In the past several months, an unusual number of duergar have been sighted in the Abbor-Alz close to the Hardby Pass. From the Flan barbarians of those lands come tales of great battles beneath the hills fought against their hereditary dwarven enemies who now bear a single baleful eye emblazoned on their armor.
On its own, this would be nothing strange for such wilderland, were it not for a chilling discovery several years ago. A company beholden to the paladin Karistyne discovered the battered and scorched bodies of a Bakluni man and a Tiger Nomad woman washed up along the banks of the Storm Run. The man had in his possession a set of scrolls and notebooks. Though it took Karistyne’s folk some time to decipher them, the writings revealed that the man was He Chak, an apprentice of Rary the Traitor.
The treatise, in reality a diary of sorts, related how He Chak was sent to aid Father Eye, the mysterious leader of the duergar in the Abbor-Alz. Whilst dwelling in the mines, he fell in love with Kaya, an enslaved Tiger Nomad woman, who persuaded him to flee after he accidentally overheard a conversation between Rary and Robilar, the substance of which dealt with the archmage’s desire to unmake the Scorpion Crown, a fell artifact of fearsome power. Rary also revealed that he believed that such an act would shatter the curse’s grasp on the region, allowing the land to gradually revert to its original state. However, he had not yet fathomed the affect, if any, this action would exert upon the artifact’s creator. The veracity of He Chak’s writings cannot be ascertained though, as all attempts to return him to life have thus far failed. Perhaps even in death he fears The Traitor’s wrath.
Father Eye’s exact identity remains uncertain. Rumormongers and tavern gossips name him variously as an old and extremely devious beholder or a diviner of great power and fell purpose. The most fanciful of the tales describe him as an ardent cultist of Vecna whose entire head has been removed and replaced by a single giant, lidless eyeball. Named simply “the Eye” this individual is thought to be one of the cult’s chief lieutenants upon the Oerth. The truth remains thus far unknown. Since his arrival however, the dark dwur have grown in power, fending off attacks by enemies above and below ground and steadily expanding their influence through the Abbor-Alz, which they regard as part of their ancient birthright.
The duergars’ delvings have also broken into yet deeper tunnels buried far beneath the arid peaks of the Abbor-Alz. The few brave souls to explore these tunnels have reported that they descend seemingly without end, linking the duergar mines to Under-Oerth. Many who have explored these tunnels have disappeared, never to be heard from again. These tunnels are the scene of almost constant strife. War grips the sunless realm as the duergar battle against the less numerous but extremely dangerous denizens attempting to breach their defenses. These tunnels are thought to honeycomb virtually the entire Abbor-Alz and in some places tunnels extending far under the Bright Desert have been reported.
The nature of the compact between Rary and Father Eye is the subject of much debate between inhabitants of the Abbor-Alz, however it is a virtual certainty that this accord will benefit no one but them.
CORS5-02 Mines of the Eye Creighton Broadhurst and Paul Looby
Deep below the Abbor-Alz the duergar are stirring. Rumors of a fell compact between the duergar's mysterious leader, a being known only as "Father Eye" and the perfidious Rary, monarch of the Bright Lands are rife. What evil purpose is served by this alliance is unknown, but assuredly it serves some goal in Rary's greater design. The paladin Karistyne has determined that Rary's scheme must be stymied and so the call has gone out for doughty adventurers to eradicate this growing threat.
A one-round Core Special adventure set in the Abbor-Alz. Part 3 of the Blight on Bright Sands campaign arc. This module is split into two paths; one for APLs 2-8 and the other for APLs 10-16. This module will be available for home play.