Cliffhangers Adventures

The Candlemaker’s Fire
Episode Four: Candlemaker
by Jesse Decker

"There are two ways of spreading light: to be

The candle or the mirror that reflects it." –Edith Warton, Vesalius in Zante

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 Episodes One, Two, and Three, the party located and began exploring the lair of an enchanter whose magical candles have caused mischief in a nearby village. Episode Four features the final confrontation between the party and the chandler.

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.

Edarad’s Inner Chambers

The tools of his trade clutter Edarad’s inner chambers. Large blocks of unworked beeswax rest against one wall. Books, candlemaking equipment, and more obscure materials required to make Edarads magical candles and golems lie strewn about on several large, wax-covered tables. The room itself embodies Edarad’s state of mind, chaotic, confused, and full of a misguided creative impulse.

As the party enters the room, read or paraphrase the following text:

The large room is filled with a clutter of candlemaking equipment, sculpting tools, and furniture. Although the gray wax that coated the walls in other parts of the cave is gone, dried wax covers the floor. The furniture, including a bed, a bookcase, a few large tables, and armoire look well used, and all but the bed are covered with the wizard’s equipment.

If the party manages to approach without Edarad hearing them (see Edarad’s description below), they see him working at one of the large tables; a wax golem stands unmoving in one corner.

If the party attempts to speak with Edarad to discover his motives for exposing the town to one of his hypnotic candles, he proves uncooperative, trying to charm the PC doing the talking.

Wax Golem (1): CR 3; Medium-Size Construct (7 ft. tall); HD 3d10; hp 17; Init 0; Spd 30 ft. (can’t run); AC 15 (touch 10, flat-footed 15); Atk +4 melee (1d8+2, slam); SQ construct, immunities; AL N; SV Fort +1, Ref +1, Will +1; Str: 15, Dex 10, Con -, Int -, Wis 11, Cha 1.

Construct: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, disease, and similar effects. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, energy drain, or death from massive damage.

Immunities (Ex): Because their pliable bodies can absorb blows easily, wax golems take only half damage from bludgeoning weapons.

Resistances (Ex): Wax golems have electricity resistance 10.

Edarad Prinn: Male human Wiz 5 (Enchanter specialist): CR 5; Medium-Size Humanoid (5 ft. 10 in. tall); HD 5d4; hp 23; Init +2; Spd 30 ft.; AC 13 (touch 12, flat-footed 11) Atk +2 melee (1d4-1, dagger) or +5 ranged (1d4-1, dagger); AL CN; SV Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +6; Str 8, Dex 14, Con 13, Int 16, Wis 12, Cha 10.

Skills: Concentration +9, Craft (candlemaking) +10, Craft (sculpting) +10, Knowledge (Arcana) +7, Listen +5, Spellcraft +11, Spot +4. Feats: Combat Casting, Craft Wondrous Item, Scribe Scroll, Spell Focus (Enchantment), Toughness.

Spells Prepared (4/5/4/3; base DC = 13 + spell level): 0—arcane mark, daze*, detect magic, light, read magic; 1st—charm person*, mage armor, magic missile, shield, spider climb; 2nd—blur, hypnotic pattern, resist element, tasha’s hideous laughter*; 3rd—dispel magic, hold person, suggestion*.

Spellbook: 0—arcane mark, dancing lights, daze*, detect magic, flare, ghost sound, light, mage hand, mending, open/close, prestidigitation, ray of frost, read magic, resistance; 1st—charm person*, mage armor, magic missile, message, shield, sleep*, spider climb; 2nd—blur, glitterdust, hypnotic pattern, levitate, resist elements, tasha’s hideous laughter*; 3rd—dispel magic, hold person, suggestion*.

*These spells belong to the school of Enchantment, which is the character’s specialty. Prohibited schools: Divination and Necromancy.

Possessions: masterwork dagger, candles of cheerful burning (2), bracers of armor +1, cloak of resistance +1, wand of magic missile (25 charges), scroll with dispel magic and sleep, potion of cat’s grace, potion of cure moderate wounds

If Edarad hears the combat in his storeroom (DC 10 Listen check), he’ll prepare by casting mage armor, blur, and shield. If the party hasn’t moved into his inner chambers by that time, he’ll move into his storeroom with his second wax golem. He begins the fight by trying casting hold person on the character who looks like the most dangerous melee combatant. If things go badly, Edarad will attempt to use spider climb to escape through the holes in the roof in his storeroom.

The Cliffhanger

If the DM wishes to add another combat encounter, Edarad’s giant bees could return through the roof in his storeroom. To encourage further adventure, include a note from a mysterious colleague among Edarad’s possessions. The colleague could be the source of the formula for creating both candles of cheerful burning and wax golems. See the full descriptions of the candles and wax golem for more details.

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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