroying the imprisoned master of that alien citadel: Vecna, the mightiest lich, an immortal demigod. Two items exist with the power to stop Iuz—the Eye and the Hand of Vecna—but using them carries fantastic risks. Not even the gods know what will be unleashed when these items are fully activated. Die Vecna Die! takes the heroes from the Greyhawk campaign to the demiplane of Ravenloft and then to the Planescape city of Sigil. However, none of the material from those settings is required for play. TSR 11662
The beginning adventure to the Dragonlance, War of the Lance series of adventures, upon which the Dragonlance novels are based. The companions meet in the Inn of the Last Home to discover a barbarian couple with a mysterious staff. The PCs journey to discover the staff's history which leads them to a ruined temple to the Forgotten Gods. Includes a full map of Xak Tsaroth and overland maps, some color. Art by Jeff Easley. TSR 9130
Turnover is upon us once again! Compete against rival adventuring groups to collect as many hidden, magical eggs as possible! Although the egg hunt begins within the relatively safe confines of Leilon, players will inevitably need to range further if they hope to win the competition. Tired of watching your children have the time of their lives hunting for magic eggs while your inner dragonborn barbarian stews and simmers on the sidelines? Well, thanks to An Egghunter's Guide to Adventure they no longer have to! This adventure supplement is much more than a full length adventure! It is a source of inspiration and template for how you can incorporate an egg hunt into any pre-existing campaign. It is the frolicsome spirit of Easter painstakingly updated to fifth edition standards!
Tillius Morganstein aka the Mad Mage has selected your group to investigate an ancient temple hidden below the peaceful waters of Lake Springwood. The wizard is too old to investigate the area himself and has enlisted your help. While he has studied the ancient texts dedicated to "Bulu" he cannot define what dangers may lurk or what treasures may await those brave enough to delve into the submerged halls but surely the rewards will be great!
"Temple of the Deep Ones" is the lair of a group of deep ones and their god, suitable for four or five 7th-level characters. This adventure can be finished in one session. Ship captains report that a mysterious island has surfaced in the middle of a heavily trafficked trade route. Worse, ships that venture too close to the island are assaulted by a terrible creature and its servants. The island is disrupting trade throughout this part of the world, and several ships have already been lost. Unbeknownst to those that know of the place, the island rises at the will of Shar-Ngolyeth, a long-lost deity also known as That Which Lurks Beneath the Waves. The island is populated by a cult of deep ones and the beasts they have subjugated in the name of their dark god. The creature responsible for sinking ships is an aspect of Shar-Ngolyeth, a kraken. It is not meant for combat encounters; it's largely a plot device in this encounter.
The Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Path continues with “Sword of Valor,” by RPG Superstar Neil Spicer. The PCs, now invested with righteous mythic power, are poised to become the greatest heroes of this seemingly endless war against the demons of the Worldwound… provided they can succeed at their first mission. The citadel city of Drezen was once a symbol of the First Crusade’s triumph against the Worldwound, yet when a larger horde of demons attacked, they shattered Drezen’s defenses and captured both the citadel and the crusaders’ symbol of power. Can the PCs help lead an army north to reclaim Drezen and recover this potent relic, or are they marching their comrades and followers to a gruesome demise?
This is a trapped corridor which can be dropped into any castle, dungeon, ruin or underground adventure. It features full rules on how to scare the living be-jesus out of your adventurers and have sone great fun with them too. Get ready... as the 'Umber Eyes' is ready to receive you...
After a string of successful adventures, you find yourselves reequipping gear in the small community of Tarten. After an unusual currency exchange in the mercantile, the party learns that a group of adventurers had encountered some Goblins possessing old currency belonging to the Co-Tai people. Well, it ain’t grave robbin’ if someone else did for you!
FOR PUBLIC POSTING: Last week, several laborers who were working to clean up the damage to our sewer caused by the recent earthquake had been found brutally murdered. Until further notice, citizens should stay clear of any sewer gratings, openings, or tunnels for their own safety. Do not allow children to play unattended in areas where such openings are known to exist. The governor is assembling a group of interested persons to investigate these murders. Each member of the investigation team will receive 500gp up front, with an additional 2000 GP to follow upon a thorough and satisfactory completion of the investigation, provided evidence that the matter has been dealt with is presented to the governor. If you desire to join this investigation, please apply at City Hall.
Madness in Freeport, the final part of the Freeport Trilogy, details the final confrontation between the PCs, the Brotherhood of the Yellow Sign, and Sea Lord Milton Drac. In Part One, the Drac invites the PCs to the Grand Lighthouse Ball. Careful investigation can reveal the secret purpose of the lighthouse. In Parts Two and Three, the PCs must recover a powerful artifact to thwart the Brotherhood's plans. They must pass through an infamous pirate's hidden caves, then search a sunken temple of the serpent god Yig. In Part Four, the heroes must enter the Grand Lighthouse, AKA Milton's Folly, in a race against time to stop the Brotherhood's world-shaking master plan from coming to fruition. (Bibliographic note: This adventure was originally written for v.3.0, and later updated to the v.3.5 rules. The revised versions of Death, Terror, and Madness in Freeport were reprinted in an omnibus edition, along with two shorter filler adventures, as The Freeport Edition: Five Year Anniversary Edition.)
As you begin your path to adventuring fame, fate brings you a gift. The military is attacking a humanoid army not too far away but their powerful force has splintered the insurgents. Different groups of aggressive humanoids are now off on their own and the military is overwhelmed trying to track them down. Word has it that one such group is headed to the revered Oracle at Nyo! Your time has come and fame is within reach!
An exiled cultist and his kobold minions are spotted searching for long-forgotten ruins in the Dragonspire Mountains. Rumors say he looks for a precious gift to give a fearsome dragon that dwells there. What he hopes to attain with his gift is unknown, but can't be good for the citizens of Phlan.
STILL WATERS Sushi or Steak? Freshwater sahuagin!? Landlocked for hundreds of years, this colony of sahuagin have adapted to live in fresh water and flourished in secret, at least until recently, with the aid of a mysterious patron. Now, they need the party’s help to retrieve something precious to them… This adventure was originally made for a West Marches campaign, but is designed to easily fit into any standard fantasy setting. There are many areas to insert plot hooks for your own world or campaign. A 4-hour adventure for 6th-8th level characters by ALAN TUCKER
The Thane’s Crypt is one of my original adventures created a very long time ago. That being said it has been dusted off and revamped a bit for an interesting solo adventure for a low level or novice PC. A fortress fell to the forces of nature decades ago and the dungeon entrance has recently been discovered by a shepherd. It pits the PC against other parties who have found the crypt area to find the fabled Amulet of Akar which is said to possess magical qualities. Can your fledgling PC brave the depths and come out a hero?
The Godless Depths For the first time in eons, ancient aberrations are emerging from the deep ocean. Driven by some otherworldly fervour, they encroach upon the local villages, searching with beady eyes for anyone linked to the Gods. Even now you hear rumours of kidnap, men and women dragged kicking and screaming into the depths.
Locals on the edge of a mountain range are being harassed by brutal monks and their giant tiger pet. Travelling into the hills, the players find the hidden monastery of the Burning Tiger: an evil order of monks that only respect strength. To end the threat, the players must undergo 4 life-or-death trials to test their mettle. But not all is as it seems in the monastery. Can the players unravel the mystery, and survive the Trials of the Burning Tiger? Based on an encounter for 3.5th edition D&D written by Eric Cagle for Wizards of the Coast.