Friday, March 1, 2024

The Door to Darkness - Dungeon Magazine 81

If you're looking for a short adventure for introducing a party that has just arrived in Ptolus, take a look at this one. 

A wizard has become mad with jealousy toward some dwarves that he feels upstaged his accomplishments as a hero for his town. Two of the dwarves open an inn and he decides to use his illusion magic to haunt it. What nobody knew is that the inn sits over a source of evil shadow magic. As written, the worst aspects of the scenario are caused by a dark evil in the ruins of a fallen elven city below the inn. 

What can we work with here . . . Crazy illusionist, and an inn above a source of evil shadow magic.

Let's work backwards a bit.

Ren Sadar of House Sadar will get wind of the events that happen at the inn when the scenario is finished. He will be very interested in this matter since he is heavily focused on shadow magic. A few days afterward he will probably come to the in and investigate. He could even hire the party to delve down into the dungeon to find the exact location of the source.

As a source for the evil shadow magic manifestations it makes sense that one of Ghul's labs has been tapped into and when the illusionist used his magic with bad intent things began to get nasty. Alternately, the source could be a section of the lair of Kagrisos the Ghost Lich that was previously undiscovered. Old parts of his former lair include the area in and surrounding the Undercity Market.

The player characters could have gotten involved simply by needing a place to stay when they first get to Ptolus.

Wackjob the wizard became mad at the dwarves for succeeding where he failed in the dungeon.

So now we just need to place the inn and then design the section of the labyrinth directly beneath it, oh, and the section of affected sewer between the two for when the PCs follow this scenario with the job from Ren Sadar. Let's put the inn on the corner of Tavern Row and Center Street directly across from Row Bathhouse. 

The module is simple and short, but with a little thought it lends itself to being a starting point for other adventures.

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