Excerpts Archive | 1/31/2014
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Launch Event Weekend
Scourge of the Sword Coast

Launch Event Weekend for the next season of D&D Encounters takes place February 15-16—and starts off the Dreams of the Red Wizards series of adventures! Scourge of the Sword Coast runs through the February-May season, and picks up after the events of Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle.

What Came Before

Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle chronicled the efforts of the Red Wizards to collect four keys to unlock the power of elemental nodes located in an abandoned temple once dedicated to the Princes of Elemental Evil. For anyone that missed those adventures, here are the quick summaries:

Adventure 1: Fane of the Sun Swallower

By Christopher Perkins, Robert J. Schwalb, and James Wyatt

“Fane of the Sun Swallower” begins in Daggerford, during the public hanging of a Red Wizard, and ends in the Lizard Marsh, with the characters storming the underground lair of a black dragon that thinks it’s the Chosen of Talona (goddess of rot and corruption). Along the way, they match wits with a devious rakshasa, contend with a vile lizard queen and her cursed lizardfolk thralls, and cross swords with an inbred family of swamp-dwelling half-orc bandits who are also meddling in the black dragon’s business.

Adventure 2: The Cursed Crypts of Ambergul

By Bruce R. Cordell and Christopher Perkins

In “The Cursed Crypts of Ambergul,” the characters track an elusive Red Wizard of Thay to the ruins of the Ambergul noble estate. There, they discover a secret dungeon complex containing a lost trove and an altar dedicated to Ogrémoch, the Prince of Evil Elemental Earth. Within the altar is hidden one of four elemental keys sought by the Red Wizards.

Adventure 3: The Fall of Illefarn

By Christopher Perkins, Shawn Merwin, and Matt Sernett

If all has gone according to plan, the Red Wizards of Thay have three elemental keys in their custody and are close to obtaining the fourth. By now, the adventurers are well aware of the Red Wizard threat, as well as the location of the fourth and final key, which is trapped inside an altar dedicated to Imix, the Prince of Evil Elemental Fire.

Adventure 4: Dragonspear Castle

By Christopher Perkins and Robert J. Schwalb

Dragonspear Castle is one of the most famous ruins along the Sword Coast. Built by an adventurer named Daeros Dragonspear, the once-mighty castle has over the centuries become home to a succession of fell beasts and monsters, from orc armies to dragons and devils, only to be scoured out repeatedly by intrepid bands of adventurers and other forces aligned against evil. The adventurers are drawn to the ruined castle by a vengeful foe who knows that evil comes in many forms, and that good doesn’t always prevail.

A Gateway Opened…

At the end of Dragonspear Castle, a gate to the Nine Hells lay open for some time, spewing devils and smoke:

Darrondar’s steely blue eyes fix on each of you.

“Deep below the castle,” he says, “is a portal to the Nine Hells, and the ancient wards that seal it have grown weak over time. We cannot allow the fiends to gain a foothold. I need to perform the ritual in the Hold of the Battle Lions, and I need you to protect me while I do it.”

“Ages ago, a champion of Tempus impaled a pit fiend with a bastard sword called Illydrael, and the blade broke off and lodged itself in the fiend’s heart. Howling in pain, the devil plunged back into the Nine Hells.

“Hidden inside the shrine of Tempus is all that remains of Illydrael, now a holy relic. I need to pull it from the altar.”

An instant later, the ground begins to tremble, and chunks of stone fall from the shuddering towers of Dragonspear Castle. Suddenly, the underworld belches forth a towering column of black smoke and brimstone beyond the main keep. It is followed moments later by a flurry of embers.

Scourge of the Sword Coast

The heroes who closed the gate could not know it, but amid the chaos of battle, another threat emerged… Things will be made clear, as the season progresses—but at the start, look for Sir Isteval once more sending out the call to adventurers, traveling from Waterdeep to Daggerford.

By the time the caravan you’re with is a day out of Daggerford, a number of refugees, mostly displaced farmers and other commoners, have joined the train. Everyone has heard news of widespread and unusual raiding by savage humanoids, such as gnolls, orcs, and goblins. As the caravan passes south along the Trade Way, abandoned and burned farmsteads and thorps are a common sight. The evidence along this part of the road suggests gnolls and goblins.

The caravan circles up for the night within sight of a farmstead to the east. The place is bereft of life. A scarecrow leans in a partially plowed field. The fences have been knocked down in places. Doors to the house and barn stand open.

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