Free Original Adventures
Lest Darkness Rise
By Owen K. C. Stephens

The town of Night Falls is in the business of death, and a profitable business it is, too. The nearby Tomb Steppe, a protected graveyard built by a local hero of old, can keep the most restless dead at rest -- or can it? An ancient evil is about to be unleashed upon Night Falls. The wards within a protected tomb have somehow been compromised, and if they aren't restored before nightfall, the ghost within will be released to ravage the countryside. Can the PCs win their way to the tomb in time?

Drop the latest miniadventure for D&D v.3.5 by Owen K. C. Stephens into any spot in your campaign world that features a small town in a remote area. Suitable for four 7th-level characters.

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Lest Darkness Rise

Long ago, a local priest created a warded graveyard on a remote hillside. As the years passed, it gained a reputation as a spot whose defenses were powerful enough to keep undead in and tomb robbers out. Adventurers began to bring the remains of any creatures they suspected might become restless in death to the Tomb Steppe for interment, and in time they also sought aid against such creatures from the friendly priest. After his death, a brief spate of undead activity commenced, then died away once again.

As the years passed, the tales of undead activity in the Tomb Steppe faded into legend, and colonists began to move into the lands nearby. The town of Night Falls was founded a short distance from the graveyard, and it grew quickly into a thriving trade center and farming community. Realizing that the Tomb Steppe was safe enough during the day, the citizens began burying their dead there rather than building new crypts on pristine farmland. Because this method of interment was cheap and easy, people from many surrounding communities brought their dead to the town as well. The business of burial brought new prosperity to Night Falls, and a guild called the Funerary House sprang up to control the trade.

But it seems that the threat from the Tomb Steppe has not entirely been laid to rest. The Great Mausoleum -- the largest and finest tomb in the steppe, has been unsealed, and an apparition has been seen within. Who will go to the Tomb Steppe by night and reseal the tomb?

About the Authors

Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens was born in 1970 in Norman, Oklahoma. He attended the TSR Writer's Workshop held at the Wizards of the Coast Game Center in 1997 and moved to the Seattle area in 2000, after accepting a job as a Game Designer at Wizards of the Coast, Inc. Fourteen months later, he returned to Oklahoma with his wife and three cats to pick up his freelance writer/developer career. His credits include author and coauthor credits on numerous Star Wars and EverQuest projects, as well as Bastards and Bloodlines from Green Ronin. He also has producer credits for various IDA products, including the Stand-Ins printable figures.


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