by Jesse Decker
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
Decker wrote the short adventure, The Candlemakers 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.
Story So Far
One, the characters found the candlemakers 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.
Chandlers Cottage: The chandlers 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.
5-foot-tall hole in the back wall leads to a small cave in the ridge
behind the cottage.
Chandlers Workshop: The large cave behind the chandlers
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.
Chandlers 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 --
Edarads bees fly in and out of these holes. The bees think
of these three rooms as their hive.
Chambers: A secret door in the third hexagonal chamber leads
to Edarads inner sanctum. Beyond the door, a short hallway
leads to a perfectly square 30-foot x 20-foot chamber containing
with Edarads bed, workbenches, and the raw materials required
for his research.
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 candles hypnotic effect,
the mephits attack the group. If everyone appears to have avoided the
candles harmful effects, the mephits flee to warn Edarad of intruders.
After the mephit
has lit the candle, read or paraphrase the following text:
creature clearly means you harm, but your attention is pulled away
from it by the candles 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
Although the mephit
breathes fire during the first round of combat, it attempts to hit only
those who seem to have resisted the candles 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 chandlers workshop unless it definitely has the upper
The second mephit
is hiding in the chandlers workshop. If things go well during
the candles 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.
(2): hp 13 each; see Monster Manual page 132.
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 rooms
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 Edarads research such as beekeeping, candlemaking,
and theories of enchantment magic.
The mephits dont
know about the second candle, but they will try to use the rooms
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 dont
feel any particular allegiance to Edarad. They cooperate with him because
of the potential mischief that they can cause using his candles of
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 chandlers
workshop, they are careful to fly over the triggering mechanism when
Unless the party
succeeds at a DC 20 Search check, they trigger the trap as they move
from the chandlers workshop into the passage beyond.
managing editor of TopDeck
magazine , Jesse Decker worked as assistant editor for
Dragon . His previous Cliffhangers
the Past , appeared in August.