Cliffhangers Adventures

The Candlemaker’s Fire
Episode One: Wick
by Jesse Decker

"There’s husbandry in heaven;

Their candles are all out." –Shakespeare, Macbeth

Jesse Decker wrote the short adventure The Candlemaker’s Fire for four 4th-level characters. Player characters who complete the adventure should earn about half of the experience points they need to attain 5th level. Although no particular character class is necessary to complete the adventure, at least one character should have a good Will save. At least one of the characters should have a +1 weapon.

Since the main encounters involve a wizard and minor golems, the Dungeon Master can easily modify the adventure to suit higher-level characters by raising the wizard’s level and substituting more powerful golems as his henchmen.

The village of Travensberg featured in this scenario made its first appearance in Unearthing the Past, Jesse’s previous Cliffhangers adventure.

The Story Begins

After a brief adventuring career, Edarad Prinn, an enchanter whose fascination with magic extended to the creation of minor items, settled outside the village of Travensburg. Edarad was never a cruel man, but his ability to bend another’s will with magic had left him haughty and without respect for any ideas but his own. The people of Travensburg had little contact with Edarad, except on his weekly visits to sell his candles. Most of Edarad’s candles were merely high-quality scented candles, but he would also craft a few with minor spells on them for the wealthier members of the town.

Edarad funded his modest magical research through selling both his nicely scented candles and his more expensive enchanted ones. As his research became more successful, Edarad visited the town less and less and eventually began to deal only in enchanted wares, not wanting to take time away from his research to bother with mundane candlemaking.

Edarad last visited town three weeks before the adventure begins. The candles he brought to town on this visit however, were far from benign. Wanting to test the culmination of several years of research, Edarad sold the townsfolk a few candles of cheerful burning, merely to measure their effects on a large group of people. The candles hypnotized many people, but those who were not affected were able to shake the others out of their magically induced stupor. Satisfied with the candles’ effectiveness, Edarad slipped off while the townsfolk were still working off the effects of the candles’ spell.

Unable to find Edarad after breaking free of the candles’ effect, a few of the townsfolk headed out to his cabin. On the way there, however, they were attacked by giant bees and forced to flee back to town.

The Chandler’s Cottage: The chandler’s hut is a small structure 30 feet long by 15 feet wide. The doorway is in the middle of one of the long walls, and the two windows are both covered with boards. The inside of the cottage is sparsely furnished; two large tables rest against the back wall, and to the right of the doorway, a large hearth breaks up the otherwise uninteresting walls.

A 5-foot-tall hole in the back wall leads to a small cave in the ridge behind the cottage.

The Chandler’s Workshop: The large cave behind the chandler’s cottage is roughly a 40-foot x 40-foot square, with irregularities in the walls due to its natural formation. Candles, books, and workbenches clutter the area.

The Chandler’s Storeroom: Beyond the small passageway, three interconnected hexagonal chambers disrupt the mostly natural stonework of the rest of the cave. Two of these chambers have roof holes -- Edarad’s bees fly in and out of these holes. The bees think of these three rooms as their hive.

Inner Chambers: A secret door in the third hexagonal chamber leads to Edarad’s inner sanctum. Beyond the door, a short hallway leads to a perfectly square 30-foot x 20-foot chamber containing with Edarad’s bed, workbenches, and the raw materials required for his research..

Hooking the Characters

There are several ways the adventurers can become interested in locating Edarad and learning the motives behind his strange candles.

The Forest Path

The path to Edarad’s hut is not well traveled, but any of the villagers can point the party in the right direction. The evergreen forest is relatively easy to travel through; the tall trees give the undergrowth little opportunity to flourish. The chandler’s cottage is just over ten miles away through the forest. About eight miles into the journey, four of Edarad’s giant bees attack the party. Groups trying to move cautiously through the forest might avoid the bees entirely, but the difficulty of moving stealthily over long distances and the bee’s excellent Spot bonuses make this unlikely.

Giant Bees (4): hp 13 each; see Monster Manual page 206.

The Chandler’s Cottage

Edarad’s cottage rests against the base of a small rock outcropping and seems deserted. The sole window has been covered with rough planks, and the door hangs open. Characters looking at the back of the cottage notice that the rear of the cottage is connected to the rock surface behind it by a thick, brown waxy substance. Characters looking closely at the cottage may make a DC 15 Spot check. Those who succeed notice a slight flickering on the walls of the cottage, as if a very small fire burned inside.

About the Author

Before becoming managing editor of TopDeck magazine , Jesse Decker worked as assistant editor for Dragon . His previous Cliffhangers adventure, Unearthing the Past , appeared in August.


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