The Candlemaker's Fire
By Jesse Decker
Complete Cliffhanger
Episode 4: Candlemaker
Episode 3: Wax
Wax Golem
Episode 2: Flame
Candles Magic Item
Episode 1: Wick
Cliffhangers Archive
The Approaching Swarm
Kingdom of the Blind
Into the Forsaken Temple's Crypt
The Trouble in Town
The Light of Despair
Training Grounds
Lorin's Chasm
Bridge Work
Nest of Corruption
A Giant Ransom
Black Water
The Horror of Lannock Hill
Over the Edge
The Proper Count
The Tower of Lore
The Candlemaker's Fire
The Hallowed Hills
The Village of Camiram
Unearthing the Past
Special: Cliffhangers Live!

Cliffhangers Adventures

The Candlemaker’s Fire
Episode Two: Flame
by Jesse Decker

"…burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue center light pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’" –Jack Kerouac, On the Road

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.

The Story So Far

In Episode One, the characters found the candlemaker’s cottage and encountered its first guardians, giant bees kept by Edarad, the candlemaker. At the end of the first episode, the party encountered a fire mephit who lit a candle of cheerful burning in front of the party.

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.

The Chandler’s Cottage

The mephit is not alone; another of its kind lurks in the passageway that leads from the broken back of the cottage into the hill behind it. As long as at least one member of the party falls under the candle’s hypnotic effect, the mephits attack the group. If everyone appears to have avoided the candle’s harmful effects, the mephits flee to warn Edarad of intruders.

After the mephit has lit the candle, read or paraphrase the following text:

The wicked-looking creature clearly means you harm, but your attention is pulled away from it by the candle’s cheerful flame. As you gaze into the flickering light, it seems to pull you inward, urging you to stare ever deeper into the flame. As you struggle to pull your gaze from the candle, the imp flies toward you and breathes a gout of fire from its mouth.

Although the mephit breathes fire during the first round of combat, it attempts to hit only those who seem to have resisted the candle’s effects. Characters who win initiative can fool the mephit if they choose to continue staring at the candle. After the first round of combat, the mephit retreats into the chandler’s workshop unless it definitely has the upper hand.

The second mephit is hiding in the chandler’s workshop. If things go well during the candle’s ignition and the first round of combat, it emerges on the second round to help its cohort. If the first mephit retreats quickly, it attempts to remain hidden and uses its heat metal ability on a character wearing metal armor.

Fire Mephits (2): hp 13 each; see Monster Manual page 132.

The Chandler’s Workshop

Gray wax covers the walls of this rough cave, and numerous candles sit in simply shaped niches in the wall. Benches, likewise covered in gray wax, line the walls. Almost all of the 100+ candles scattered about the room’s tables and shelves are normal candles, but a detect magic spell will reveal one magical candle. The magical candle is a half-burned candle of cheerful burning. Several tomes lay open on the tables, covering subjects related to Edarad’s research such as beekeeping, candlemaking, and theories of enchantment magic.

The mephits don’t know about the second candle, but they will try to use the room’s layout to their advantage, flying to one corner and then the other to spread their breath weapon over as many party members as possible.

The mephits don’t feel any particular allegiance to Edarad. They cooperate with him because of the potential mischief that they can cause using his candles of cheerful burning,

The Cliffhanger

In recent years, Edarad has become increasingly paranoid about someone stealing his magical research. The mephits have fed this paranoia. At the mephits’ urging, Edarad built a trap designed to drench an intruder in boiling wax. The mephits have already armed this trap. If they flee from the chandler’s workshop, they are careful to fly over the triggering mechanism when leaving.

Unless the party succeeds at a DC 20 Search check, they trigger the trap as they move from the chandler’s workshop into the passage beyond.

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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